2015 is here, and with it brings new trends to watch out for. While some trends carried over from 2014, the release of Apple’s highly anticipated Apple Watch is bound to be a game changer. While we’ve selected the top 6 trends, it is important to remember that the consumers of today are very savvy and have high expectations, they want the best deals and their orders shipped fast. We’ll summarize best practices after touching on our predictions.
- Omni-Channel: Though this is not a new trend, there is an increasing number of eCommerce retailers opening up physical stores. These channels must be seamlessly connected to reap the most benefits. Free ‘ship to store’ promotions increase store traffic and mobile apps work to assist customers in store.
- Recreating Brick-and-Mortar Experience Online: Though the omni-channel approach continues to rise, many stores elect to operate solely online. To best serve your customers, your site must be as easy to navigate as a physical store. Typically, when entering a brick-and-mortar store, new products will be in the front to first capture your attention and sale items will be towards the back of the store. Having a clean and clear menu and a search bar will help your visitors find exactly what they are looking for. Having a chat feature and detailed product descriptions fill in for store associates and answer any questions on-the-fence shoppers may have. In addition, high quality photos and videos will fill the void of not seeing the item in person.
- Stand Apart from the Competition: Each year, more and more eCommerce sites pop up and with Amazon reigning supreme, it is important you find a way to rise above your competition. One way is to offer exceptional customer service. Live chats, online tickets, a knowledge base and phone support cater to differing customer preferences. Again, having an easy to navigate site will help guide shoppers and offer a better customer experience. If your site is friendlier than the competitions, odds are you are going to win the deals.
- Fostering Loyalty: Throughout the years, retailers have struggled with converting one-time shoppers into loyal, repeat customers. In our post-recession era, shoppers are looking for the best deals. As a retailer, it is important to build the value of products to justify the price. Once a customer has made that initial purchase, encourage loyalty through personalized emails, special coupons, and good customer service.
- Mobile!: Much like 2014, mobile commerce is slated to be big. With strides being made to make mobile checkout quicker and easier, more shoppers will be making purchases on their phones and tablets. While there were several security breaches in 2014, Apple Pay promises secure and easy checkouts. While the jury is out about the success of Apple Pay, it has renewed the interest of mobile wallets and one-click checkouts. It is still important to have a responsive eCommerce site that will look good no matter the screen size it is accessed on.
- Wearables & Screen Shifting: With the highly anticipated Apple Watch set to hit stores early this year, eCommerce stores should be prepared to tackle screen shifting. While the odds of customers purchasing via the Apple Watch is unlikely, you’ll want to have a responsive site to entice users to visit (and purchase) on another screen. For omni-channel retailers, location-based offers will be more useful. As many people carry their phones in bags and pockets while shopping, offers may go unnoticed. With the Apple Watch prominently on display on shoppers’ wrists, these notifications will be easier to see (and utilized).
Today’s shoppers have information at their fingertips all the time. With showrooming and price comparison apps, shoppers demand information and use it in their purchasing process. Encourage customers to leave product reviews, which will influence future shoppers’ decisions. With our 6 predictions, you can prepare your site to cater to the needs of shoppers and increase the likelihood of their conversion and satisfaction. We’re ready for 2015, are you?