2012 E-commerce Trends – How are you Measuring up?

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E-commerce is constantly changing and what was working wonderfully well for you a couple of months ago may not be so effective anymore. As technologies improve and shoppers’ expectations increase, the cost of not staying up to date with all the newest and most effective strategies for growing your E-commerce business can be high.

Here is a little information about some of the hottest E-commerce trends that are making a real difference in 2012. Are you up to speed?

Improved Product Presentation

There is no doubt that a lot of people have embraced the online shopping experience and embraced it in a big way. Most of these shoppers are still looking for an online shopping experience that is comparable to the one they might experience offline. What this means for the average e-tailer is that the way your products are presented and showcased is more important than ever.

Take the time to have a good look at your own website. Are you making the most of the imaging technologies for example? How clear are the images on your site? Can your visitors zoom in to get a better look, or get a 360 view of the items that have caught their eye? If you are answering no to any of these questions then it is time to consider upgrading your strategy in the visuals department.

Doing Social the Right Way

For many E-commerce companies their forays into the world of social media have been frustrating and none too fruitful. That may be because they are not leveraging the power of social media in the right way.

Obsessing over the number of likes your Facebook page has or how many Twitter followers you can amass will rarely ever do very much for your bottom line. The real power of social media comes when you integrate it into your site.

Adding the ability for a visitor to post a product they love directly to their Facebook page – without having to go through the hassle of visiting your page and “liking” it – can increase sales and customer loyalty considerably. And do not just offer Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons either. Google + is still growing, Pinterest is the hottest social network anywhere right now and StumbleUpon brings many websites more referral traffic than any other source.

Responding To the Mobile Web

You only need to look around you to see how much the mobile web is changing the way we interact with each other, and ultimately the way we make purchases.

Additionally, surfing the web – and shopping online – is increasingly being carried out on tablet devices. In fact, Forrester Research shows that customers are more likely to make purchases via a tablet device than a PC (3% for PC shoppers vs. 4 or 5% for tablet shoppers).

With this in mind, making sure to optimise your website for mobile and tablet viewing is increasingly important.

Simple Search

The idea of having a site search on your website is hardly new or groundbreaking but the number of E-commerce sites that have search functions that do not actually work is quite surprising.

This is a great example of E-commerce sites missing out on potential conversions. Stats have shown that a visitor who uses a site search function is 3 to 5 times more likely to actually make a purchase than one that does not. Your site search stats are also a great way to better understand your customers’ shopping habits too.

If you would like help improving your E-commerce website, get in touch.

By Olga Travlos