Did you know that e-commerce has been around for more than 40 years? The first spam message was sent in 1978! Amazon began in 1995, during the days of dial-up and hearing “Welcome! You’ve got mail!”. Now, 65 million customers visit the Amazon website each month. Many companies now have apps that allow customers to shop from the convenience of their phones with just a few taps and swipes.
It has become clear that e-commerce is here to stay and has changed the way people shop for goods and services. E-commerce is almost a must for any business and as a business owner, you need to know – or know someone who does know – the ups, the downs, the ins and the outs of selling online. Expanding your business to operate online can drive up profits and make your product available to customers who might not ordinarily be exposed to what you have to offer.
However, simply maintaining an online store or having a form to fill out so you can contact potential customers may not be enough in this global, internet driven economy. To be successful with an ecommerce business, you need to keep your eyes on current and developing trends in the market and then put those trends to work for you.
Here are the top new trends that you might want to looking to develop in 2018. Taking advantage of them will empower your business to succeed online.
Subscription Based Services are the Future
Netflix. Hulu. Amazon Prime. The Dollar Shave Club. Even Microsoft Office 365. These are all examples of subscription-based services that are on the rise. The Dollar Shave Club built a $615 million-dollar empire in just 5 years by offering razors on a month-to-month subscription. Now, subscription meal services like Hello Fresh and Freshly are on the scene for those too busy to stop by the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for dinner. Subscription services are definitely a trend that will continue to grow going forward.
Invest in Content Developers
The technique that many business owners voted as having the most probable future impact is content marketing. Many businesses are now treating content as a vital tool when it comes to engaging their e-commerce customers. From videos to targeted ads on social media apps, content marketing remains one of the brightest stars on the horizon in ecommerce search engine optimization. To bring people to your e-commerce site, you need content that is memorable, visually appealing, and personalized in nature. How to accomplish that? A good content creator appeals to customers by writing with their interests in mind.
Take Advantage of Micro-Moments
When we have a question, an outstanding 90% of people reach for their smartphone to perform the search to find the answer. This is one of those “micro-moments” that e-commerce is looking to leverage. Whether it is someone searching for a nearby store carrying a specific item, for the ingredients to a recipe, or for that baby-shower gift, or watching a how-to video by entering into this space and giving the customer the information they need, it can inspire trust in your brand.
Give Customers a Personalized Shopping Experience
Google has jumped on this by targeting ads based on people’s search history. As has Amazon, which recommends products based upon what has been searched for and purchased previously. Offering personalized goods and services can also help your business to claim a space in a market that is inundated with similar goods and services. Customers expect the same level of personalized service outside of your e-commerce website, in your external marketing efforts. This means ensuring that your promotional emails are tailored to fit your distinct customers. Create an online community around your brand can help your customers connect with your company and their fellow shoppers. Create a customized loyalty program. Use customer data to offer tailored suggestions based on that specific consumers’ wants and needs.
These trends will make an impact in e-commerce in 2018 and beyond. Putting these into place now can help ensure that your business is positioned to make 2018 one of your best years yet.
About the Author
Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 14 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded GetBackonGoogle.com, helping busineses and websites suspended in Adwords to Get Back on Google.