A good example is enhanced filtered navigation. It wasn’t long ago that customers purchasing online would filter by 1 attribute at a time within a given category. Once Amazon rolled out multi-filtering capability (like the ability to look at both red and blue shoes within a given brand) customers came to expect this feature. Sites without it were suddenly seen as antiquated.
The same goes for search capabilities. Auto-search complete is now an expected feature. Both of these been mass adopted in 2017.
So what will 2018 bring to the world of eCommerce? Here are 3 trends we see taking hold.
- One Click Purchasing: Amazon’s patent has expired and 1 Click Purchasing is set to supercharge mobile conversions
- Micro Personalization: Data will be used for more than targeted ads. The personalized ecommerce experience includes content, pricing, and specialized promotions.
- Major B2B Improvements: B2B is rapidly maturing and functionality is mirroring the B2C experience. Customers expect it, and businesses must embrace it.
1. One Click Purchasing:
In September of 2017, an Amazon patent going all the way back to 1999 expired. This patent is for One Click Purchasing – a feature that allows customers to bypass the regular checkout process without entering billing, shipping and CC info. Information stored in your account can be used for purchase, making the process streamlined and simple.
This easy order functionality has been a key to their success (including Dash buttons and Alexa ordering), and now One Click Purchasing is open to every eCommerce website.
Removing barriers to purchase is especially poignant in the mobile space. Abandoned carts are a huge issue, and minimizing cart use will certainly lead to higher conversions.
So, how do you integrate one-click payments onto your site? With Magento, it is as simple as installing an extension such as the Mage Store One Step Checkout Extension. Shopify also offers a variety of One-Click Checkout Apps as does BigCommerce.
Installing and configuring is fairly simple, and worthwhile to try for smaller ticket items that customers order on a regular basis. There are a few limitations, such as the inability to send to multi-destinations. However, if most of your customers are shipping to one location, it just makes sense.
The ease and convenience of One-Click Payments promises to keep shoppers purchasing on your site in 2018 rather than researching and leaving to order easily on Amazon.
2. Micro Personalization
According to Gartner, by 2018 eCommerce sites using personalization will outsell their competitors by 15%. Personalization within a site offers an opportunity to connect with customers by catering content, pricing and promotions.
Data such as past order history, items in cart, items viewed, content read, clicks and social interaction all provide valuable information about your customers. The more granular you can get with customer groups, the more a customer feels like you know their interests and what products suit their needs.
Magento allows for robust customer segmentation – you can target customers by birthday month for promotions, by state for shipping considerations, or by any other data point you have stored. These segments can then be shown different content or promotions based on interests, locations or other demographics.
Shopify and BigCommerce also offer apps providing auto-customer segmentation based on customer purchasing behavior. This allows for easy segmentation and the ability to predict future purchases based on past behavior.
For example, let’s say you run a sporting goods store and you have a customer who typically purchases soccer items or watches soccer videos on your site. Using this data, you can provide tailored content related to soccer, information on their local team, and upsell items directly tied to their interests. Another visitor to the site would see completely different content and promotions based on their interests and history.
Personalization at a granular level allows you to make valuable recommendations to your customers, create applicable follow-up touch points, and present a custom, guided journey down the purchase path.
3. Major B2B Improvements
B2B is finally coming into it’s own online. These changes are being driven by
- Consumer expectations and
- Shifting demographics related to decision makers
B2B customers are expecting a B2C experience, and eCommerce enhancements are making this a reality. A lot of the complexities related to B2B, such as order-by-quote, ordering approval, and per customer pricing, are being addressed by the major platforms.
Magento 2.2 was just released with a suite of services designed for Business to Business Commerce. Shopify Plus is also allowing for negotiated deals and ERP integrations through their wholesale channel.
These improvements allow B2B customers to browse and shop as B2C customers, and also to bulk add SKUs and order directly from their purchase history. As customers find ease in purchasing and needed functionality, account administration and customer service will continue to move from the phone to the online environment in 2018.
It is important to get ahead of the curve, as planning and implementation take time. These features are already being utilized by many forward thinking sites. If you would like to consult on changes in 2018, Indaba Group would love to talk with you! Please contact us for more information and to schedule a free consult.