Ecommerce has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the past decade. This method of selling has taken the world by storm and it has no sign of abating. But in such a dynamic environment, scenarios can change at the drop of a hat. So where is eCommerce heading? What developments will we see unfold in the next few years and how will they influence our everyday lives?
With the domination of major platforms such as Amazon and eBay we can most likely expect to be shoehorned into a select few selling platforms where the majority of online shoppers browse. This is good and bad news; good news in that it allows you to quickly and easily find any product that you will ever need, bad news in that you will be forced into using just a select handful of platforms, so if you don't like them, then tough luck.
Humanise Your Brand
Humanising your brand is going to be a key factor in determining the success of any eCommerce business. Kylie Jenner is set to become the youngest self-made* (debatable) billionaire in the world, which is testament to its potential. Obviously we can't all be as fortunate as Kylie, so what can you do to make your business a success? Using a recognisable model to sell your products or having a human story associated to your product could be a good place to start.
Same Day Delivery
Convenience is king. The likes of Amazon are already making a move towards this market changing development. One that will play on our need for immediate gratification and will catapult Amazon way ahead of its competitors. With constant improvements in logistics, same day delivery is no longer an impossible task, especially due to advances in automated warehousing. If you don't sell on Amazon at the moment, then now is the opportune moment to get involved.
This development is one that will significantly improve the quality of a customer's journey and will enhance the customer service of any business sourcing their products from Amazon. This really is a global phenomena.
With businesses fighting over customers tooth and nail, is it any surprise they will use any incentive to attract more? Free delivery is set to become the standard, as anything else will simply act as a barrier to sales. This may have unintended consequences however. Businesses will either, increase the cost of the product to simply gain a psychological advantage over their competition, or, foot the bill themselves and as a result have lower turnover. Alternatively, the wildcard option, Amazon will simply foot the bill themselves as its logistics division grows omnipresent.
Most likely the customer will win in all these scenarios, as they will soon hold the power to refuse to pay for delivery any longer. Those companies that do charge delivery will be left behind.
Reviews and word of mouth are still massively influential when it comes to achieving greater sales. Why take the word of the brand you are buying from, when there are a thousand reviews of their product online and one of them happens to be your favourite YouTube star? People trust people over faceless corporations. This is going to become the best tool for any up and coming marketer to use in the future.
This method is already widely in use. Would you ever buy a thousand pound product without checking multiple review sites first? Most likely not. Getting a good number of reviews and case studies behind your product is essential for prosperous growth.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality can allow consumers to wander around a virtual 'shop', pick clothes out and see what they look like, without having to leave the comfort of their own home. Augmented Reality (AR), allows consumers to, for example, see what a particular lipstick or shirt would look like on themselves without having to try things on in reality. This technology is revolutionary and will change the way we shop. With the likes of PokemonGo and Snapchat capitalising on this newest tech addition we can only expect to see it more and more.
Mobile App Dominance
With mobile becoming the preferred way to search the internet and apps being dominant over mobile internet search, is it any surprise that this is the way forward. if you are a small business, this option most likely will not be the option for you. However, we will see a marked increase in big corporations releasing their own, as well as further preferential treatment of apps by consumers.
The general takeaway from this is that people want their products to be cheaper, arrive quicker, be more interactive and to be sold to them in a fun and convenient way. You do not need to over complicate your business processes or your marketing efforts. These same criteria have been the bedrock of all sales around the globe for thousands of years. Master the fundamentals and you will be miles ahead of your competition, because many of them do not understand these simple rules.
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