Website owners face new trends in web design, web development, and online marketing that impact their ability to reach target consumers every year. Although changing consumer demand affects every business, it has a particularly large impact on ecommerce sites that rely on online sales for a notably large chunk of their profits.
While it can be tough to fully predict what 2017 will hold for ecommerce sites, staying ahead of the curve by analyzing and preparing for the trends can help you schedule updates to help prepare for changes in the consumer market as they come.
If you’re in the process of planning out your strategy for 2017, check out these tips to prepare to meet the needs of your consumer market as the ecommerce world evolves in the new year.
Focus on Mobile Conversion
Consumers might be moving to mobile, but recent reports have shown that mobile consumers are still less likely to convert on purchases than desktop users. This means you will need to build a plan for mobile CRO (conversion rate optimization) into your strategy for 2017.
Spend some time focusing on your current mobile experience and work with your team to identify ways you could more efficiently and effectively lead consumers to the sale. A/B test and heat map your mobile experience to better understand and refine your mobile sales funnel. If you have the resources, it might even be worth your while to hire a mobile CRO specialist to take an audit of your site and help you set your strategy for mobile conversion in the year to come.
Accommodate Mobile Wallets
We all know that entering in payment and shipping information is one of the worst parts of ordering a product or service online. This is why consumers are slowly ditching traditional payment options online and opting for digital options that store their information for them.
Predictions show that smart wallets will grow to be available on 6.1 billion smartphones by 2020, which means that 70 percent of the world’s population will have access to mobile wallet payments. As this form of payment grows, consumer demand for a mobile wallet payment option on ecommerce sites will likely follow.
Some of the most common mobile wallets used by consumers include PayPal, Google Wallet and Apple Pay. You’ll notice that most ecommerce sites offer a mobile payment option for PayPal at the very least.
Build a Virtual Sales Team
Consumers are likely logging on to view your product during their lunch hours or after work. Although they probably browse your site here and there during office hours, they are more likely to call you outside of the standard 9-5 time frame. This is why the presence of virtual sales teams on ecommerce sites is anticipated to see a major uptick in the coming year.
By providing real time customer service to your current and potential customers, you can significantly increase your conversion rate by addressing their questions and concerns in the moment. The standard live chat feature that uses a bot to interact with consumers is a solid first step, but as you grow in 2017, you will want to consider building a sales team of specialized agents who can actually speak with your customers in a real conversation.
Invest in Engagement
It’s no secret that social media has become a crucial part of any effective online marketing strategy. Although most business owners know they should be posting regularly on various social media platforms, many still haven’t quite tapped into the incredible power that comes from actually engaging with current and potential consumers.
Consumers have a rising demand for personal interaction with brands. Social media engagement can be as simple as a reply to a customer’s Facebook comment or as intricate as an engagement strategy that seeks out and messages users who have expressed interest in your product or service.
Evaluate your current efforts for social engagement and identify a few ways you could step it up this year to meet consumers’ growing need for social interaction with your brand this coming year.
Consider Subscription-Based Services
Subscription-based models have dominated the market for years with SaaS companies like Spotify, Pandora, and Uber. Now, commodities are joining in on this massive opportunity for business growth with services like Dollar Shave Club, Adore Me, and Fabletics.
Although building a subscription based model for your business might seem a bit far-fetched, you might be surprised to find that it would actually make a lot of sense with your product or service once you ideate on it a bit.
Think of how you can make it more convenient for your customers to order and receive your product or service from you each time they have a need for it. Talk with your website developers and identify how and where you could make changes to your site to accommodate a subscription-based model for your product.
If trying out a subscription service seems worth the necessary site changes, moving forward with a trial period for a subscription option on your site would be an excellent way to position your product to meet the needs of 2017’s new consumer group.