According to a recent study by Forrester Research, projected online sales for 2012 are $226 billion, up 62% from 2011, when $202 billion was spent in ecommerce. With predictions of a consistent increase in the number of online sales, customers are becoming more demanding in their online purchasing experiences while online retailers are challenged to become more creative in attracting new customers and retaining them. ATAK Interactive takes a look at current ecommerce trends and shares tips on what you can do to get ahead with your online business.
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
First and foremost, your customers won’t buy something on their computer, smartphone or tablet if they can’t see it properly, or be able to easily navigate around your page. Responsive web design, or RWD, is a method of optimizing your web content so that it conforms to any type of device being used to view your webpage. A great example of RWD is at http://responsive.is/anderssonwise.com. At the top of the page you can select a computer screen, tablet or smartphone to get an idea of what that website would look like on each device. One of the most important things about RWD is designing a functional navigation that doesn’t overpower the page, but guides the customer exactly where they want to go in order to find a product and easily make a purchase. All of ATAK Interactive’s websites are designed with RWD in mind, and can help transform your static page into an optimized one as well.
SOCIAL MEDIA PLUG-INS
In a recent survey conducted by NielsenWire, 46% of global online shoppers said they used social media to help make purchase decisions. Another study by Valassis, a media and marketing services company, revealed that when consumers were asked what they would do to save 25% on a product, 67% would “like” a page on Facebook, and 17% would Tweet or Retweet a deal. With statistics like these, it’s no surprise that social media plug-ins are found on basically every major ecommerce site, and should be an integral part of yours too. Adding these is a budget-friendly way to have your articles, photos and other aspects of your website shared across the internet. There are many different plug-ins available for free online depending on the type of website you have (i.e. WordPress, Joomla, etc.). One website that easily produces social media plug-ins for a variety of formats is www.sharethis.com.
Another ecommerce trend that has gained immense popularity over the last couple of years is the timed sale. Online coupon providers like Groupon, LivingSocial, OneKingsLane, Ideeli and Hautelook (to name a few) offer limited-time sales on products, services, vacation packages and many other things at anywhere from 25-75% off of the standard cost. This tactic creates a sense of urgency and motivates customers to make the purchase now or pay the consequences of paying full price later. On less popular items, this trend can also increase sales because of the value proposition. Even if the consumer doesn’t really need it, they’re still likely to make the purchase because of the deep discount. If you’re thinking of implementing the timed sale ecommerce trend, be sure that you also put into practice a methodology of turning deal buyers into repeat customers since you will be losing profit on your first sale. In fact, a recent study from Rice University revealed that only between 55% and 61% of businesses running daily deals actually make money on the promotions.
A trend is a general direction in which something is developing or changing, so it’s important to be aware of what is popular, what is attracting customers, and what is creating revenue for other online businesses. With that said, it’s important to remember that not all current ecommerce trends are right for every business, and trends can pass quickly. ATAK Interactive strives to inform all of its customers of current trends to enhance their ecommerce website and improve profit. Putting some thought into strategizing for what consumers want and how they interact can do wonders for your business.