[Guest post by John Stone]
2016 will bring yet another set of challenges for the world of eCommerce. According to Forrester, the U.S. eCommerce industry alone will sell an estimated $355 to $393 billion worth of services and products. With revenues going through the roof, and search and demand increasing by the year, CMOs worldwide will have to become even more competitive and inventive in order to stay relevant on the market.
If you are running an eCommerce website, the following short and comprehensive list is a mandatory read. We will skim through the most important aspects, upgrades, tools and relevant resources that you should know about if you want to keep your online shop profitable in the year 2016.
Social Media Marketing Channels
While some business owners still don’t realize the real potential of their Social Media Marketing efforts, the ones who do thrive tremendously. According to Shopify, the Return on Investment through SMM is continuously on the increase. At this very moment, Facebook is a predominant force within this sector.
With conversion rates from all traffic coming from social media channels at a slim 1.85%, Facebook is responsible for 85% of them in total. On a sample of 529, 000 purchases coming only through this platform that is a significant number. So if you had any doubts whether you should move from Facebook to some other platform – there is no need for that, just invest in your SMM smart. And remember that focus is extremely important, don’t neglect your Facebook channel in order to improve other potential channels.
Going Offline for the Sake of Online
One very interesting trend is on a rise. Allegedly, owners of ecommerce websites are opening actual, physical shops in accordance to the response that they get online. They are targeting the places that drive the most traffic and eventually sales. This is only logical, and it was just a matter of time when will someone put this idea into practice, but still – ecommerce marketers strive to connect their offline efforts with their online representation in a much more simple way today.
Instead of opening up shops and building brand awareness afterwards, a trend for 2016 is to build a successful ecommerce website first, and based on the results from your revenue and the data that you acquire from the market, open up an actual physical shop in the place where you get a great deal of traffic from. In simple terms – you are answering the evident need of your customers. Interesting fact is that this sort of action diminishes investments on demographics and research analysis in general.
Your Bulletproof Shopping Cart
28% of visitors abandon their shopping carts because of the unexpected cost. As a business owner, you have to be aware that the majority of customers are successfully adapting to this form of trade and are well accustomed to performing thorough research about the products that they want. In fact, 81% of online shoppers perform a research before they make a purchase, and that statistic is even higher in B2B ecommerce.
You will simply have to provide your customers with what they are looking for and keep all prices transparent and accessible. The shorter and simpler the process of purchase is, the more conversions you get. This is why you should consider alternative online payment systems.
Creating unnecessary user accounts, as well as security concerns, also drive conversions away, so if you want more sales you will simply have to invest in your online shopping cart. Make the experience simple, pay special attention to your UI and even better, have all payment options secured in accordance to your customer preferences and location.
At the very end, staying consistent is very important. The majority of eCommerce owners are purposely neglecting complex designs and are focusing their marketing efforts on the user experience. With mobile searches surpassing desktop searches, and with so many shoppers online – success is inevitable. You just have to stay diligent.