Nearly two weeks into the new, shiny year, and it will surely be one for the books.. or, er, one for the blogs, rather. 2016 continued the rapid highs and lows for online shopping and eCommerce, and shoppers are now demanding more from their range of retailers. Customers crave that seamless, perfect experience when shopping online, and if you can’t give it, they’ll surely find it elsewhere. So what can we expect from this year’s online retail world?
The megatrend of interactive content has swept the scene, making it a necessity for online retailers in order to gauge that high-interest amongst shoppers. Lookbooks, style quizzes, personality tests and more, help a shopper figure out what products and offers would be best for them. At the same time, it lets the company know who their customers are, and what they’re truly interested in. Win-win, and we aren’t the only ones who think so: 77% of marketing professionals agree that a planned approach which focuses on optimisation and analytics is the most effective way of creating successful digital marketing.
Alongside Boden in their Mini Space line campaign we were able to do just that, by producing a lookbook which ended up driving a 10x return on ad spending, and increased their cart size by 33%. Check it out for yourself here, it definitely is as good as it sounds.
Artificial Intelligence is about to soar higher than ever before. Customers want to feel that interaction and attention, without having to actually go into the stores to find it. A.I. will weave together data for each person based on their past purchases, age, location, gender, and so on. This will provide each customer with their personal shopper come each chatbot interaction. Already embracing this trend are companies such as H&M, Sephora, and Victoria’s Secret, who, through the Kik platform, use a chatbot to send automated responses to their potential-buyers’ questions, which then leads them to a more personalized page filled with what would “best suit” each individual. This in turn creates a smoother, more enjoyable customer experience, and increases the chance that they will return to the site, as opposed to run off to another. Reports have previously revealed that 51% of shoppers will either try once or give up if they do not receive support during their shopping experience. So what can we expect now? Shoppers are likely to spend 5% – 20% more after interacting with a chatbot, and the buyer conversion rate is 5-10 times more likely following a doting chat session. Cha-ching.
The amount of customers using mobile to online shop has now surpassed the amount using desktop, which has lead to the process of mobile-first indexing, meaning that companies have to ensure their mobile sites are user-friendly, and equipped with the same information as the desktop site, if not more. So, another trend we can be sure to see in 2017 is the downfall of cash popularity and, even, credit card swiping. Although shoppers are evidently using their mobiles more than their desktops, they are still skeptical about giving their payment information when it comes to mobile use, as they don’t feel it’s very secure. But fear not; MasterCard and BMO have come to save the day. Their partnership has allowed customers to pay by identifying themselves via (wait for it)… selfie. “Selfie Pay” confirms a customer’s identity using biometrics, and whilst it’s primarily available for online purchases, the future seems bright for this feature. Other methods such as Apple Pay, and VISA during the Rio Olympic Games further the idea that cash, credit cards, and even wallets may become less and less popular as the year progresses.
It’s looking to be a competitive, whizz of a year, with other trends such as an increase of same-day delivery options, and in-store wifi, the eCommerce sector will take off to levels we have never experienced before. Stay tuned for what’s to come.