Image by: Statkraft
By Michael Sterling
E-commerce is not exactly a new industry anymore. The last few years have seen innovative practices for entrepreneurs and online retailers alike, so much so that all signs of it slowing down are unforeseeable. This has proven to be a good and bad thing. While entrepreneurs have seen incredible success from their companies, they also face a scarier prospect: more competitors.
Online selling and trading businesses are packing in faster than most people can plan or think, and within the coming years, famous entrepreneurs and CEOs predict not only a significant change in recent trends, but also a rapid growth in sectors one would never have thought of before.
An Incredible Rise In Customer Service
Because of the rise of competition, companies are trying to gain more and more loyalty. The best way to do that is by increasing personalization and customer service, however, 2014 is going to be one of giant proportions. 24/7 Shopping assistance, same day shipping, product replacement, device support are all going to expand.
“E-Commerce sales globally grew more than 30 percent in the first two quarters. I’m confident that [a rise in customer services] are the right investments to position the business for long-term success.” – Mike Duke, President & CEO, Walmart said to Yahoo! Finance.
Entrepreneurs are beginning to understand that in order for customers to trust them, they need a staff to deal with them directly, not through email or mechanic operators.
More Sophisticated Ad Retargeting
This year, ad retargeting has exploded and will start utilizing more innovative strategies this next year. The original strategy is simple. By utilizing browser cookies to track the websites which your users visit, the products or services they’ve viewed will be shown to them again in ads across different sites as they continue to browse. Quantcast CEO Konrad Feldman is taking it to new heights:
“Most of our business is prospecting not retargeting,” Feldman tells Business Insider, “Finding new customers that look most like your best customers. What’s going to separate the wheat from the chaff is that advertisers will become more sophisticated at measuring outcomes.”
Only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit, but ad retargeting aims to increase the overall conversion rate by constantly reminding consumers that your product exists. Exposure of one’s brand name and logo eventually creates familiarity, building trust and customers more likely to purchase. Sophisticated inventions are likely to make retargeting a marketing giant in 2014.
Bigger Data & Higher Content
Data is the heart and soul of E-Commerce. One glitch, and an entire company’s future can go up in smoke. 2014 companies have learned from this year’s frustrations. Using large data sets is going to be the top priority for medium and large E-Commerce stores so they can predict future trends in the market while making important decisions regarding their company.
“The possibilities will continue to evolve,” Joshua Uebuergang of CreditCard.com.au said to OnlineVisions.com.au, “moving towards simulating an offline experience in some areas (like live chat) and moving beyond offline shopping in other areas (like real-time product customization).”
Content is also predicted to do a major 180. Higher quality, SEO-friendly, and engaging content for an enhanced user experience is already underway, and quality text, images, and video are on top of the list. Soon, the relationship between real quality content and ROI will become very clear to all consumers, which will eventually make or break their purchases.