Ecommerce Trends to Watch in 2016

 

Ecommerce Trends to Watch for 2016

 

Ecommerce is like fashion. People that refuse to update their look stick out like a sore thumb. And maybe that’s why we don’t see too many people wearing neon track suits these days.

 

Well ecommerce is no different. It’s constantly changing as new trends replace old ones, and online retailers need to keep up with the times in order to avoid becoming a relic (or worse, a fanny pack).

 

And retailers need to be ready for 2016. Because the way shoppers find products, make payments, and ultimately receive their purchase may be entirely different compared to years past.

 

So what are the trends for 2016? Here are 4 to watch out for.

 

More Mobile

 

Between digital payments and mobile wallets, smartphones are as much a commerce device as they are a communication device. With their growing importance, it wasn’t surprising to read that Pali Bhat, Google’s Director of Product Management for Android Pay, feels “we are getting closer to the [mobile payments] tipping point”. And in 2016, we will hit the tipping point.

 

Just how much can we expect mobile payments to grow? Research by eMarketer suggests that mobile payments in the US will triple in 2016.

 

But mobile payments in 2016 aren’t going to look the same as they have in previous years. Whereas 2015 placed a lot of focus on using mobile payment in-store, consumers found that there wasn’t much difference between lining up and paying with a card or lining up and paying with a phone. Instead, in-app and “invisible” payments are taking mobile payments to the next level. Consider for example Android Pay’s intentions to become a payment platform rather than a payment application. As a payment platform, Android Pay can allow other companies and retailers to specialize in creating a seamless and aesthetic user-experience and can instead focus on the in-app payment function.

 

Contextual Commerce

 

Context-based commerce isn’t a new and revolutionary idea. Anybody that has sold lemonade on a hot day can tell you that being in the right place at the right time matters. But contextual commerce is the next big thing in payments and ecommerce.

 

Contextual commerce refers to providing customers with products and services when and as they become relevant and needed. One way in which this is achieved is by aggregating data collected from smartphones, wearables, and other network connected devices. Imagine for example, that you log a 30-minute run twice a week using a fitness app and that you drink a Gatorade after each run. With contextual commerce, after 10 runs a tracker would know to place an order for a new 10-pack of Gatorade to be delivered.

 

Companies such as XpressBuy are also making contextual commerce possible by powering “calls to commerce” on ads that let shoppers complete a purchase right from within an ad. Display ads normally redirect users to a company or ecommerce website, but XpressBuy’s buttons allow for the transaction to occur without the user having to leave the page they are on when they click the ad. Considering that consumers today have a shorter attention span than goldfish, contextual commerce is a logical next step in the mission to convert customers.

 

Opening Up Omnichannel

 

In 2016, omnichannel retailing will become even more ingrained in commerce overall.

 

To illustrate this point, consider how social media is changing to support omnichannel retailing. For years, businesses mainly used Facebook as a tool for building their brand image but now it’s becoming an important part of an omnichannel strategy. Buy buttons are allowing shoppers to easily and seamlessly complete purchases. There is even Messenger for Business, which allows for a real-time, one-to-one connection with customers.

 

Fulfillment is another critical element of an omnichannel strategy, and we are seeing innovations in this area with pick-up in-store and on-demand delivery. Especially common with fashion retailers, customers are now able to browse and purchase products online but actually try on and pick up the product in store. But apparel companies aren’t the only ones innovating their fulfillment. Amazon’s Prime Now is offering one- or two-hour delivery in select markets with expansion slated for sometime in the near future. Throughout the year, we can expect more and more of these types of services to pop up.

 

Millennials Moving Up

 

A cycle as natural as life itself – as one generation ages, a new one takes the reigns of leadership, labor, and commerce. As we enter 2016, it’s fairly undeniable that Millennials have taken this place. Currently there are about 80 million Millennials in the U.S., which equates to a little over 25% of the entire population making it the largest generation in America.

 

With over a trillion dollars in purchasing power, U.S. Millennials spend more online than any other age group despite having lower earnings. But how exactly does this impact ecommerce retailers?

 

For one, Millennials are constantly connected to a mobile device which provides retailers with a medium through which to communicate with customers on a near-constant basis. Moreover, Millennials demand a customer experience unlike the generations before them. Millennials are much more experientially focused than other segments and retailers need to respond to this by providing a retail experience that functions seamlessly on any device.

 

And there you have it. 4 trends to keep you fashionable in ecommerce in 2016. Let us know if there any big trends or changes that you’re looking forward to in 2016.

 

 

 

Ecommerce Trends to Watch for 2016

 

Ecommerce is like fashion. People that refuse to update their look stick out like a sore thumb. And maybe that’s why we don’t see too many people wearing neon track suits these days.

 

Well ecommerce is no different. It’s constantly changing as new trends replace old ones, and online retailers need to keep up with the times in order to avoid becoming a relic (or worse, a fanny pack).

 

And retailers need to be ready for 2016. Because the way shoppers find products, make payments, and ultimately receive their purchase may be entirely different compared to years past.

 

So what are the trends for 2016? Here are 4 to watch out for.

 

More Mobile

 

Between digital payments and mobile wallets, smartphones are as much a commerce device as they are a communication device. With their growing importance, it wasn’t surprising to read that Pali Bhat, Google’s Director of Product Management for Android Pay, feels “we are getting closer to the [mobile payments] tipping point”. And in 2016, we will hit the tipping point.

 

Just how much can we expect mobile payments to grow? Research by eMarketer suggests that mobile payments in the US will triple in 2016.

 

But mobile payments in 2016 aren’t going to look the same as they have in previous years. Whereas 2015 placed a lot of focus on using mobile payment in-store, consumers found that there wasn’t much difference between lining up and paying with a card or lining up and paying with a phone. Instead, in-app and “invisible” payments are taking mobile payments to the next level. Consider for example Android Pay’s intentions to become a payment platform rather than a payment application. As a payment platform, Android Pay can allow other companies and retailers to specialize in creating a seamless and aesthetic user-experience and can instead focus on the in-app payment function.

 

Contextual Commerce

 

Context-based commerce isn’t a new and revolutionary idea. Anybody that has sold lemonade on a hot day can tell you that being in the right place at the right time matters. But contextual commerce is the next big thing in payments and ecommerce.

 

Contextual commerce refers to providing customers with products and services when and as they become relevant and needed. One way in which this is achieved is by aggregating data collected from smartphones, wearables, and other network connected devices. Imagine for example, that you log a 30-minute run twice a week using a fitness app and that you drink a Gatorade after each run. With contextual commerce, after 10 runs a tracker would know to place an order for a new 10-pack of Gatorade to be delivered.

 

Companies such as XpressBuy are also making contextual commerce possible by powering “calls to commerce” on ads that let shoppers complete a purchase right from within an ad. Display ads normally redirect users to a company or ecommerce website, but XpressBuy’s buttons allow for the transaction to occur without the user having to leave the page they are on when they click the ad. Considering that consumers today have a shorter attention span than goldfish, contextual commerce is a logical next step in the mission to convert customers.

 

Opening Up Omnichannel

 

In 2016, omnichannel retailing will become even more ingrained in commerce overall.

 

To illustrate this point, consider how social media is changing to support omnichannel retailing. For years, businesses mainly used Facebook as a tool for building their brand image but now it’s becoming an important part of an omnichannel strategy. Buy buttons are allowing shoppers to easily and seamlessly complete purchases. There is even Messenger for Business, which allows for a real-time, one-to-one connection with customers.

 

Fulfillment is another critical element of an omnichannel strategy, and we are seeing innovations in this area with pick-up in-store and on-demand delivery. Especially common with fashion retailers, customers are now able to browse and purchase products online but actually try on and pick up the product in store. But apparel companies aren’t the only ones innovating their fulfillment. Amazon’s Prime Now is offering one- or two-hour delivery in select markets with expansion slated for sometime in the near future. Throughout the year, we can expect more and more of these types of services to pop up.

 

Millennials Moving Up

 

A cycle as natural as life itself – as one generation ages, a new one takes the reigns of leadership, labor, and commerce. As we enter 2016, it’s fairly undeniable that Millennials have taken this place. Currently there are about 80 million Millennials in the U.S., which equates to a little over 25% of the entire population making it the largest generation in America.

 

With over a trillion dollars in purchasing power, U.S. Millennials spend more online than any other age group despite having lower earnings. But how exactly does this impact ecommerce retailers?

 

For one, Millennials are constantly connected to a mobile device which provides retailers with a medium through which to communicate with customers on a near-constant basis. Moreover, Millennials demand a customer experience unlike the generations before them. Millennials are much more experientially focused than other segments and retailers need to respond to this by providing a retail experience that functions seamlessly on any device.

 

And there you have it. 4 trends to keep you fashionable in ecommerce in 2016. Let us know if there any big trends or changes that you’re looking forward to in 2016.