eCommerce is the hottest topic of discussion among marketing specialists and business owners. In an increasingly mobile and connected world, people are more and more demanding when it comes to the flexibility and availability of the shopping experience. A few years ago, an online store by itself was innovative. Now we are already talking about mobile payments and chatbot sales assistants.
And 2017 is already shaping up to be a year in which customers will demand more from online stores. There are increasing worries concerning data protection, safe online payments and other similar aspects. There is a boom of online stores, so the competition will be harsher than ever. This means that if you want to be one step ahead of everyone, you have to implement the best practices which your potential customers expect from you.
Here is what they want more than anything from eCommerce websites in 2017:
- Omni-channel Shopping Experience
When it comes to marketing, marketers and business owners usually segment their prospects into desktop users, mobile phone users and tablet users. But when it comes to the shopping experience, there must be no such differentiation. You are not dealing with three different categories of users. Most of the time, they are one and the same person. It is not unusual for someone to browse online stores at work during the lunch break on their mobile phone and then make the actual purchase in the evening, on the home computer.
When they switch from one device to another, they must not sense any difference, and start guessing what they have to do next. It must be a seamless, uniform experience no matter the screen size and the modality of browsing – by clicking or by tapping.
- Chatbots Are on the Rise
For many online stores, it would be impossible to hire actual people to provide 24/7 customer support on the website. The expense with their salaries and benefits would inflate the price of the products beyond a feasible level.
Instead, these stores use chatbots. What are they? Simply put, they are trained online robots developed on artificial intelligence platforms which can perform simple tasks, such as directing the customer to a specific page on the website or informing them on the availability of a certain product. These chatbots are programmed to learn continually with every interaction they have with people, so they will become smarter as they serve more customers.
- Digital Payments
When people want to make a quick purchase on the run, they do not want to be bothered with taking out their credit card to input the number and CVS code. Instead, they want to be able to use one of the convenient mobile wallet solutions, which can confirm a payment by fingerprint or inputting a PIN code.
It is your job to make all these payment systems available on your website and to provide customers with evidence that their purchases are safe by implementing the most advanced online payment security solutions.
- Video Marketing
Video is the king of content marketing. People are more likely to remember information they saw in a short film than they read in a chunk of text. Video is also more versatile in stirring emotions and creating the purchase desire than written marketing messages. Micro-marketing should exist throughout your entire website and social media accounts, in the form of short videos promoting your business values and products.
- 5-Star Customer Service
There is no way you can circumvent this trend. Customers are savvier and more demanding than ever. They know that they can find similar products on other websites. What makes them stay loyal to a brand is the way they are treated, the perceived extra value they get for their money. Amazon is the leader of the pack with its same day delivery facility for Prime customers. Even if you cannot match this option, do your best to understand your customers, exceed their expectations, and go the extra mile to offer them a pleasant, easy and safe shopping experience.