2010 saw a new trend in eCommerce websites with the rise of crowdsourcing, group buying, daily deals and flash sale websites. The innovative model was adopted by now giants of the web like Groupon, QuiBids and Kickstarter, which have all become household names.
So many of us in hindsight wish we had thought of the next eCommerce giant before the rise of the selling model, with thousands of copycat sites with ‘niche’ markets soon following.
The good news is that a business doesn’t necessarily have to come up with the next big thing in eCommerce in order to reap the benefits of online selling. Still, resting on your laurels and expecting the purchases to simply flood in until the end of time is not exactly a good strategy either.
The key is to stay informed and choosing those innovations that enhance the customer experience. So as long as a business keeps up with the major developments in the eCommerce space and ensures that their website employs the sales models that would benefit their customers, the steady flow of purchases is more certain.
To make things a bit easier for eCommerce businesses, I’ve compiled a list of the next big trends in online selling. Take a look:
1. Commodity Subscriptions
Subscription models are by no means ground-breaking in online sales, but combined with the lack of time most of us face, there could be a real need for delivery of common products that we can forget (or can’t be bothered) to get after work.
While there are already grocery stores online, I, for one, want to get my bread from the local bakery rather than the supermarket. Milk, eggs, toilet rolls and washing powder could be delivered to your front-door on a regular basis without the need for us to think about it.
2. Bespoke Services
The combination of modern production techniques, rising level of creativity and the fact that the internet has made the world a whole lot smaller, we can now look at the creation of products in smaller numbers.
Pricing was always the issue when tailoring around specific needs, but the more these services pop-up, the cheaper the bespoke model should become.
Personalised clothing, service offerings and beauty products specially tailored to your wants and needs will start popping up more and more. Example of this model is Ben & Jerry’s offering consumers the opportunity to develop their own flavour.
3. Predictive Sales
For me, this area has huge growth potential. We are all used to predictive advertising online (e.g. Google’s ad ‘remarketing’/‘retargeting’), and this is set to expand into other media channels like Television and Radio.
Whether we like it or not, our personal data is already sprawled all over the internet, with Facebook, Google and LinkedIn potentially being the gateway into an eCommerce website to provide useful data in predicting what the user may want.
Suits could be provided before your wedding day, toys before your child’s 3rd birthday, alcohol before your mate’s 21st with promotions and coupons being presented to entice the user into a purchase they planned to make anyhow.
4. Micro-Location Sales
With the dawn of micro-location sensors, mobile marketing could be used as a marketing technique to drive potential customers into a physical retail store, or provide discounts to shop online.
Potential customers that enter a physical retail store and leave could be sent a promo discount to purchase from the retailer’s online store. This will allow retailers to have one last attempt to sell to a potential customer before they go online and purchase with a competitor. Low overheads associated with an online store will allow companies to provide these discounts.
5. Consolidated Buying
We all buy products online, and we all purchase from multiple stores, paying the shipping rate and needing to be at home when the products are delivered.
It would be much more convenient if we could all go online, purchase from multiple websites, pay a single delivery fee and have all the goods sent in the one box.
Based on the five trends introduced above, it’s pretty clear that the eCommerce field is moving towards a more tailored model. An increasing number of customers are demanding a more personalised online experience as well as eCommerce website design tailored to their needs, but meeting this demand might seem like a major headache for many sellers.
However, with the latest and ever-developing technology, fulfilling these needs is made significantly easier, and there is really no excuse to not thrive for an improved customer experience.