Take a second to think about your favorite site to shop online. Then go to waybackmachine.org and see how it looked 3 years ago. I’m willing to bet things have changed a lot.
With e-commerce, trends change rapidly, especially this day in age. If your business is going to keep up, you may want to look into these six hot trends.
1. Responsive Web Design
Shopping at your desktop computer? So 2010. Over the past few years, the number of people that shop on iPads, iPhones, and other devices has increased exponentially. Your website needs to be prepared for the numbers to get even higher. But what exactly is “responsive design”? To keep it simple, it’s a website that looks good, no matter what device it’s on. By upgrading to responsive web design, you’ll avoid having multiple websites. Search engines hate when companies have multiple websites for the same e-commerce purposes.
2. Quality Content Marketing
Technically, having quality information (a.k.a content) to sell your product has always been important. But you used to be able to use lower quality images, videos, and descriptions, as long as your competitors were too. Not anymore. Hi-res images, large videos, and descriptions that really capture a potential buyer’s interest need to be implemented. Businesses are starting to catch on to the importance of quality content marketing, and those old sub-par practices are becoming increasingly harder to get away with.
3. Facebook Stores
According to Mashable/Vocus/Gartner Research, 50% of web sales will occur via social media by 2015. Social media will make your business grow, there’s no way around it.
Barkbox, Woobox, and NatureBox are three different companies. One sells dog toys and gadgets, one sells marketing apps, and the other sells nature snacks. But they all have two things in common – they’re subscription based, and successful. Expect to see more and more of these types of companies popping up throughout 2014.
5. Using Data
A lot of online shop owners don’t know their site’s bounce rate, average visitor duration time, and more. Frankly, this surprises me, but shop owners are quickly catching on. If you look at this information and all of your stats are good – then that’s awesome, and you’re doing something right. If your stats are not good – don’t fret. These numbers will help you recognize if you need to change your site’s design, work on page load times, increase your social media presence, or a number of other things that could help you drive more sales.
6. Fast Shipping
It’s a fairly simple concept, but many businesses still don’t do it. To battle the consumer’s ever-increasing need to have something as quickly as possible, more businesses will be offering options such as free 2 day shipping. Or maybe even delivery drones, right?
Ben is a writer from Upstate New York. He works with Web Payment Software, a company that offers affordable mobile payment options for businesses of all sizes. Connect with him on Google+.