Recent data suggest that a strong market and heavy customer demand would take eCommerce revenues beyond $5 trillion by 2020. The upward climb of eCommerce revenues is expected to break many records in the near future. Encouraged by the trend, entrepreneurs across industries have opted to create an online store for turning their ideas into reality. The ecommerce domain is a land of riches and every new entrant joins it with the hope of hitting the jackpot.
However, the game of eCommerce is no longer as simple as it used to be a few years ago. The battle for survival has become fiercer than ever. To thrive in the market one needs to adopt smart practices and latest technology. Along with price cuts and discounts, online stores need to provide an unparalleled user experience and features that allow your business to stand out.
Is your online store ready to claim its share in the $5 trillion eCommerce market?
Whether you have already secured your position in the online market or gearing up to launch your web store, you need to ensure that your business remains steady and thrives in the years to come. Staying abreast of the trends and incorporating features that are in demand can help you create next generation ecommerce stores that have a better chance at success.
Let us evaluate the trends that your online business should consider to thrive in 2018 and beyond;
Business beyond borders
Ecommerce has created the real borderless economy in many ways. Online stores have allowed customers to order goods or services from far-off locations. With this comes the challenge of handling various regulations, taxes and other norms of the land where the order is going to be shipped.
To put it simply when you create an online store to expand your business you should have the following features in your store;
- A multilingual storefront that can converse with the audience in their native language
- Multi-currency payment option to facilitate payments in the native currency of the customer
- A comprehensive tax-engine that helps in calculating the local taxes
- Global payment choices to offer cost savings on currency conversion rates
- Pricing overrides to offer different pricing to customer from diverse geolocations
Next Generation Technology
2018 is going to be the watershed year for ecommerce in many ways. With the increasing penetration of smartphones and internet mobile commerce is going to outpace the revenue of ecommerce. Mobile shoppers order bigger ticket sizes, shop more frequently and end up buying on sites that load in less than 3 seconds.
When you build online store you should pay special attention to using the latest technology that taps into the mobile commerce trend and ensures a fair chance at success for your business. Including the following would help you achieve this goal;
- Mobile first technology that creates mobile store for your business without additional coding hassle
- PWA (Progressive Web App) for ecommerce that is fast engaging and offers good connectivity even on entry-level smartphones
- A customizable website that can change and adapt according to the dynamics of ecommerce
- Low latency, high-performance web store that is the hallmark of next generation ecommerce stores
- Close to 100% uptime to ensure your business is available 24x7 for your global and domestic customers
Offering a secure shopping experience to your customers is a must-have feature irrespective of the size of your business. By protecting and reassuring your customers against potential hacks and online data thefts your brand becomes a popular shopping hub for online buyers.
Along with the growth of ecommerce, the potential for fraud and thefts has also risen manifold. When you build online store you should offer a secure payment channel to your customers by using payment gateways that are PCI-DSS compliant. You can equip your business to handle online threats by adding the following security measures;
- SSL certificate to make your site secure and get better SERP ranking by boosting customer confidence
- Granular roles to have complete control over providing access at different resource levels
- Audit log to enhance security and control damage before it is too late
- Protection against common web attacks like DDOS, SQL Injection etc
- OTP based secure login for sensitive data sharing processes
Seamless Brand Building
Every industry vertical of eCommerce is full of stores that are struggling to carve a niche for their brand. Given the amount of competition, it becomes imperative for any new business to start working on building a name for their next generation ecommerce stores even before the actual launch.
Brand building is a time and resource consuming effort but it is essential for long term survival and popularity of any business.You should have the following in your store to make the brand building exercise smooth, seamless and less time consuming;
- SEO friendly site where it is easy to add meta details, keywords, sitemap priority, canonical URL etc for faster ranking
- Inbuilt marketing tools and remarketing tools like discount engine, coupons, abandoned cart, third-party mailing service integration etc.
- Flexibility to create dynamic marketing pages and forms for promotional activities
- Create an online store and send unified notifications (Email, SMS, web and mobile push notifications) with personalized offers to customers
- Promoting the brand using multiple social channels and blog
Wow User experience
Amazing and seamless user experience goes a long way in ensuring the success of an online business. Online shoppers are an impatient lot and run away from sites that do not offer them easy and smooth flow. The look and feel of a site play a great role in engaging or distracting the customers.
If you aim to create next generation ecommerce stores that are liked by users you should try to incorporate the following features that are trending;
- SOS ( Single Sign-On) to make login faster and simpler for customers Hierarchical categories
- Cross-Device compatibility to enable seamless shopping experience irrespective of the device used by customers
- Simplified search and navigation for faster selection and purchase of items
- Feature-rich shopping cart and one-click checkout
- Multi-channel support for customers through live chat, emails and toll-free number
Reaching out and tapping the potential of new markets is the key to success of next generation ecommerce stores. If your online store is lacking on any of the above listed features it is time to add them to your store.
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