Cyber Monday was created only twelve years ago, an entire decade has passed since Apple introduced the iPhone, and not only are smartphones now ubiquitous, wearables and even smart homes are catching on and catching up fast. As technology grows at a mind-boggling rate, many e-Commerce store owner wonder how to keep up. Here are three key trends that have emerged in recent years—keeping up with these can help businesses stay ahead of the curve.
- Customers expect a personalized experience. People now encounter a vast array of smart technology every day. Imagine this: a consumer might wake up to the alarm of a wearable device that will tell him or her how they slept. They might check their email and the weather on their phone, and then ask an intelligent speaker across the room how to get to their morning appointment—all before they even get out of bed.
With so many options for integration with daily life, modern consumer technology provides a vast amount of demographic information that businesses can use to create the best possible experience for each and every customer. Not only must websites be intuitive to use, they must also anticipate visitors’ needs to ensure that potential customers stick around long enough to see the value in the products or services offered. Providing a sub-par experience to the target market is one of the easiest ways to lose customers and sales. Periodic updates to improve user experience are necessary as technology continues to evolve.
- Customers demand convenience. Competition in e-Commerce is fierce, and simply having the product or service that visitors need is not enough—especially if it’s easier to find and purchase from a competitor. Options that make buying less painful, such as lower pricing, faster shipping, free shipping, in-store pickup options, and subscription services are common enough online that those conveniences, or the lack thereof, can make or break a visitor’s decision to become a customer.
What does this have to do with keeping up with changing technology? Well, if the supply chain and fulfillment processes aren’t optimized to keep up with the convenience that customers demand, a business will suffer—especially as it attempt to scale.
- Customers are more and more likely to use ad blockers. Ad blockers are employed by 26% of desktop users, and 80% of consumers are aware of them. The technology is growing more sophisticated, with consumer demand for similar options for mobile devices. How is the savvy e-Commerce store owner to respond? Ads will need to become increasingly clever, engaging, and interactive—and rounded out with other marketing efforts. Companies will need to offer more creative, enjoyable and effective means to promote their products.
E-Commerce store owners need to keep up, or they risk falling behind their competition. Fortunately, you don’t have to keep up with every last trend. Go ahead, release that big sigh of relief. Then check that your site is up-to-date where it really matters.