The 4 biggest tech trends that will take your online store to a large audience
Ecommerce has come a long way since the 1990s. This is when the first marketplaces, such as Amazon, emerged, becoming competitors to brick and mortar bookstores. Interestingly, eBay started out as a virtual garage sale for anyone looking to get rid of older objects laying around the house.
Today Amazon and eBay have evolved into huge market players that not only help sellers increase their outreach domestically, but also internationally. As eCommerce continues to develop as an industry, more and more sellers are able to develop their own sales channels. They can sell directly to the buyer with platforms like Magento and Shopify. Alternatively, they can reach their buyers through a middleman, e.g. a marketplace such as eBay, Amazon, Alibaba or Rakuten.
Today sellers are motivated to get through to an ever growing base of users. Possibilities are unlimited and new trends are emerging. Here are the four biggest technological trends that will take your store to an even larger audience.
Shopping Mobile is becoming the fastest growing segment from international customers.
Currently in the US, 25% of all transactions on various platforms bring in 40% of all revenue
The penetration rate for multi-device shopping has been steadily climbing, not only on the US marketplace.
Global use of laptops and mobile devices converged in late 2014, and use has gone up from 2.4 hours a day, to 2.6 hours year over year while PC use looks to have reached its peak. The most important takeaway here is that mobile technology is here to stay, and the importance of reaching these customers is growing as connectivity between individuals and the Internet has increased.
Social commerce is also a great platform to help reach even more customers. Gone are the days where one has a Facebook page and fails to update the content for longer periods of time. It is essential to keep your (potential) customers informed AND engaged. More and more consumers are heavily dependent on social media channels with a view to learning about the current trends and what the next big product could be.
Many buyers have become very savvy and have read product reviews before looking to make a purchase from eCommerce merchants. Interestingly, smart eCommerce sellers have found a way to reach out to these customers much earlier in the purchasing cycle.
Platforms such as Shopify take it one step further and actually engage their potential customers much sooner. This way, they have more control over their sales channels.
Also, they have their potential customers recommend them to other potential customers over social platforms, such as Instagram, Pinterest and social forums like Reddit. This can help increase sales conversions and open up these platforms with new purchasing functionalities.
Predictive analytics is the next natural step for sellers who collect information about the consumer buying patterns. This can help model behaviours of what their target audience is looking for and seek out these customers. Companies such as Liveperson specialize in putting big data together to draw conclusions with a view to increasing sales figures..
Currently we see the first signs of this being implemented on a scaled level where any seller may have access to such tools at an affordable price.
Costs of acquiring and building predictive models becomes much more affordable for sellers looking to target their products to the people that want it the most.
This trend helps bring down borders and reach customers while lowering their acquisition cost.
Since its beginning, eCommerce has been dominated by English speaking buyers and sellers. It has been relatively easy for sites such as Amazon and eBay to reach out to many European and Asian customers. The reason being that the large majority of the ones shopping online speak English.
Since 2012 there has been a large shift in this regard as more and more customers are starting to look for items on their domestic sites. eBay was the first major eCommerce platform to set up localized versions of eBay to help cater to this growing segment. Items were translated through the eBay global buying hub.
Recently, the arrival of Alibaba has set a major shift in focus on where ecommerce growth is going to take place. As these sites set up more localized versions, and savvy eCommerce sellers also try to tap into this new market, an even bigger need arises for translations.
In the past translation was a slow and expensive process but today companies such as Webinterpret are taking advantage of emerging translation algorithms. They are able to drive costs down, constantly improving quality. This way many sellers can afford to reach a great deal of new customers across other platforms and the Internet in general. The language barrier is now finally overcome!
Putting it all together
The world of eCommerce has been constantly evolving in the last 20 years. Technology is its key driver, becoming a much more important part of the mix than ever before. Make the most of the key drivers of eCommerce!
It seems that the following sellers are likely to increase their conversion rates and sales:
- Sellers who are able to take advantage of mobile applications, reaching customers on their tablets and smartphones
- E-tailers who are able to capitalize on social media marketing, shortening the buying lifecycle and engaging their potential buyers much sooner
- Sellers who use use predictive analysis, more and more able to target where and when their customers are purchasing their items.
- Merchants who have been able to localize and translate their items for their customers will be able to tap into this new customer segment and lower borders.
Those who combine all 4 will be the next leaders and success stories of international eCommerce.
THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT INDEED!