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What’s Next for E-commerce?

14th November 2017

They say it takes 100 years for an industry to fully develop. With the first e-commerce website developing in the mid-90’s, we’re only ¼ of the way in to one of the largest industries of the 21st century.


So how will the way we shop online change in the next 75 years? Well, it’s all heavily dependent on technology. As the Internet of Things, Digital Wallets, Google Glasses and Virtual Reality develop they will begin to play a significant role in how we shop.


It is a gift and a curse that the industry is moving so quickly. A gift because it gives retailers the opportunity to engage instantly with digitally savvy customers. Yet a curse, as it means retailers constantly have to change and adapt to the ever changing expectations and demands of customers.


Here are a few of our tips for staying ahead of the game:


Social media


If a lot of your website traffic is stemming from Instagram, users will expect the functionality of Instagram to be matched by your website. If a new function is introduced on Instagram, this means that the majority of your customers are using it a daily basis.


For example, Instagram introduced the swiping image which allows users to swipe left and right between images.  This simplifies finger usage and makes it far easier for the user to browse multiple images. If the user cannot swipe left and right through product images on your website, the customers expectations are not matched, and this will negatively affect the user experience on your website.


Whilst Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat currently dominate the social media market, there are always new apps launching and battling for space at the top. It’s important to be aware of the latest app launches so that you can be the first to utilise the space and get ahead of your competition.


Web platform


Deciding on a web platform can be a daunting task, especially if you have no knowledge or experience of the different platforms that are available.


It’s important to select a website platform which is moving forward and keeping up to date with the latest e-commerce trends. The platform should be performing updates regularly which will support the latest e-commerce functionality and address vulnerabilities to keep your website safe from hackers.


My advice is to go with a platform which is well established and used by other successful online retailers.


If you’d like more advice on what platform is right for your business, call us on 01332 390 741 and ask for Helen.


E-commerce agency


It’s important to work with an agency that is passionate about the on-going support and development of your website long after it’s been built. Choose an agency who offers ongoing support packages, and who are going to continually propose new ideas and concepts to you that are trending in e-commerce.


This will ensure long-term success.


Watch the big players


The likes of ASOS, John Lewis, and Net-a-Porter are constantly testing the performance of their website to maximise sales and reduce abandonment. These big players have entire teams dedicated to making sure the user journey is meeting and exceeding customer expectations and generating high conversion rates.


Take note of the small things on these websites. Where is the basket icon? How large or small is it? Does it appear on every single page? What does it do when you add something to it? What happens when you hover your mouse over it?


It may seem trivial, but it’s likely that these big brands have A/B tested their basket icon (amongst many other small features) hundreds of times to make sure that it delivers the best results.

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