Ecommerce continues to grow at a massive rate. B2C sales increased 20 percent to $1.5 trillion and will reach $2.3 trillion by 2017, according to eMarketer. Principle growth factors include the continued adoption of online shopping, aggressive expansion into new markets, the rapid rise of mobile shopping, checkout solution competition, and the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Small businesses have the advantage of greater flexibility when adopting new technology and solutions, as you don’t have to convince multiple committees why the latest payment solution is necessary for expanding your business.
International expansion drives a great deal of ecommerce growth, with eMarketer reporting that the Asia-Pacific market will spend more through ecommerce than North America, with the region pulling in $525.2 billion. Consider translation efforts for your ecommerce website to welcome your international traffic, particularly if you have a product line with universal appeal. Don’t touch automatic translation tools, as you may turn off your visitors with poorly translated descriptions. If the amount of text you need translated is too extensive, at least consider adding a currency converter to your website so your visitors don’t have to do math in their head every time they want to figure out how much something costs.
Smartphones and tablets are used extensively in the shopping process, making the customer’s mobile experience paramount. It’s not enough to create a single mobile optimized ecommerce website, especially in a day and age where mobile users are on everything from a 3 inch smartphone screen up to a 10 inch tablet. Ecommerce Bytes recommends adopting a responsive Web design that adapts to the users’ screens, as well as a shopping cart that is flexible enough to work within a responsive design. In addition, the cart needs to be user friendly and fast. You don’t want a clunky, slow cart losing you sales because your mobile users don’t want to wait around forever to do their shopping.
One area where in-person shopping excels over ecommerce is the social aspect of shopping. You wander around with your friends and bounce ideas about the latest outfit, wallpaper for your living room, and you get help with other product choices. While you can’t simulate that exact feeling for your customers, consider integrating social shopping features into your ecommerce site. This could be as simple as sharing products on Facebook or Pinterest, or a way to share the latest purchases with the shopper’s friends and families. In addition to getting feedback during the shopping process, you get the benefit of additional social network marketing.
Your customers look at smartphones, go through the computer, and explore their sales options in a variety of channels. Even the best marketers can’t keep customers on a single, controlled path these days. You need to focus on multiple channels and work on recurring revenue streams through services such as Chargify. Expand the platforms that you advertise on so you don’t miss any opportunities, recommends Media Post.