E-commerce trends for 2016

Mobile commerce

A very important part of the target of most e-commerce shops are millennials, young and native digital users. It's very important to invest in mobile marketing, since they are the most important group of Smartphone users. Speed is also important since they tend to impatience. Good user experience, fast order delivery systems, and excellent customer service are other relevant factors for this target.

  • Loyalty APPS. Buyers no longer have to carry physical cards. Instead, you can track and redeem promotions using your smartphones through applications. They can also serve for geolocation and detect whether the user is in a physical store or a nearby shopping area and thus send promotional codes.
  • Mobile payment solutions. Solutions offered by Google, Softcard, Apple, and more recently, CurrentC. Count on fewer swipe cards or cash handling and more Phone-scan next year.
    Poynt, a smart terminal that supports multiple payment technologies including NFC, Bluetooth, QR codes, EMV, and magnetic stripe cards. So whether a customer wants to pay using Apple Pay, Google Wallet, the CurrentC app, or beacon technology, the retailer will have no problems ringing them up.
Experiment with technology.
  • POS technology. Cloud-based point of sale systems outperform old-fashioned registers in all aspects (performance, functionality, looks) and an increasing number of retailers will recognize this and make the switch.
  • Beacons. Provides in-store analytics and marketing solutions for brick-and-mortar retailers.
  • Wearables. (Google Glass, iWatch) 7% of consumers own wearable gadgets such as smart watches, glasses, and fitness monitors and is expected to double in 2016. This will likely prod companies to experiment with how they can use wearable technology to market or serve customers.
  • Augmented reality. From virtual fitting rooms to interactive window displays, merchants are continuously finding ways to use augmented reality to draw attention and improve experiences.
  • 3D printing. Some merchants have found a use for the technology. Brilliance is using 3D mock-ups to help customers try on different rings so they can determine the right size, shape, carat, and arrangement for their hands.
big data

Data will be more accessible and powerful and retailers need to rely on data in order to get to know their customers and provide customized shopping experiences. Swarm gives stores the ability to analyze foot traffic so they can make better decisions and tailor customer interactions. There’s also Collect, which gives insights into the spending habits of their top customers, allowing them to send personalized rewards and offers.

Social commerce

Consumer to consumer advocacy is going strong for the last years an even if the formula seems to be Influencers and the recent releases of commercial functionalities in the social field (ie the "buy" buttons on Facebook and Twitter and the Like2Buy platform from Instagram's Curalate) indicate that a very interesting path has been opened.

Chain value

More retailers will take control of their value chain and improve order fulfillment. If retailers truly want to provide compelling shopper experiences, they would have to take more control of how their products are manufactured, marketed, and distributed. More retailers will get creative with how they fulfill orders and distribute products. Speed and convenience will become more important than ever, so merchants will come up with better and faster ways to get products into the hands of their customers.

This will pave the way for more robust order fulfillment practices (such as same-day delivery and click-and-collect), on-the-go retail (including pop-ups and food trucks), self-service centers (such as Amazon Lockers), and other non-traditional strategies.

Omnichannel strategies

Stores with omnichannel strategies will continue to thrive.
Omnichannel retailing has begun to pay off for a lot of companies. Macy’s, which just started marketing its mobile and online-to-offline services more aggressively after the success of its initial omnichannel tests.

Multichannel or omnichannel trading strategies, with the use of multiple channels in the customer's buying experience, including pre-purchase research, the purchase itself and the after-sale. The channels involved include physical stores, online stores, mobile stores, APP stores and any other transactional method.

Retailers that localize their product mix and store formats will win.Merchants that customize their stores and merchandise according the needs of their local communities will find great success. Neighborhood-specific merchandise is part of a good local strategy.

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