As an online store exec, it’s your duty to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. Your customers will thank you for delivering the type of shopping experience that they expect from a trusted brand, and your pocketbook will reap the rewards. This is how to increase Ecommerce revenue in 2018 and stay up to date with the latest consumer trends.
What You Need to Know to Impress Contemporary Shoppers
Before diving into the tactics you can leverage to boost Ecommerce revenue this year, let’s talk about the general state of consumer behavior. Your customers are becoming increasingly wiser, more informed, and less inclined to make a purchase decision because of advertising. In 2014, there were 39.7 million ad blocking users in the United States alone. By 2017, that number increased to 86.6 million; this trend is likely to continue, which means that your brand’s authenticity needs to be a central element in your marketing and sales campaigns.
Next, it’s crucial that you leverage technologies to streamline monetization and enhance the buying experience. With the rise of AI and other smart technologies, manual processes for inventory management, shipping, and marketing are no longer enough. Your competition is using automation to scale their business and create faster and more optimized buyer experiences. As a rule, you should make use of convenient, advanced online sales tools to improve your productivity, increase your ROI, and save invaluable time and money.
How Can You Use This Knowledge in Your Online Sales Strategy?
Now that you have authenticity and automation at the front of your mind, let’s take a look at other online retail companies and explore what tactics they’re using to increase Ecommerce revenue. Then, you can decide whether or not you will follow their lead.
1. Even More Retailers Are Using Storefront Apps
The current trend is a shopping paradigm shift from desktop to mobile. While many retailers have had storefront apps for quite some time, these magic little selling tools are on the rise. If you’re hesitant about investing in one of your own, especially since you just optimized your sales platform by making everything responsive for mobile shoppers, the proof is in the pudding.
Sales are on the rise with storefront app conversions currently 40% higher than those of mobile websites. This isn’t to say that you should ignore your mobile website; instead, you need to complement it if you want to maintain your competitive edge. Most big box retailers have already gone this route and it’s time for the rest of us to catch up.’
Walmart offers a convenient in-app shopping experience to their mobile customers. Realize that when someone is loyal enough to download your app to their mobile device, they’re already likely to make a future purchase – you just have to give them a reason to do it more often. Walmart does this by in-app advertising for in-store pick up for additional savings, free two-day shipping on deliveries, and other perceived rewards.
What is a storefront app?
If you haven’t worked with a storefront app before, it might be a confusing term. Basically, you want to offer your products in a creative way in the iOS and Android marketplaces. TM Store for WooCommerce is a simple WP plugin that can help you turn your store into a native mobile app. While shoppers interact with your app, various storefront APIs responds to their specific requests, keeping the experience fully-customized (which brings us to the next can’t-afford-to-ignore Ecommerce trend of 2018).
2. Personalization Has Become Crucial for Success
Over the last half decade, we marketing specialists have been explaining to store owners that personalization is a key ingredient in your recipe for online sales success. If they haven’t started listening to us yet, now is the time. Consumers have come to expect a fully-customized shopping experience.
If you want to know how to do it the right way, shop with Big Box retailers and see what you can learn. Of course, my favorite online retailer is one who completely dominates the Ecommerce market; the overriding reason I personally favor the Amazon buying experience is the free two-day shipping with eligible Prime orders (delivery time can now be as quick as one hour from time of purchase with Prime Now). But, I realize that’s not the only reason I end up spending more time and money than I ever plan on their website, and I know that not every retailer has the bandwidth to deliver a deal like this. So, there must be actionable advice you can take away from the Ecommerce mogul.
To me, it’s clear that my interactions across Amazon are perfectly customized to match my spending habits and entice me to buy more. Amazon knows what books I might want based on what I’ve already purchased. They suggest what I might like to order again, and they’re usually right – everyday items like razors, makeup, and snacks.
Another personalization tactic that’s gaining weight in the Ecommerce industry is tailored shopping. Stitch Fix onboards fashion customers with an online shopping experience that imitates having a personalized stylist. Shoppers are asked to enter their preferred size, fit, style, price, and social media images before receiving hand-picked clothing and accessories in the mail. This convenient, fully-tailored experience gets consumers excited.
You can start to mimic these tactics for your shoppers after you learn how to personalize the Ecommerce experience. Everything from your blog content to your product pages to your email marketing should contain content tailored to the shopper on that page at that moment. It all starts with information gathering using a tool like HubSpot CRM connected with Google Analytics and will vary based on your website visitor behavior. The more you can tailor the shopping experience for your patrons, the better.
3. Smart Brands Are Embracing Omnichannel Retail
I wrote about this countless times in 2017 because it’s so important – I can’t stress this enough: If your branded website is your only sales channel, you’re missing out on a ton of potential profit. MightySkins is just one brand that I know of whose tactics are to partner with big box brands to create multiple sales streams. For instance, they have their drone wraps listed on their online store and with Walmart, Amazon, and eBay.
By taking a multi-channel retail stance, they’ve opened doors that would otherwise remain hidden to the world. “Omnichannel” isn’t just about multiple Ecommerce sites either; today, this can include an array of channels you may or may not have thought about:
- Branded Website
- Multi-Merchant Ecommerce Site (Amazon, WalMart, Etsy, etc.)
- Mobile (SMS, iOS or Android App, etc.)
- *Voice AI (Alexa, Google Home, etc.)
- *Social Media
Let’s talk a bit more about what’s happening with social media sales.
Facebook’s marketplace has obviously started booming, making local sales more straightforward than ever; it’s a platform to explore if you have the right shoppers. But, did you know that you can sell online via Pinterest and Instagram now? Depending on who your audience is, these avenues might also be worth looking into. The key to increased revenue is to get your products in front of the right audience at the right time and deliver a consolidated, convenient order processing and POS system.
4. Diversity Acknowledgment is Paramount
Your customers are not “one size fits all”. As a result, there is a need from consumers to be acknowledged for who they are. Rihanna’s cosmetic brand, Fenty Beauty, can attest to this. With 40 boundary-breaking shades of facial foundation, they’ve shattered beauty product paradigms. This is the dawning of the age of Ecommerce diversity.
“Brands now finally understand that we’re not all white, 5’10 models wearing size zero,” Cynthia Savard Saucier.
As an online marketer, consider taking a look at your branding to see if there’s room for improvement. Ask yourself if you’re leaving anyone out of your scope. Little things can often have a tremendous impact on your success. Is it time for a rebranding plan?
5. Sellers are Realizing the Power of Augmented Reality
Finally, we’re seeing more Ecommerce retailers show customers what a product might look like in a real-life setting through Augmented Reality (AR). This technology is going to disrupt Ecommerce. Last year, Houzz launched a new update to their iOS app that allows shoppers to try furniture before they buy it.
Before this update, users could upload an image of their room to view potential purchases before making a buying decision. Now, they offer three-dimensional imaging that allows users to view overlays of furniture in real spaces. Other Ecommerce companies are leveraging these technologies as well.
As a matter of fact, on July 25, 2017, our favorite Ecommerce giant, Amazon, published a patent on Augmented Reality Presentation. It’s now safe to assume they plan on making AR a much bigger part of their brand experience; this is a great strategy for any Ecommerce business looking to showcase their products. Can you easily add this tactic to your strategy?
A tool called ZapWorks claims that it allows you to create your own augmented reality experiences for shoppers. There are various pricing tiers for business and personal use. I recommend online store owners look into combining in-app purchases with some type of AR technology as soon as possible.
In 2018, authenticity and automation are not only helpful – they’re necessary. Anyone unwilling to change is likely to fall to the wayside. Stay in the running with your competition; let up on the reins and let this year’s Ecommerce trends carry you to a successful year of profits.