E-commerce is short for “electronic commerce” – a form of sales transaction that takes place entirely through electronic means, and mainly over the internet. When Ecommerce began just the ability to buy and sell online was so revolutionary that few bells and whistles beyond this were needed to drive sales. But today, there are few customers who are unfamiliar with and used to the concept of being able to make purchases online.
What this means is that E-commerce itself is now in a race with itself to stay relevant and engaged with online customers in desirable ways. It is no longer enough to throw up an internet store and wait for the customers to come. What is required today, according to Entrepreneur, is to create an experience for customers that is memorable enough to result in repeat business and brand sharing through social networks.
Here are five additional ways that E-commerce will need to change in order to stay competitive and relevant to customers in coming months and years.
Curation Will be Key
“Curation” is an E-commerce technique that is just beginning to play an important role in driving a customer’s online shopping experience. Different online stores curate in different ways. Some stores may start with a brief survey (administered at the time the customer first creates a profile) and this will drive what items are displayed to that customer each time s/he logs in. Other stores may use prior purchases to generate curated ideas for future purchases. Still others may use interaction with email campaigns, special offers or coupons to build a curated collection for each customer.
Regardless of the method, curation itself will be key to providing a hands-on, personalized experience of customer service in the cyber-shopping environment.
A Mobile-Friendly Shopping Experience Will Be Critical
More than half of all online customers are now shopping with a mobile device (as opposed to a laptop or desktop computer). Google’s latest algorithms have shifted to give preference to mobile-friendly sites in search engine results.
So there is no understating the importance of providing a mobile-friendly E commerce shopping experience for customers of all types and ages.
Near Field Communication Will Be the Gold Standard for Mobile-Friendly Shopping
Near Field Communication, or NFC, is the Siamese twin of mobile-friendly E commerce stores. With NFC, customers can pay using Google Wallet or Apple Pay as well as other forms of digital contact-free payments (meaning customers can leave their wallets at home and still shop with their mobile device). As more companies (Microsoft, MasterCard, Samsung) add NFC functionality to their devices, it will cease to become a novelty and become a customer expectation.
This means that early adopters of NFC technology will find their efforts paying off in stronger online sales than non-NFC competitors.
Social Shopping Will Be Essential
Through a variety of apps, vendors are now able to sell their items via Instagram, Pinterest, et al. Thus far the implementation of social shopping has been far from seamless, with marketers and Ecommerce technology experts still attempting to land on the perfect toolkit for an effortless social shopping experience.
But the day when social shopping hits the mainstream for real is coming – and fast.
Even Brick and Mortar Retailers Will Get In On the Game
Today’s E-commerce experts predict suggest that it may not be long before E commerce literally supplants the brick and mortar shopping experience entirely.
This last and most extreme (yet extremely likely-to-come-true) prediction indicates just how critical the E commerce shopping experience will be to maintaining profitability in the come years.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who has worked in eCommerce for the last five years. She currently writes for Rakuten Super Logistics and recommends them for all your online order fulfillment needs to further your success.