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From Prophet to Profit: 5 E-Commerce Trends for the Savvy Entrepreneur

Posted in E-commerce by Drew

Our radar systems are picking up on some interesting e-commerce trends and statistics on the ways people like to shop online. Since we’re always looking for opportunities to help you increase sales and succeed in your e-commerce business, we decided to share some of these with you today so can you can stay on course, and be where your customers are headed.

Since you’re an entrepreneur, you’re already an early adopter. You’re already a little ahead of the crowd. Let’s look at some of the ways you can stay there.

Mobile is at Terminal Velocity and You Need to be Responsive

Did you know that 66 percent of time spent on e-commerce sites is done via mobile devices, according to a Google report, and 61 percent of customers will LEAVE a site if it’s not mobile friendly. Furthermore, in 2014 overall app usage grew 76 percent from the previous year. Top areas that experienced triple-growth were Shopping, Messaging and Utilities & Productivity apps.

You would think with such high numbers, the majority of e-commerce businesses would have updated their sites with some awesome mobile responsive designs… right? Wrong. A mere 9 percent have made the transition! Year after year, various reports surface saying mobile usage is on the rise, and year after year, retailers turn a blind eye. The main factor driving this growth is convenience. In addition, studies show most of us “mobile shop” from 9am to noon and again after 8pm, fitting in shopping during pockets of free time.

Capitalize on these trends by creating a mobile and/or responsive mode for your e-commerce site so you can make it easier and more fun for your customers to buy stuff from your e-commerce site.

Hello Latin America. Prazer em conhecê-los!

south-america-e-commerceIf you already have an e-commerce business focused on US sales, you may want to consider expanding in the direction of the equator. A recent study by Internet Retailer, revealed Latin America to have the second fastest-growing e-commerce market in the world. The best country to target? Brazil.

According to the study, 60 percent of the country’s population is under the age of 30. Translation: Brazilians are young, modern and, tech-savvy. Amazon generated $475 million in Latin American sales for 2013, hinting at a fountain of untapped opportunity.

Latin America, collectively, is second only to China in e-commerce growth. You may at first worry that it’s a huge undertaking to make your e-commerce site friendly to non-English speaking consumers, but there are a number of tools that make it easy for your site’s visitors to view your site in their own language. They aren’t perfect, but they work. If you’re using WordPress, search the plugin repository for ‘translation.’ 

Pinterest. No Longer Just for Scrapbookers.

32% of active users have bought something from a store after seeing it on Pinterest.

Pinterest has come a long way since its inception in 2010. The free, image-centric social bookmarking service that allows users to save and sort content (pins) into collections of ‘pinboards,’ is highly addictive, making it an ideal platform for e-commerce marketing. Pinterest is rapidly becoming a powerful driver of sales for both e-commerce businesses and brick-and-mortar retailers alike.

According to a recent survey by Millward Brown, 32 percent of active users have bought something from a store after seeing it on Pinterest and three-fourths surveyed said they had visited a retailer or website after discovering new products. In February, rumors began circulating that Pinterest would soon add a ‘Buy’ button to its pinning options, offering users the convenience of making direct purchases through the site, though an official launch date has yet to be announced.

If you only sell digital goods or content, start thinking about how your products can be beautifully represented with imagery. Then, make sure to add a ‘Pin it’ button to your product pages. Finally, be sure to check-out The Definitive Guide to Pinterest.

All Hail Content. It’s Still the King.

Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are all great tools for spreading the word about your e-commerce site, but they wont do much of anything for your brand if you don’t have content that people want to interact with. The three reasons people will want to interact with your content are if the content is entertaining, if it’s educational, or if it’s generally just interesting. Of course, what makes something entertaining, educationally useful, or interesting is subjective, so you need to figure out who your audience is.

mobile-video-e-commerceTraditional advertisers have long known the power of content when it comes to selling stuff. Though it’s taken some time and experimentation, online businesses are finally beginning to follow suit, creating engaging, branded content that people enjoy engaging with. For example, Birchbox has excelled at this by crafting high-quality how-to style (educational) blog content their customers actually look forward to reading. By interweaving items available for purchase with engaging content, they’re able to successfully create anticipative demand without a ‘hard sell.’ Again, most e-commerce site owners aren’t taking advantage of this technique yet, but you can!

Lights. Camera. Action!

As recently reported by The Guardian, video will soon account for 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic. In 2015, the focus will increasingly be on mobile video. According to an analysis by Liveclicker, 25 percent of all e-commerce videos were played from mobile devices last year, up 19 percent from 2013. With no signs of slowing down, video, especially mobile-friendly video, is where the money’s at, when it comes to developing content that will help your e-commerce business succeed. You may have a business conducive to a long-term Youtube strategy, or perhaps you can simply have an intro or demonstration video on your homepage. Either way, video engages people in a way text and static images do not, and that’s not going to change.

Even if you sell something intangible, or that can’t be recorded with video, you can still tell stories, answer questions, and demonstrate usage. Really, possibilities are as unlimited as your creativity is!

Stay out in front of these trends in e-commerce, and you’ll surely continue to reap the benefits of being an early adopter. You will spread awareness of your brand, broaden your customer base, and increase sales!

Stay tuned for more exiting news and e-commerce tips from IgnitionDeck, the most flexible way to sell and distribute digital content with WordPress.