E-commerce and digital retail continue to soar to new levels. New technologies and features provide more convenient ways to shop online. Consumers are more connected to mobile and online channels than ever before, making shopping online a more attractive choice for many. And more data and digital channels mean more ways for retailers to reach consumers with personalized messages and engaging experiences.
According to the findings of Forrester Research, Inc., “Online shoppers in the United States will spend $327 billion in 2016, up 45% from $226 billion this year and 62% from $202 billion in 2011.”
Neil Patel of KISSmetrics also shared some eye-opening e-commerce statistics: “78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase. One of the most striking statistics from mobile research is the high percentage of mobile searchers who convert. »
Customers spend more time shopping on mobile devices than on desktop computers (Conversion Fanatics).
- 44% of retail internet minutes are spent on mobile phones
- 11% of retail internet minutes are spent on tablets
This represents more than half of the time spent shopping online!
How much are your returning online customers worth?
Investing in customer retention can generate huge returns for e-commerce sites. Studies show that loyal customers don’t skimp on the expense when it comes to their favorite online sites. According to “The State of Ecommerce: Yotpo Benchmark Report”,
- 14.77% of all buyers are loyal customers
- Regular buyers spend almost 3 times more than one-time buyers and represent 33.3% of the total amount spent
The study also revealed other impressive statistics:
- Loyal customers spent $356 million in 2015
- On average, only 15% of customers are repeat customers, but these customers represent 1/3 of total spend
- 41 days is the average time between purchases for a returning customer
Personalize the online shopping experience
Personalization and a great customer experience are key to retaining current customers and attracting new buyers to your site. A Infosys Survey 2014 reported that 78% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy from a retailer again if it offered offers targeted to their interests, wants or needs. A majority of customers (86%) said they would pay up to 25% more for a better experience. In a 2012 Accenture Study64% of respondents said it was more important for businesses to provide relevant offers, compared to 36% who said businesses should stop tracking their online activity.
Personalization drives results. Based on sales data from the MyBuys database of over 250 million shoppers, customer-centric marketing delivers a 25% increase in total online sales and a 300% improvement in value at customer’s life.
According to a recent study by Listrak and Harris Poll, 80% of Americans want to receive product recommendations via email based on their previous purchases. Similarly, 71% of consumers like posts with articles based on their online browsing behaviors.
Consumer data must be analyzed to create highly targeted product recommendation offers. Analyze consumer data such as demographics, lifestyle, products purchased by category and type, purchase frequency, and purchase value. Recommendations based on any set of these variables help retailers personalize the online shopping experience and help consumers discover new products or services.
Discounts can boost your online sales, but personalized discounts take that to a new level. For example, offer cart abandonment incentives to high-value customers to increase their lifetime value (LTV). Or by using behavioral data, retailers can identify which customers are likely to be most interested in certain offers.
Customer reviews drive online sales
For today’s savvy consumer, who does their own research before making a purchase, reviews are often the tipping point for decision-making in cases where perceived product differentiation is low. Dimensional research found that 90% of respondents who recalled reading online reviews had been influenced by reviews in their purchase decision; conversely, 86% were deterred by negative reviews online. And the practice of checking reviews before making a purchase is becoming increasingly common. A recent BazzarVoice study found that 54% of e-commerce shoppers read reviews before making a purchase.
Source: BazaarVoice “The ROBO Economy”
According to PowerReviews, 70% of mobile users are more likely to buy a product if the merchant’s mobile site or app offers reviews. Offering incentives such as loyalty points, discounts on future purchases, and free items is commonplace to garner reviews. It is also important to make filing a notice as simple as possible. Make sure your review links are clearly displayed on your website and that the type of form or input method you use is optimized for mobile devices. Follow-up emails are another great way to encourage reviews because the more time that passes after a transaction, the lower the chances of a consumer leaving a review.
Use interactive and engaging content on your e-commerce site
In 2016, you can expect to see more businesses transforming their e-commerce sites into “affluent lifestyle destinations” by combining commerce and content to build consumer loyalty. Video is a great way to deliver high-quality content, which benefits e-commerce sites by driving higher average orders and driving conversions. Specific product videos may increase conversions providing buyers with as much information as possible about the products you offer. Indeed, according to Marketing Sherpawebsite visitors are 64% more likely to purchase a product from an e-commerce site after watching a video.
Website visitors are 64% more likely to purchase a product from an e-commerce site after watching a video.
Content also helps build brand relationships. Interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons people follow brands on social media, and 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a business through articles and other content rather than ads . Although many of your e-commerce competitors also use content, content marketing is continually evolving. Get creative and focus on relevant content for your audience and post the content in relevant places. Use lots of photos, post on Instagram, run contests and promotions on Facebook, post customer stories and photos, or use explainer videos. The content will ultimately drive more traffic to your site, generate greater brand awareness, and encourage loyal brand followers.
Ultimately, e-commerce trends this year and beyond should be customer-centric. Retailers need to implement strategies to create personalized and positive customer experiences to attract more shoppers to their e-commerce sites and encourage them to return.
Download the Retail Marketing Strategy Guide to learn more best practices, tips, strategies, and trends retailers are implementing to appeal to today’s modern shopper.