According to a 2014 analysis done by RJMetrics, there are more than 110,000 e-commerce businesses generating significant profit. That was three years ago, and the number has certainly grown since then. This massive industry, inextricably tied to the world of technology, is predicted to see a number of changes that will disrupt traditional business practices and standards for ecommerce.
Today, the average shopper spends $1,800 a year through e-commerce businesses. Donâ€™t miss out on this source of revenue by failing to keep up. Here are three trends that are going to appear (and in many cases have already appeared) among e-commerce businesses in 2017.
1. The growth of artificial intelligence
One of the most significant developments that enable e-commerce business owners to improve the performance, functionality and intuitivity of their store is the advancement of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence can allow companies to develop strategies based on big data analysis that enables you to understand your target audience based on analytical trends. For example, you can use artificial intelligence to analyze which products your customer may linger on, and then develop targeted advertising for that product later in order to woo a customer back to a purchase they may have been second-guessing.
You can develop advertising that targets customers based on highly specified demographic information - for example, an ad targeted at 20 to 30 year-old adults who are interested in outdoors activities with their animals may be particularly effective at moving a dog harness. This lets you target exactly the customers you want to reach, with precisely the information you want them in particular to know, in order to best convince them to shop at your e-commerce business.
2. Ubiquitous chatbots
One of the most popular trends that have been developing, and which will be ubiquitous by the end of 2017, are shopping assistant chatbots. These artificial intelligence-run programs offer a creative and unique way of helping customers navigate mobile shopping, particularly for customers who may need help or have difficulty navigating e-commerce.
Chatbots provide basic customer service, including helping customers find products, helping customers understand how to navigate a business, understand store policies and complete a purchase. A chatbox must be updated regularly and must be capable of providing your customers with up-to-date information, as well as respond to conversations and inquiries of customers who donâ€™t know how to carefully formulate questions.
3. Prioritization of mobile shoppers
Today, mobile users make up 50 percent of all web traffic, and drive 42 percent of e-commerce traffic. That will almost certainly grow over the coming years as well, with the increasing trend towards tablets and smarter smartphones that make navigating websites on a mobile device incredibly easy. This has led to an increase in popularity of e-commerce solutions. Businesses that fail to offer a mobile-friendly website, and adapt to the needs, desires and trends of mobile shoppers are going to cut out a major source of revenue and discourage customers, particularly millennial customers, from developing a working and constant relationship with your business.
Mobile devices offer users the chance to browse and shop stores from anywhere they have a connection, enabling you as a shop owner to have far more access to potential customers for more time during the day. Take advantage of this benefit - use flash sales that mobile users can take advantage of, develop apps that deliver push notifications to engage them as they go throughout their day.
By developing your e-commerce business to follow and take advantage of developing trends, you can be sure to stay ahead of the curve and keep customers attracted to your online business as the field grows.