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Since the start e-commerce has grown leaps and bounds each year. 2016 saw a 4.7% overall spend increase up from 1.8% in 2015.  For merchants both starting out in e-commerce, and those with well-established stores, the name of the game is always how to increase visibility and growth year after year – to keep your customers coming back for more. Here are three strategies for e-commerce growth in 2017.

Mobile Is King

2016 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales report that orders from mobile devices far exceeded those from 2015 – with major retailer Walmart stating that over 70% of its Black Friday web traffic came from mobile devices. According to reports from E-Commerce Pulse in November 2016, mobile sales were up 31% from 2015.

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Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to make purchases wherever and whenever they are

Customers are frequently visiting and purchasing from mobile devices. Starting in April 2015 Google began utilizing mobile friendliness as a signal in its search rankings. Allowing users to gain easier access to quality, relevant sites on their devices. Despite the change in guidelines, many sites are still not up to speed on mobile optimization – and most users will not wait longer than three seconds for a page to load, or navigate through a site that has not been optimized for use on their device. Accordingly to studies users are often disappointed by page layout and navigation – what users want is an intuitive, quick experience and along with improvements to page load time these improvements are a good place to invest initiative in your mobile strategy this year.

A Secure Customer Experience

With the increased use of technology – comes greater risk. 2016 brought some of the most high-profile cyber security crimes to date. Online shoppers are more aware than ever before of security. Merchants need to pay increased attention to the security of their online stores to build a reliable brand that will keep customers coming back.

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With an increase in highly publicized cyber crimes, customers want to feel secure when submitting sensitive data online

Utilizing an encrypted connection will help to build trust with your clients, as it protects their online transactions. If you process any secure information – any online merchant – you will want to have a secure connection for that information to be processed through. The primary function of an SSL is to encrypt all communications between the browser and the server. An SSL makes sure that sure all data transfers through a secure HTTPS connection. In conjunction with encryption, it is important to make sure you are utilizing a secure payment gateway to process your payments. Magento seamlessly integrates with secure payment gateways such as PayPal, Braintree, and Authorize.net. Another key factor to creating a secure shopping experience for your customers is having an open line of communication and transparency with your ordering, payment and shipping processes. Accurately communicating up front how to order, how to pay securely, and the cost and length of time shipping will take for items to arrive. This information will provide your customers with confidence in the shopping experience you are providing. To go more in depth on securing your store be sure to check out our look at six ways to strengthen the security of your Magento store!

Go Omnichannel

With brick and mortar stores increasingly struggling for profits, online retailers see an increase in sales – with a 23% increase seen in 2015. Omnichannel retailing allows online merchants to provide a seamless shopping experience across many marketplaces, thus extending their reach and therefore increasing visibility and profits. By using an omnichannel strategy, you are giving your store a competitive edge over merchants only selling through one channel.

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By plugging into a variety of different marketplaces you can diversify your audience and increase your visibility.

This year retailers that can reach their customers through multiple channels will see the highest growth rates – as customers more routinely engage in “webrooming” behaviors, shopping around on various marketplaces for the products they are looking for before committing to purchases either in retail stores or online. By having your product on as many of those marketplaces as possible, you are meeting your customers in more places when they are researching and eventually purchasing products.

Takeaway

For any business with an e-commerce aspect, keeping up with the latest technology and innovations is of the utmost importance to stay relevant and keep customers coming back. Placing focus on enhancing your store’s mobile experience, providing a secure shopping platform and branching out into omnichannel selling are three strategies predicted to help your store grow this year.

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