25th August, 2016
Top e-Commerce Trends to look-out for in 2017
The space of digital commerce is evolving and growing so rapidly that everything is an experiment right now. One trick tried by a certain kind of provider may not necessarily work for their closer competitor.
More and more segments of the market are getting comfortable with ordering online because of the add-on services provided by the retailers; like a variety of payment method, instant deliveries, and post purchase support /service. But when it comes to the online platform which acts as the first and sometime the only touch point for these customers, there are a few trends that are being observed recently which seem to be doing well for a variety of providers. Keep a watch out for these as they may soon transform from trends to norm!
- What You Show is What You Sell: e-retailers seek multiple touch points to advertise their products and bring in customers from various other platforms, frequented by them. Typically they spend many hours finding the right representative images and products that showcase the range of products available at their platform. Buyers are expected to get attracted to these individual product adverts and it to buy it. But most of the times, the product displayed in the ad is not one of the zillions of products being sold on the platform. What the retailers need to keep in mind is that because of all the options available to the users at their disposal, customers are also becoming increasingly choosy. If they have actually clicked on an advert with the intention of buying that product, then more chances are that they want to buy that specific product (not its lookalike or something similar to it). This raises the question of originality and availability but enough tech is available to take care of those issues.
- Minimal Interfaces: keep as few elements of attraction on the website layout itself as possible. This allows the customers to focus on the most important items on your website – your inventory. This applies to not just the inventory listing page but also the landing pages, the order pages and the filter pages. The concept of minimal interfaces is often also expressed as negative spaces, typographic play, single large background images that have a single point of focus and even hidden main navigation menus.
- Tell a Story: Although not a new trend, but the importance of this experience grows every year. In a world where it is difficult to remember which service did you just order your food from, one that makes a lasting impression will emerge as the winner. every customer wants to relate to the product they are buying or the person who is selling. Create a story on your website from the get-go and make it consistent throughout the customer’s journey till product delivery. (See how to make and effective customer journey map here.) If you are not the creator of the product you are selling but just a redistributor, you could still weave a story by crowd sourcing stories from older customer who are already using the products you have sold.
- Interaction with the Product: to give an illusion of in-store shopping experience, allow the customers to interact with an inventory item in a more human and intuitive way. Product animations, motion animation, hover animation for dramatizations, 360 degree views and even custom illustrations are some of the common methods used currently. The experience has to be such that the user can check the product out from all angles, details and usage modes.
- Simple Checkouts: Buying a product should be as easy as 1 & 2 (select and pay) – utilise intelligence from profile data, utilise the device’s capability to get informed about other details – really think through your entire customer journey map to understand how is the quickest way to convert a browser into a customer. Not asking users to fill our the coupon code as they check out – rather pre-filling/providing multiple choices, retaining their public details from a previous visit or during a retry from a failed attempt are all intuitive experiences which provide delight in a simple manner.
This was a quick round up of some of the unique trends I gathered in my study. Let me know your thoughts!
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