The UK’s love affair with online shopping is showing no signs of cooling off. In 2015 UK online sales made up a third of all online retail in Europe and online retailing is expected to exceed £60 billion in the UK in 2016. Question is, is your website ready to compete with your competitors in 2016? If your answer isn’t an immediate ‘Yes!’ then you need to take a look at the big money-making ecommerce trends that continue to dictate who will win, and who will lose, in online retail.

Mobile shopping

Although it’s not a new trend, using Mobile shoppingmobile phones to make purchases continues to increase in popularity. Google anticipates that purchases on mobile devices will continue to grow well into 2021. This year alone spend on mobile devices has increased from 18.7% in 2014 to 28.6% in 2015. So in 2016 a mobile-optimised website should no longer be considered a wishlist item; it should be firmly at the top of your to-do list. By not making this a priority you risk losing customers and revenue.

Omni-channel shopping

With the advent of mobile devices and tablets, shopping is no longer confined to one type of device. More often you’ll have a single customer browsing your website at different times of the day on different devices, before they make that all-important purchase. For example, your customers may use their smartphones to start their research and come across your website, once they get to work or home they then use their desktop computer (outside of work hours, of course) to revisit your site, continue their research and make that purchase. With this in mind their experience of your website needs to be seamless – whether they visit on their mobile, tablet or desktop computer. So any changes you make to a mobile website should also be reflected on your desktop version too.

Compete on more than price

Customers are changing their shopping habits and moving away from simply Shopping trolleypurchasing from whomever is offering their desired item at the cheapest price. Online shoppers are no longer fooled by a company offering the lowest price for everything and are making their purchasing decisions based on a number of other criteria, in particular customer service. If a company’s customer service isn’t up to scratch chances are the prospective customer won’t complete the transaction and will look elsewhere to make their purchase from a more reputable company, even if it means paying more. Customer service and user experience play as important a role as the price when it comes to making a purchase these days. Reviews play an increasingly key part in this process too – customers trust what other people have had to say about a product or a company’s service. Adding reviews to your website could make the difference between a potential sale and a shopper abandoning their basket.

Online loyalty programmes

Yes, those membership card schemes, such as Boots and Tesco, will be moving online in 2016 – without the annoying plastic clogging up your purse or wallet. Next year is expected to see a significant rise in the number of ecommerce stores using online loyalty programmes to encourage repeat custom. It costs at least five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell to your existing customers – and they spend more with you too.

At RT Page we specialise in ecommerce warehousing solutions, speak to our team of experts today to find out how we can help your ecommerce business grow in 2016. Call us now on 01903 736300 or email us on info@rtpage.co.uk.

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