E-Commerce Predictions for 2016
If you run an e-commerce business, then you know that staying ahead of the competition is important to business growth. This year, get ahead by jumping on 2016 e-commerce trends before everyone else does. Start by reviewing these predictions to get a good idea of where e-commerce will take your business in 2016.
Gen Z Will Become a Larger Target
Generation Z, which includes those individuals born in 1995 and onward, are aging just like the rest of us. As the older end of this generation emerges into adulthood, they now have the money to make their own purchases. This will push more businesses to market toward them, which will involve even more digital marketing and technology involvement.
But it’s not just those at the upper end of the generation that marketers need to focus on. With technology moving forward at such a rapid pace, young people are learning to adapt to it faster than ever. For instance, adolescents can now add their fingerprint to their parents’ mobile wallet accounts and make purchases easily without a credit card of their own.
This year, e-commerce will begin targeting this group more as they become a bigger segment of the consumer market.
Loyalty Programs Will Need Rethinking
Although loyalty programs have been around for a long time, most businesses will have to tweak their strategies in 2016.
If you don’t have a loyalty program, 2016 is the year to start one as this will help retain customers. While only 12 to 15 percent of your customers will be “loyal,” they will make up to 55 to 70 percent of your business, reports Payfort.com.
However, loyalty programs of the past will have to step up their game in 2016. Loyalty customers now expect personalized rewards based on their shopping habits and needs, so instead of sending out the same deal for all your rewards members, you’ll want to segment your members and share special deals for specific people.
Loyalty programs will also increasingly become mobile to capture the younger generations’ attention. This includes concepts like mobile punch cards, digital coupons, and reward redemptions at a tap.
Customers Will Respond to the Value of Privacy
As reported by ComputerWorld.com, Forrester Research made 10 predictions for e-commerce in 2016. Among them, they predict that privacy will become a more valuable player in converting customers this year.
That means that you should invest in technologies that ensure your e-commerce site is secure from hackers and that any customer information — such as names, addresses, and credit card numbers — are safe within your system. With higher security measures in place, customers will trust your business, and fewer buyers will abandon their shopping carts.
After you’ve implemented safety precautions on your e-commerce site, you can continue to build trust with your customers by displaying relevant safety certificates that are easy to spot.
E-Commerce Sites Will Rely on Google Less
James Gurd, owner of Digital Juggler, predicts that in 2016, e-commerce businesses will rely less on Google and explore alternative ways of attracting and retaining customers. As Google evolves, it has become more difficult for companies to rank in the organic search results.
Therefore, many businesses this year will emphasize SEO less. That’s not to say it isn’t still important — it definitely is — but social media marketing, content marketing, and customer retention will play bigger roles in e-commerce as the year wears on.
E-commerce businesses are constantly struck with changing trends as technology and customer habits evolve. This year is no different. Start defining goals for your business based on these trends, and you shouldn’t fall behind this year. Which one of these predictions do you feel is most important for your business to focus on?