Make sure that your business has an e-commerce platform/strategy moving into the New Year.
The internet has changed the way we do a lot of things since its inception, and indeed, since the explosion of big tech, notably Amazon, it’s made our lives much more convenient. If we want something that isn’t available in our local stores, we go to Amazon.
Want handmade stuff? Etsy is the place. Many big-box, brick-and-mortar stores are declaring bankruptcy or just closing their retail spaces because of the popularity of online shopping. That said, here are eight online shopping trends you need to know as we head into the New Year.
1. Almost 90% of sales are online in the U.S.
If you want to enter the e-commerce market, you’re entering the space at the right time. Since 86% of people over 14 bought their wares online in 2021, you expect that number to have remained relatively steady this year. And while the pandemic brought back some big-box stores to life, most people are still choosing online shopping as their method of purchase.
2. Video marketing is where it’s at
Creating short-form video content is nothing new. With the advent of Instagram Reels, Facebook Stories and YouTube Shorts, and TikTok, short-form video has long been a ‘thing’ in the digital world.
However, creating engaging, well-produced video content as a marketing tool has proven incredibly successful, no matter the business model. According to statistics, 69% of customers prefer to watch short-form video marketing content.
3. Customer service is still key
One of the biggest gripes you can have is having a problem while trying to make an online purchase, then having to email and wait for a response, or call a customer support hotline and being placed on hold for 30 minutes.
Integrating a customer service chat support person into your online shopping experience is critical to most customers — 95% of them. Knowing how to integrate online chat-based support and cutting out the need to call or email and wait exorbitantly long for a response will keep customers coming back.
4. Listing your products with Amazon is likely to increase sales
Before Amazon, there was eBay, and though there are various offshoots of Amazon, no one even comes close to touching the reach and scale of the online sales platform. And as Amazon proudly boasts, over half of their content comes from small business owners.
So if you’re looking for an e-commerce platform, Amazon has to be near the top of your list. With 133 million monthly searches (on average) in the last 12 months in the US, there’s no better place to flog your wares if you’re looking to expand into e-commerce.
5. Social media marketing is projected to grow
Some people prefer to stay off social media — it takes up too much time, it’s an echo chamber, and so on — and good for them. However, you can’t afford to be off social media as a business.
The marketing power of social media is just too great a tool not to utilize. With predictions of over six billion users by 2027 and surpassing four billion in 2021, the bandwagon is just too rich in potential not to jump onto.
6. Personalized customer experiences are very popular
Even though your customers aren’t right in front of you, the ability to connect with them on a personal level is still critical to transactional success.
In fact, 60% of users in the online space say they’ll become repeat customers after a personalized online sales experience. 89% of marketers see a return on investment after personalizing customer experiences.
7. Offering more payments options pays off
One of the biggest things to hit the e-commerce space has been replacing credit cards as the only available payment method (within the platform UI), with VISA debit availability, PayPal, Wise, Venmo, and others coming out and integrating their own payment platforms with e-commerce websites. This allows users to purchase directly from the seller without always using their credit cards. This surge of popularity is set to continue into 2023.
8. Automation cutting down on costs
Automating a process will cut down on employee hiring costs, along with your time costs and other associated business costs. However, cost reduction isn’t the only positive when automating your business’s marketing end.
For example, sending an automated follow-up email (like Amazon does if you’ve not purchased the things in your cart) is the best way to get a positive response from a customer. As much as 40% more positive, in fact. This can be an automated process so that you don’t have to put in any extra effort but still get the rewards.
There’s so much that goes into e-commerce, and the marketing potential of giving your customers the ability to buy things online only makes the most sense ever from a marketing and business growth perspective. So make sure that your business has an e-commerce platform/strategy moving into the New Year.