5 Trends Shaping the Trajectory of Ecommerce
SEP 15, 2016 19:40 PM
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5 Trends Shaping the Trajectory of Ecommerce

By Larry Alton

As ecommerce continues to become an even larger part of the global marketplace, we’re beginning to see some new developments take shape. These trends are making ecommerce more cost-effective, efficient, and profitable for both businesses and their consumers.

Five Ecommerce Industry Trends

This year is flying by – and soon we’ll be staring 2017 in the face. This means old, clunky ecommerce practices are going out the window and new, sleek alternatives are entering the picture.

Let’s check out a few of the top trends:

1.               Improved Mobile Shopping UX

In the past, building mobile ecommerce websites was a challenge. Sure, you could do it, but they weren’t very functional or efficient. They took a backseat to desktop websites – and, as a result, lacked visual appeal. However, things are changing as mobile shopping becomes more popular. Mobile is expected to account for 33 percent of all U.S. ecommerce sales this year, and account for as much as 43 percent by 2019.

How exactly are things changing? Well, for one, checkout processes are finally being streamlined. No longer do you have to click through three or four pages to complete a purchase. Everything can be done on a single screen. Secondly, many ecommerce companies are even offering live chat support. As these trends grow, more shoppers will inevitably become comfortable with the idea of mobile shopping.

2.               Advances in Site Building Simplicity

Another trend that’s emerging is DIY ecommerce website building. There’s been a huge surge in ecommerce site building tools. For example, Wix offers drag and drop interfaces that allow anyone to piece together a functional site. Furthermore, according to one review,  Wix’s intuitive builder is among the best in the industry. This is shifting the focus away from professional designers and is giving individual businesses more control over the different features of their websites.                                                                                        

3.               Increased Importance of Actionable Analytics

Ecommerce sites have always relied heavily on analytics, but most of the data they’ve had in the past was rear-facing. In other words, ecommerce webmasters get information after the fact. They can then use this data to make educated choices in the future, but it isn’t exactly real-time decision making.

Things are slowly shifting, though. We’re seeing an increase emphasis on actionable analytics that provide real-time insights. These can be leveraged in the moment to mitigate friction and increase sales numbers.

4.               Quicker Shipping Times

When Amazon first announced that it would be offering same-day shipping in select markets, people couldn’t believe what they were hearing. How would that even be possible? People felt the same way about two-day shipping when it was announced, though.

Moving forward, quicker shipping times are going to become a focus. While not every ecommerce site has the size and resources to offer same-day shipping, two-day and next-day will become the norm.

5.               B2B Edging Out B2C

When you think of ecommerce, your mind tends to think about B2C shopping. But would you be surprised to learn that B2B ecommerce is actually bigger? Take the Canadian ecommerce industry as an example. There are 2.1 B2B transactions for every one B2C transaction. B2B ecommerce is growing at a faster pace and is expected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2020. Look for more attention to be given to B2B ecommerce in the coming months.

Keep an Eye on Ecommerce

It’s easy to feel like the ecommerce industry is mature, but it’s actually still very young. We’re only in the second decade of widespread online shopping, meaning there will be growing pains, pivots, and shifts. In the final quarter of 2016, things like mobile shopping UX, site building, actionable analytics, and quicker shipping times will be the focus.

Keep an eye on these things and you’ll be ahead of the pack.

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