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7 TRENDS TO RULE ECOMMERCE IN 2016

05.01.16

2016 is anticipated to be a highly lucrative year for the ecommerce industry, and the Pentagon team have been exploring the most significant trends and innovations that are expected to prevail throughout the New Year.

#1. MOBILE WILL DOMINATE

With recent statistics showing that 80% of internet users own a smartphone, it’s no surprise that in 2016 ecommerce sales via smartphone are expected to overtake desktop revenues for the first time.

This means that ecommerce stores need to be optimised to offer high-resolution and user-friendly touch control options, as well as fully mobile-responsive design that enables a seamless shopping experience.

#2. MULTI-CHANNEL SHOPPING IS ON THE RISE

Although mobile will be the real game changer in 2016, online shopping is no longer confined to one device. Potential buyers might browse on desktop at the office, scroll through their smartphone or tablet while commuting, and purchase items at home on their laptop.

With multi-channel shoppers expected to spend over three times more than single-channel shoppers, in the New Year, ecommerce players need to make sure they provide buyers with an impeccable multi-channel customer journey.

#3. SOCIAL AND SHOPPING BECOME ONE

Now that social media has evolved beyond networking, social commerce is gaining the momentum to create a shopping experience without the need for users to ever leave their social media platforms.

So, in 2016, ecommerce businesses need to take the time and look closer at the sales opportunities social commerce has to offer, as well as which channels might work best for them.

#4. INTEGRATION OF OFFLINE AND ONLINE RETAIL IS A MUST

With omni-channel shopping becoming increasingly popular, integrating online and offline through brick-and-click strategies, and improving the shopping experience on mobile, the web as well as on brick-and-mortar stores is a must in 2016.

This means that the so called ‘beacons’ will become increasingly common in 2016. The ‘beacon’ technology enables omni-channel retailers to produce mobile deals and promotions when a shopper walks into the physical store, and works when a phone or tablet keeps searching for a ‘beacon’ signal.

#5. THE NEED FOR PERSONALISATION WILL BLOOM

Although a great number of online stores are already doing lots of personalisation for mobile shoppers, in 2016, the need for needs-based shopping experience will grow even stronger.

As users become more demanding and time-scarce, online store features that allow shoppers to pick the most suitable product quickly and hassle-free, such as easily navigable shopping apps, will be not only nice-to-have but must-have.

#6. ONLINE LOYALTY PROGRAMMES CONTINUE TO GROW

Online loyalty programmes have become more common in 2015 and are expected to really gain momentum in the New Year.

As loyalty programmes are reward schemes that provide regular customers with advanced access to new products, special sales coupons or free merchandise, in 2016, they are more likely to retain buyers and encourage repeat purchases than other marketing techniques.

#7. DELIVERY NEEDS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF MOBILE

2015 saw most online retailers working hard on their delivery strategies to provide consumers with quicker and more convenient shipping options than ever before.

However, many retailers that deploy m-commerce are currently struggling with issues of delivery.

So, for most online players, the main delivery challenge in 2016 will be connecting the smooth m-commerce shopping experience with efficient product shipping to the end use.

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