In 2018 business is not anymore just about selling products, business has become all about selling experiences to customers. Every new trend in business is basically for making customer experiences better. With the rise in technology, the rate at which trends are coming and developing is marvelous. The expectations of the customers increasing and at the same time the burden on sellers is also increasing
Obviously, the traditional old methods are not going to help you increase your sales in this fast pacing world, keeping up with the trends is a must. Here is a list of trends that you need to start using for your business:-
1. Reviving Brick and Mortar store :
If your business has both online and offline presence then it is going to turn out very beneficial this year. Many businesses are committing the mistake of closing their brick and mortar store and moving completely online. Do not commit this mistake.
Research Online and Purchase Offline (ROPO) is a common habit among eagle-eyed shoppers, who are always on the lookout for best deals. They research products online, compare the prices and find the best possible deals for themselves. And then go in-store and buy the product. ROPO helps to find out how effective your digital campaigning is turning out. It will help you analyze better that every investment you make in digital advertising gives you how much revenue, which ads are more impactful on customers, etc.
Also having an offline store will help you provide ‘pick up in store’ feature to your customers. This will let them collect from store according to their time preferences. Also, it will save the shipping charges and drive more customers to the offline shop.
2. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality :
The main problem that people face while buying products online is that they cannot see or feel the product. This problem is solved by Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). They provide a better solution, you can see how the products look at your home or on you without moving anything or going anywhere.
IKEA is a well known Swedish furniture company, that launched its AR app last year. Using that app you can see how the products look at your home. The measurements are true to scale, so that will help you know whether the furniture will fit in your room or not and how they will look in your home. Amazon also added AR view feature, using which you can view all the products like electronics, furniture, etc.
3. Automating your tasks :
Many sellers run away when they are told its time to implement new technology. People think investing in various apps causes extra expenses and at the same very difficult to manage. But automation is one of the biggest cause of the rise in competition in e-commerce. The reason why people are investing in technology because the entry cost is low and the output is always high. And with the latest advancements, technology is becoming easier to understand and implement.
There is a lot of order management software in the market to suit your needs, whether you want an app using which you can fully manage your e-commerce business like EMERGE App, which has a full suite of features handling everything from to inventory to simple accounting and is suitable for every kind of business. Or apps for dedicated tasks like for managing social media Hootsuite is a good app, for email management you can use MailChimp.
4. Say hello to Chatbots :
Machine learning is being mixed with e-commerce to bring more personalized and faster experiences for customers. Good customer service is the biggest priority for sellers. It is being used to provide product recommendations and advice, better search results.
Being physically present is not always possible, so Chatbots are a very good option. Chatbots can handle customer services problems 24 x 7, and provide better and accurate recommendations by making use of machine learning product purchase histories and search results.
5. The rise of Voice Shopping
Order everyday essentials using just voice command. Voice shopping is here to add more comfort to the customer’s shopping experience. According to a research by Google, 20% of the mobile searches are voice searches, and the numbers are expected to rise in future.
There are a number of voice assistants present in the market like Amazon Echo, Google Home,
Alexa. According to a study by equities securities research firm Consumer Research Intelligence Partners, buyers who make use of Amazon Echo to buy products online are among Amazon’s most loyal customers. They spend an average of $1,600 per year. While the others spend $1,300 per-year average of Prime customers.
These voice assistants have made the work of the users easier, more people are trying it, user engagement is increasing, they are relying on it to complete small simple everyday tasks. It is a growing technology, there is a lot more to explore in it.
6. Same day delivery is the new expectation :
While everybody is selling the same products, sellers need to be better than their competitors. Why should the buyers choose to buy from you? The best reason for that will be providing them excellent customer services and under that comes faster shipping and better delivery logistics.
Customers want same day delivery or next day delivery and sellers need to fulfill that demand otherwise the customers will turn to their competitors.
7. Better quality product videos :
While buying products online customers always face confusions like what is the 360-degree view of the product? How to make the best use of the product? Will it suit their needs? The answer to all these confusions is explainer videos.
Videos are very good marketing tools. Create high-quality explainer videos in which all the important features and uses of the product are mentioned and post them on social media websites. You can also ask the influencers to post videos using the products. When customers see others using the product they develop confidence in the product.
8. Extensive use of social media :
Word of mouth is still very important. While buying products people find it very difficult to trust the new online markets. Before buying anything online people have the habit of looking up reviews online. So teaming up with an influencer of your business niche is the latest marketing strategy you need to start following.
Influencer marketing helps you to build brand awareness. All you need to do is send your free services to the influencer and ask them to share their views regarding your services on their social media websites. This way without much spending much money you will be able to reach out to their followers, their loyal followers would become your loyal customers.
Social Shopping is going to get popular this 2018. Already Instagram is already known to bring the maximum sales among all social media websites. Sellers can bring the products in front of the customers without even making them realize that with help of social media websites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. They can buy the products from their only without leaving that site or switching between apps.
9. Mobile Optimization :
Mobiles had already change the business scenario in 2017 and they continue to do so this year as well. Having a dedicated mobile app for your business is a must as it is more convenient and accessible for the shoppers.
Digital wallets allow one-click payment, fingerprint and facial recognition technology, chat support, all these mobile features are increasing the conversion rates.
The oldest trend!
The oldest trend is to keep working hard and not stick to old outdated methods. Initially, new trends may be intimidating to try out. But don’t hesitate to get out of your comfort zone and implement new trends. You need to invest time and see what works the best for you. So do you know any e-commerce trends that we have missed out? Let us know in the comment section below.
Read Also : 5 E-Commerce trends to pay attention to in 2018