Online shopping and Digital Marketing went under a massive transition in 2016. In a study by BigCommerce released this year, 51% of consumers reported that they prefer to shop online. While eCommerce spending continues to grow at an average global rate of 14% year after year, brands are still trying to figure out the best way to connect with their customers and get a slice of the $4.058 trillion worldwide digital retail commerce pie that’s expected by 2020.
Everyone loves the convenience of shopping online but they miss the personal interaction and experience of shopping at retail stores. Now that more consumers would rather shop online than not, eCommerce brands are onto the next frontier of fighting for customer loyalty and attention.
2017 will revolve around customer experience, retention, shoppable content and making shopping online just as memorable as shopping in-store. Here are the eCommerce trends you need to know in 2017.
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Customer Journey’s Will Be Front and Center
Measuring shopper interactions to build customer loyalty.
A customer journey is a mapped path members of your target audience take from the first time they discover your brand to when they purchase a product. Customer Journeys were notoriously first adopted by tech startups in order to identify where users or potential customers were falling out of their online customer acquisition funnel..
Fashion brand’s customer journey’s are particularly challenging and highly volatile. Customers are constantly influenced by events on and off-line that affects the consideration process of purchasing. By mapping customer journeys and every touchpoint for segmented audiences, fashion brands can identify and optimize shoppers pathways to customers.
In 2017, eCommerce brands and digital marketers servicing those brands, will be more in-tune with their customers “path to purchase” in order to gain a larger more loyal customer base.
Source: Business2Community via Salesforce
Data will Fuel the Fashion eCommerce Machine
Embracing the use of data pushes online shopping forward
Up to this point, data has been underutilized by the fashion industry. There is a misconception that pouring resources into emotive visual sales is the best way of attracting customers. Data and data driven efforts are for the less “creative” brands. This couldn’t be further away from the truth. As we’ve seen over recent years, customer’s sentiment towards online shopping versus traditional has shifted, thrusting the struggling industry into chaos.
In 2017, the Fashion industry will finally see the importance of data in a world where they have less and less face-to-face encounters with their customers. Data will begin to fuel every marketing campaign, sales effort, runway show and even their beloved storytelling imagery.
eCommerce Fashion Brands Will Fully Embrace Personalized Content Marketing and Customer Communities
Creating meaningful connections with personalized content
The digital marketing challenges fashion eCommerce brands face are unlike any other. What makes the challenges of the industry so unique is that customers intent to purchase is almost purely based on emotion. Most fashion brands don’t solve a specific problem, or provide an easier solution to a previously daunting process—— making the intent to purchase strictly based on a brand’s ability to connect with its audience in a meaningful and memorable way.
Creating a meaningful connection with millions of people is an impossible task when using the same imagery for a brand’s entire customer base. However, in 2017 fashion eCommerce brands will begin to segment similar customers into customer communities using data, making it possible to target their audience in new ways. By segmenting customers into communities brands are then able to send them highly targeted and relevant shoppable content in real-time, increasing the likelihood to purchase and building customer loyalty.
Just as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter reorder your timeline based on usage data, fashion eCommerce brands will begin to do the same.
The Amazon Effect: Shipping on Demand
Two-day shipping and easy returns become prevalent
Amazon, Asos and many other on demand companies have forever changed the expectations of consumers. Your customers want it and they want it now. If they have to wait, they’ll spend their money on a competitor’s product who promises two day delivery. Brands in 2017 who adopt the 2 day shipping model will see their sales soar.
One of the largest roadblocks customers have from spending more money online involves the inconvenient and unknown “returns” process. If your customers aren’t able to try on or physically see products in real life, then chances are you may have more returns. We will also see a rising trend in clearer to understand and more customer friendly return processes. Brands will ship with return labels and allow you to return products at any retail location.