We are all aware of how fast moving and fluid the area of ecommerce is now and keeping up with developments can be quite difficult and challenging. So, it might be helpful to try and anticipate some of the areas that are likely to be volatile and relevant in the near future and consider how you might react to them.
Here are a few ideas for you to consider;
- Augmented reality (AR): this is the ability to move product images into personal environments so users can integrate, compare and judge products in situ. It has been around for a while in ecommerce though its use has been variable both in quality and effectiveness. But it might be about to become more useful and widespread as companies like Apple introduce services that don’t require you to download an app to make use of the technology. This should provide easier and wider access to the tool for future deployment. It might be worth considering if this can now help your product presentation.
- Voice control and ordering: this has already become quite prevalent with the advent of Alexa, Cortana, Siri and other voice-controlled services. However, there is evidence that this is not leading to a lot of hard orders for products. (Only 2% of Alexa users, for example, are thought to have ordered a product through it). It is still worth considering though as a means of helping and directing customers to products.
- Mobile use: the use of mobile continues to increase at a rate and is likely to maintain this trend. This could lead to designing your ecommerce offering for mobile first or at least optimising performance on mobile. Some useful tips here are to do things like deferring image-loading and Java script loading as these slow down presentation of the entry page and can be frustrating to users. Fingerprinting and retinal scans will increase the security and efficiency of authentication so make sure you are geared up for this as well.
- Crowd-sourced content: the use of reviews and testimonials from product users is becoming more and more sophisticated and intimate. Sites are now using anything from long, personal narratives on users interaction with products to pictures of purchasers wearing/using the product in their daily lives. This is setting the tone for a different relationship between customer and supplier which can profitably be exploited (assuming the product experience is generally a good one!).
- Loyalty-building: many businesses are finding new ways of engaging customers with a longer-terms relationship by using loyalty tools such as incentives and rewards. Introducing new products like healthy meals ingredients and snack boxes that are delivered regularly to customers, produce guaranteed repeat business. Consider if there are any relevant and neat fits of these tools with your product range. This could help you build a loyal customer base on your ecommerce site.