2015 – A Year of New Frontiers in E-commerce Trends
2015 has been the year of the consumer so far. Whether it is gearing up for the Holidays sale or slamming e-tailers for botched up ‘Sale of the Day’ to far-reaching effect, the e-commerce segment has seen the consumer take the centrestage of all the action. And one thing is amply clear – choose to ignore the consumer at your own peril. While the consumer was always the king, 2015 also has shown how it holds tremendous sway through social media channels.
Let’s look at some trends that have corroborated this statement:
- Local is in – What started as a promising option in last 2-3 years, has emerged as a full blown business challenge for global e-commerce businesses. The need to provide localized services while still maintaining a global foothold is evident today. If UK based residents visit the eBay site, they should first see items originating from within the UK itself. They should see all pricing, shipping and address auto-fill options customized for the UK. This has not only become a standard UI/UX enhancement need, but also drives the fortunes of e-commerce businesses in the right way.
- 24 x 7 accessibility – Users have turned out to be more powerful than before in terms of how they can influence opinions, and subsequently the brand image and perception of your company. What this means is that you need to be able to provide a satisfactory resolution, before they take out their frustration on the social media network. This can be done by building a strong supply chain management. Invest your efforts into building an ‘always on’ fulfillment center, customer support center, and shipping services.
- Scalability – Remember the Big Sale days on eve of Christmas, New Year and Black Friday? Well, the proliferation of cyber means that there are more occurrences of such days (Cyber Monday in US and Singles Day on Alibaba). For e-traders this means that you need to be ready to fulfill orders satisfactorily by being able to cope with this steep spike in demand. A single day trade can generate as much as a mind boggling $9 billion in a day, as proved by Alibaba. Are you ready to scale up to this volume of demand?
- Offline vs. online – Buyers now expect a seamless experience between their online and offline shopping experience. It may involve many scenarios. One such scenario was aptly adopted by Walmart using the ‘Scan & Go’ program. Here, the buyers can select a product from the online store and then be directed to the nearest store from where they can pick it up. No more long hours of rummaging through multiple stores and an overall delightful customer servicing experience.
- Returns Handling – Free shipping and free returns routinely come up as the most preferred factors that influence shoppers’ buying decisions. Take the case of Zappos. It offers a full 365 days for buyers to return the product. What’s more, they also have zero charges for returns on goods that do not meet the expectation of the buyers.
Do write in to us and let us know which trend is impacting your e-commerce business more than the others.