The 2015 holiday season saw a soar in the number of digital shoppers in the U.S., at 201.7 million in total by the end of the year. According to Statista, the number in 2016 continues to rise, at a projection of 206.2 million.
An indicator that digital shopping was not just a seasonal coincidence but a development in consumer behavior, the rising number suggests companies need to revamp their business strategies and develop effective methods to appeal to their prospective and current online shoppers.
Here are some Retail and E-Commerce Shopping Trends to help you succeed in customer acquisition:
- Multi-Channel Shopping
Customers want variety but a ‘curated’ variety – and that is why multi-channel shopping sites like Amazon and Etsy are so successful. Such multi-selling platforms offer customers not only the ability to select from a wide inventory of products but also provides the element of interactivity. Shoppers can view ratings and reviews from previous customers, which subsequently allows current shoppers the power to select the vendor of choice. Companies should take advantage of consumers’ affinity for interactivity in online shopping and be a vendor on Amazon.
- Real Time Analytics: the new Reality
People no longer make time to only shop in-store: they shop wherever and whenever they find convenient, and that could range from in-store, simultaneously when chatting on Facebook, or browsing on the phone while on their lunch break. Therefore, it is imperative as a seller to analyze in real time. The most popular time to purchase online is weekdays between 12-2pm and on Sunday evenings. In 2016, more real time analytics will be used to track real-time customer behavior and thus use data to develop models for say, segmenting ad campaigns.
- M-Commerce is CRUCIAL
If you haven’t modified your e-commerce site to make it mobile friendly, do it now! One third of ecommerce sales were on mobile in 2014, up from 23% the year before and 12% in 2012. In 2015, there was more traffic from mobile ecommerce than computer purchasing for the first time ever, 50.3% versus 49.7% respectively. Mobile buying numbers are gradually rising every quarter, so a positive mobile experience is imperative to keeping your consumers happy.
- Tablet Shopping
While it is evident that ecommerce shoppers have shifted towards mobile shopping, it is important not to forget the digital shoppers who use tablets too. Due to larger screen size and retina resolution (thank you iPad 3), tablets are more likely to be used than smartphones to research and browse before purchasing, an action that many consumers are now performing in-store. 47% of tablet users are likely to “place an order for physical goods” using a tablet compared to 17% of smartphone users. Given this purchasing behavior, companies may want to consider “tablet optimization” before “mobile optimization.”
- Flash Sales
These days, it is all about being speedy and instantaneous. Throw a curve ball of spontaneity to the mix, and you have a game plan for pleasantly surprised clients. One way to do this is a flash sale. Unexpected sales – which can range from a few hours to a few days – entice your regular customers to purchase because they want to take advantage of the unforeseen deals before they go away.
Especially if your brand is a luxury item without many opportunities for discounts, a flash sale will give your customers the coveted chance to purchase designer products for less than half the normal cost. Usually, this urgency is too much to pass up.
All of these are necessary best practices for maximizing the ROI for your digital marketing efforts. To read more statistics about the trends in this year’s retail and Ecommerce space, check out our latest infographic here.
For any inquiries to discuss your digital marketing plan, please email us.