Hide your stocking stuffers and savor sips of eggnog…2017 is here! Ecommerce continues to grow rapidly, but with the huge market acting as a magnet to brands large and small, competition will ramp up faster than the total growth of the market. This means that customers will be harder to win, easier to lose and fussier on price and user experience.
The Future of Retail? Look Into The Past
Have you ever heard the saying “You can’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been?” We will take a look back on the high-impact trends that shaped 2016 and will likely drive 2017 forward.
- Demand for Complete and Accurate Product Content: Having a great product is truly only step one of the equation. More and more companies are presenting new content regularly, and in unique and compelling ways that not only garner consumer attention, but also engage to forge an emotional connection for the consumer to the brand.
88% of consumers say that detailed product content is extremely important to their purchasing decision (Google Shopping Guide 2016).
Good product content (descriptions, feature bullets, images, videos, reviews) that helps consumers by being informative, educational, and/or inspirational will increase sales and loyalty dramatically over time. Product content is now more important than the product itself. Consumers demand to know exactly what they are buying – and the right content makes for a rich consumer experience, and ultimately makes the consumer hit ‘Buy Now’.
- Multi-Channel Makes or Breaks a Business: Shoppers who interact with more than one channel spend 18% to 36% more than those who interact with a single channel (Bazaarvoice 2012). Customers expect to use all channels as though they are a single experience, requiring tight integration across those channels. Retailers have had the logistics and physical stores in place, and continue to invest in the physical store experience they are supplementing this with online channels to expand their reach.
Recognizing this, many retailers have pushed to check off all the multichannel boxes: robust physical presence, e-commerce site, social channels, and mobile apps. All of these elements are important, but their mere existence doesn’t ensure success. Understanding the importance of integration of dynamic ecommerce capabilities across all channels and devices is crucial. It’s now clear that the big winners will be the retailers that can blend the online and offline— the digital and the physical—into one seamless, omnichannel shopping experience.
1 Google Shopping Guide, 2016
3 “Four social trends already changing your business.” Bazaarvoice. June 2012. http://www.bazaarvoice.com/research-and-insight/white-papers/Four-social-trends-already-changing-your-business-2012-trends-report.html