If there’s one thing the buying public love, it’s choice – and with more ways to shop now than ever before, it’s worth keeping an eye on retail and ecommerce trends if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

Whatever you’re selling and whoever you’re selling it to, you really should have an online presence including an ecommerce platform to ensure you’re maximising your market reach – but is it really as simple as that? Unfortunately not – the way people engage with ecommerce is always changing, so your strategy should be changing to reflect this – it’s a constant process.

Ecommerce trends in 2016

While PCs and laptops are still the most popular internet search tools (probably influenced by work-based search), 80%* of searchers are using their smartphones to access the internet and mobile now accounts for 50.3% of all ecommerce traffic*** – plus 50%** of digital users have made an online purchase more than once.

47%* of users access the internet via a tablet device these days, and this has led to lots of necessary improvements, with retailers adapting their ecommerce systems to cater for multiple device entry-points.

We’ve talked before about the concept of ‘mobile first’ when it comes to web design, and this has never been more important than it is now. According to Tribute Media, 30% of mobile users will abandon a transaction if an ecommerce website isn’t optimised for mobile – that’s nearly a third of your potential customers opting out if you’re not onboard with changing ecommerce trends.

Can a bad ecommerce decision really kill your business?

‘Kill’ may be slightly overkill, but some big name brands have been brought down because they didn’t keep an eye on new and emerging ecommerce trends.

Take Blockbuster for example – once a high street favourite for all your video (yes, they were around in the olden days!) and DVD rental needs, they constantly rebuffed offers to buy up the then-unknown Netflix a decade or so ago and it cost them dearly. Now Blockbuster is no more, and Netflix is worth billions of dollars: an extreme example, but a lesson for us all.

However, making good decisions isn’t as easy as keeping an eye on trends though – you need to consider your audience, their favoured devices and how demographics impact on user experience and the buying journey.

How to improve your ecommerce store and increase revenue

Even if you have a physical store, you can’t ignore ecommerce – after all, 44% of mobile users will browse in-store, then head home and purchase from their phone**.
So in terms of emerging and future trends, what should you be doing to boost your online sales?

  • If you don’t have an ecommerce website, get one – it’s an ever-increasing access point for purchasing.
  • If you do have a website, get some professional advice on functionality and user experience – if it’s not been updated for a while, it probably needs it.
  • Create links between in-store visits and ecommerce functions – personalise the shopping experience as much as you can, and promote products in line with browsing/purchase habits and history.
  • If you must use ads, make sure they’re tailored to the user – keep them unobtrusive and relevant.
  • Big names like Amazon have started offering a same-day delivery service – maybe you should consider this too?

In fact, talking of Amazon, they’re proof that ecommerce doesn’t always come easy: now the biggest online retailer in the world, it took them 8 years to make a profit!

There are so many interesting facts and ecommerce trends we could have shared, but we’ve probably spouted on long enough now – however, if you need any advice or support to increase your ecommerce presence and success, please call us for a chat on 0113 322 6211.

* www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/