The ever-changing e-commerce landscape offers limitless possibilities for businesses to sell their goods through electronic and digital means. And along with the new business innovations technology brings, changes in consumer behavior are reshaping the way we do business.
Those consumer practices become more present and felt when sales and promotions reach their all-year peak, which usually happens during the holiday season. In recent years, the digital revolution and emergence of social media have been playing a big part in molding the selling strategies of entrepreneurs and the buying behaviors of their targeted markets. These factors make up the following list of the current commerce trends and the way they affect holiday shopping:
Interconnectivity and interactivity
Products today are getting smarter; they can tell you how to use them properly, give information about how they were manufactured, and find other products that they are compatible with and can connect to. This is why interconnectivity is becoming a product trait that shoppers look for before putting an item in the cart. They ask themselves pre-purchase, “Can I pair this smartphone with my TV? Will I be able to stream videos, have remote access, and use a second screen?”
Buyers want the same connectivity in non-electronic products as well. Now, if your product comes with a QR code that allows item identification, redirects to your e-commerce site, or leads to a downloadable add-on, it will more likely be noticed by your market—that is, if you use the code right before it completely loses traction.
Businesses use the popularity and 24/7 availability of social media to expand their customer service and marketing reach, and at the same time, people expect convenience from these social channels round-the-clock. This holiday season, you can expect an increase of queries sent to your business’ social channels as well as an increase in revenues generated by sales that were promoted through those same networks.
The convenience that the Internet brings also shapes the public to be practical with their spending. This explains why more window shopping and actual purchases were made online and why Internet retailers hold sales earlier than brick-and-mortar stores to accommodate bargain-hunters who try to avoid crowds during massive sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Through the same technologies that make products interconnectable and convenient, firms can now monitor and track the shopping activities of their customers. This allows these companies to make target-specific and personalized marketing campaigns. ExactTarget senior manager Kyle Lacy says that this strategy is responsible for an estimated 15% to 25% sales increase for companies that feature personalized recommendations in their email ads.
Mobile shopping madness
Mobile sales were predicted to climb once again this year, and this was proven true by the record-breaking revenues made in holiday sales events like China’s Singles Day and the recent Black Friday. Expect more businesses to align their e-commerce strategies with mobile devices, and marketing through MMS as m-commerce becomes even more prevalent.