Ecommerce solutions offer enormous potential for businesses. They enable trade with wider audiences and with greater ease, allowing them to focus their time on more important priorities.
However, keeping up to speed with this ever-changing industry can be a minefield. Looking ahead into 2017—and with some 80% of internet users purchasing online—here are some of the latest trends emerging in the ecommerce arena.
Ecommerce Growth Shifts to Asia
From Silicon Valley to nationwide startups, ecommerce has boomed in the US. That trend has now shifted towards Asian markets, as tech-savvy corporates target a booming consumer base hungry to splash out on the latest software products.
According to the latest data published by Smart Insights, China is driving global ecommerce growth and is expected to double sales by 2019, adding another US $1 trillion in that region. In order to take advantage of this phenomenal growth, ecommerce Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses need to integrate international markets into their digital sales strategy.
Realtime Customer Engagement
Gallup, the US research and global performance-management consultancy, identifies three customer types:
- Actively disengaged
- Fully engaged
Their research shows that customer engagement is the driving force behind conversion rates, representing “an average 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth”. Conversely, disengaged customers represent a 13% discount for the same parameters.
In order to take advantage of this phenomenal growth, ecommerce Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses need to integrate international markets into their digital sales strategy.
Take heed of this development advice: In a report by LivePerson’s Connecting with Consumers, a whopping 83% of online shoppers expect assistance within 5 minutes, or else they will give up quickly. This means that engaging with users as soon as they arrive on your site is key in converting potential customers into buyers. This is most effective when options to connect are available in real-time in your online storefront.
Improving User Experience (UX) not only promotes sales, but keeps users coming back for more as their experience promotes an emotional connection to the brand. Real-time support assists customers with potential inquiries immediately, promoting UX and satisfaction which, ultimately, can lead to higher conversion rates and promoters of your product.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In the context of ecommerce development advice, AI links to customer engagement and is being implemented in the online experience where users engage with an ‘intuitive’ online assistant. The consumer’s buying journey starts with research into a product or service, and an intelligent online assistant makes that experience all the more convenient.
For example, your marketing strategy has captured the attention of a consumer. They arrive at your site to investigate your product, but they have questions. Where can they find answers? Where can they find more information? With a smart online assistant built into the online store platform, they won’t be in the dark for long. Make it as easy as possible for your customers to figure out where to go next, and always be one step ahead of where they’re going.
XaaS Is the New Pack Leader
Rampant advances in technology bring change and opportunity, making space for the disruptive and the revolutionary. As trends move away from on-site implementation to readily accessible cloud-based computing for almost anything, everything as a service (XaaS) is a key player. Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are more common examples of what is at stake.
As businesses look to implement new methodologies and evolve their services to reach wider markets in the digital space, there’s a growing need to provide readily accessible and easy-to-implement commerce software to meet those buyer demands.
Subscription Business Model
An emerging trend in the ecommerce space is recurring billing, which involves a regular hassle-free payment option for services rendered. Users can set their payment frequency (monthly, quarterly, etc.) and enjoy the benefits of the service while automated receipts arrive after payment.
Recurring billing takes the admin out of repetitive, manual online payments. An inevitable benefit for businesses is that it moves away from one-time payments to a subscription solution, which increases revenue while building upon the customer-business relationship.
Staying Relevant in 2017
To stay relevant in the 2017 ecommerce environment, software companies need to follow the latest development advice and adapt to consumer behavior and market trends. If they don’t, they risk missing key business opportunities and falling behind the competition.
Ecommerce platforms are adopting the agile methodology to make themselves more attractive to buyer markets. This puts the focus on software organizations to implement delivery systems robust enough to realize the full potential of their services and products.
FastSpring is a SaaS digital commerce platform and leader in the digital commerce space. We can ensure our software customers are set up with a full digital solution and stay ahead of the game as they grow.