While we usually write about annual trends at the end of the year, there are several trends that are taking shape for 2011 as you read. Ecommerce is a constantly changing business and it is important to stay on top of the latest changes. Here are a few trends that you should be aware of as you lead your ecommerce business to success in a challenging market.
Customer behavior analysis. There was a time when very limited information about customer behavior was available to webmasters. You could see basic things like traffic statistics and the number of views on certain pages, but new analytic software offers so much more. More and more, any effective analysis needs to explain why customers came to your website, what they looked at while there, and what ‘navigational path’ they used as they perused your website. This helps you get into the minds of your ecommerce website visitors and learn how to better sell to them.
Social media integration. Putting up a Facebook page with a link to your ecommerce website is so 2010. In 2011, website owners are finding ways to integrate social networking technology into their business and vice versa. You can allow customers to ‘Like’ your website without ever leaving it; new technology allows you to use Facebook as an actual storefront. It is easy to see these trends gaining strength as more and more people stay constantly connected to social media via their smartphones. With more than 500 million users on Facebook, it makes sense to take advantage of the market’s full potential.
Remarketing. While there was a time when a lost customer was just that, ecommerce remarketing gives you a second chance to make the sale. Simply defined, ecommerce remarketing is the act of following up with website visitors who did not perform the desired action (usually buying). This can be effective because a visitor to your website is probably interested in your product. Remarketing is a chance to woo them back. Often, analytics will allow you (or a software program) to determine why the customer left, which gives you a better chance at addressing their issues. We are seeing remarketing more and more in 2011; many ecommerce websites are putting similar energy into remarketing as into marketing itself.
Complete ecommerce packages. Ecommerce technology is getting increasingly complex, which means, among other things, more compatibility issues. Plus, with all of the bells and whistles involved in modern ecommerce, piecing together the many components of an ecommerce website design package can be challenging. These are just a few of the reasons that many people are buying reasonably priced ecommerce packages rather than spending more money and more time piecing together the same technologies.
So far, 2011 has been a great year for ecommerce. All of these trends have one very positive thing in common: they all offer ways of creating more business success with very small investments of time and money. After all, simply running a business can be enough of a job for most of us