Within the ever-evolving digital landscape, ecommerce businesses are continually under pressure to meet the fast-moving expectations of modern consumers, amidst advancing technology and innovation trends.
Head of Insight at Space 48, Oliver Lees, discusses the latest trends and technology shaping ecommerce business strategies in 2017:
Biggest factors shaping the future of ecommerce
When people talk about tech trends, the likes of artificial intelligence (AI), the “internet of things” (IoT) and virtual reality (VR) often crop up. So, you might be surprised to hear me say that, rather than big technological factors shaping the future of ecommerce, the key factors are more about being smarter with the technology and resources readily available to merchants, developers and marketers.
Here are the biggest factors to focus on for future ecommerce success:
- Automation – behavioural-based triggers can really enhance the nurturing process
- Personalisation – consumers expect more relevance and tailored journeys
- Channel integration – omnichannel consumer experience enables greater opportunities for engagement and for meeting consumer expectations
- Optimisation – set-it and forget-it is not going to cut it anymore!
- Customer journey – ecommerce strategies should always begin and end with the customer journey
- Choosing suitable solutions, agencies and platforms – you need to work with the right people and technology for your business needs
- Site speed/performance – monitoring your site speed and performance is vital and minimising issues that reduce speed and improve performance should be a high priority!
- Customer-centric/mobile-influenced strategies – meeting changing consumer expectations is crucial, so pivot your strategy towards customer-led mobile trends
- Offering value – this may sound like common sense, but repeat this mantra when refining your ecommerce strategy
Technology trends creating impact for ecommerce businesses
Retailers are being challenged by customer expectations and advances in technology and it’s important for brand reputation to be innovative and ahead of the curve.
Here are some of the latest tech trends creating impact for retailers and ecommerce brands:
- Omnichannel customer experience and in-store interactivity – digital innovation and interactivity in brand stores, such as the use of headsets, demos, iPads for staff, webcam interactivity and VR product view. GoInStore facilitates live immersive video streaming and audio connection between website visitors and in-store staff. Using the GoInStore button on product pages customers, are able to connect with an advisor and receive a personalised shopping experience from the comfort of their own home.
- Videoly – using automated software, Videoly seeks videos and user-generated content, such as unboxing reviews, to link to products on your ecommerce websites, helping to engage consumers, offer social proof and prevent them from browsing elsewhere.
- Using video to nurture customer journeys – video is creating big impact in ecommerce, building more urgency, engagement, meeting consumer expectations and nurturing customers to encourage conversions. AO.com are leading the way with product videos. Their videos are placed within the image gallery (conveniently above the page fold) and can be enlarged to full screen.
- Better algorithms for personalisation and tailored content – consumers expect personalised recommendations, so brands are ramping up their efforts! Our partners Nosto and Peerius are both great personalisation tools, which you can integrate with your website, serving up a better user experience with product recommendations and behavioral pop-ups relevant to your user.
Naylors with Peerius:
Effortless Skin with Nosto:
- Shopping assistant apps – such as Shoptagr, which allow consumers to save products and receive alerts when selected products are in stock, on sale or available in certain sizes, colours, etc.
- Closer ties between ecommerce sites and marketing channels – e.g. Magento Social.
The high street is not being phased out, it’s evolving. Brands are beginning to understand that consumers want omnichannel customer experiences, so they need to integrate channels and devices and online/offline commerce. Technology and digital innovations are helping to nurture consumers at every touchpoint throughout customer journeys.
Magento and Magento 2 are community-driven and customer-focused platforms. The Magento community and Magento Marketplace act as the ecommerce pulse for digital, social and consumer trends, seeking to continuously improve the platforms’ capabilities and meet changing consumer expectations.
Magento Social is a good example, as social media continues to have greater influence on ecommerce trends and we see more functionality to make products easier to purchase directly through social channels.
As an ecommerce agency, we know the best Magento websites look very different, because the array of customisation and easy-to-implement plugins and integrations that Magento enables ecommerce businesses to utilise.
Magento 2 is a revolutionary channel, focused on creating the ultimate omnichannel experience and a unified commerce platform. Magento 2 boasts a streamlined checkout process, fast page-loading and database integration capabilities, whilst its flexible code structure enables huge customisation and scalability, allowing brands to be more innovative and ambitious with their ecommerce websites.
It’s crucial for merchants and ecommerce developers to stay on top of the latest trends and technology impacting the industry, but it’s also important to focus on improving every aspect of your customer journey, optimise processes and maximise the potential of your platform and the technology at your disposal.
Space 48 is a UK ecommerce consultancy specialising in Magento development and ecommerce strategy. Our team of ecommerce experts and certified Magento developers have worked on a range of award-winning ecommerce websites for major brands. If you want to learn more about the must-have ecommerce strategies to increase conversions, download our free Must-Have Ecommerce Strategies e-book.