Thursday 19 June, 2014
The economy stinks and it’s hard to imagine that anybody is doing well today. But if you’re operating in the world of ecommerce, you might see things differently. Ecommerce is booming. Sites like Amazon, Netflix and EBay, which were effectively science fiction two decades ago, are now major shopping hubs and they’re weathering the economic ups and downs well.
No matter what happens in the offline economy, it’s predicted that ecommerce will only grow in the coming years. Shopping is quickly becoming the main way we spend time online and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Here are a few other trends that we can expect in the coming years.
Small Businesses Go Online. Small businesses have been slow to adapt to ecommerce, but this is changing. In the next few years, there will probably be a boom in small businesses setting up ecommerce sites, especially if the offline economy stays stagnant.
Building Stores Is a Breeze. One of the advantages of ecommerce is that it’s much easier to set up a store online than off. As more services offer site building tools, it’ll only become easier.
M-Commerce. Sales of smartphones are going through the roof and more of us are spending our Internet time on them rather than in front of a computer. This is pushing online stores to tailor the shopping experience they offer for mobiles. This trend is being called ‘m-commerce.’
Social Commerce. Until now, we’ve used social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to connect to friends and share common interests. However, online merchants are already targeting these sites because they know they’re the place to be. Social commerce will be big in the coming years. After all, what better advertising is there than a recommendation from a good friend?
More Goods Available. Right now, there are certain products that sell well online and others that don’t. In particular, people are wary of buying electronics, tools and similar items online. As online shopping becomes more common, we’ll see more opportunities to sell a wider variety of goods online, including items people don’t buy today.
Global Ecommerce. In the next few years, online businesses will have to focus on overseas customers. China, Russia, and India all have growing ecommerce customer bases that will surpass those of the US and European Union in a few short years. You’ll need translation services and foreign-language SEO to stay alive.
The Human Touch. With great deals and endless variety online, why do people still shop off? The reason is that they miss the human touch, and this will never change. What will have to change is the way we sell online. Consider this: a user is looking at deals online and is about to sign off, when a customer representative appears on chat and says hi to them; then, they proceed to make small talk, which ends in a special discounted price if they want to buy today. This human contact is often what seals the deal. We’ll have to find ways to offer it online.