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E-commerce trends in 2013

Most ECommerce sites have done well to get consumers to complete the checkout process and buy more. But what’s not done well enough is helping consumers to discover more of what they want, encouraging them to recommend purchases and simplifying (speeding up and reducing costs) purchase fulfillment, especially overseas deliveries.

Commodotisation of online stores. Even lower barriers of entry for anyone looking to build an online store (or sell something) led by solutions like Shopify, WooCommerce, Gumroad and Tictail.

Online retailers no more shy away from creating indigenous e-commerce websites. Here we are not referring to merely offering your website in different languages. With going local, we are referring to a totally localized user experience. Thus, expect to see more websites based on traditional design aesthetics including the use of local color preferences, local language, local offers and essentially local products and services. For small businesses the move is indeed welcomed especially if they cater for niche markets. Ours is a curious generation which loves to explore. The local stuff which is marketed across as traditional and exotic easily attracts customers and generates revenue.

Localization will also pave the way for more personalization whereby users will continue to enjoy an even more one-to-one customer experience. Websites will automatically adapt to show user preferences and tastes. However, personalization will not be only based on past purchases or browsing habits (such as the recommendations offered by Amazon). Instead, we will see more intelligent algorithms that are able to predict which products or service may appeal to you based on advanced segmentation and user profiling.

Continuing past trends, in 2013, more customers will switch to online payment mechanisms such as PayPal as well as debit and credit card transaction. E-commerce sites will lay more stress on online security with the likely introduction of new safer payment methods and increased enhancements on existing ones. The move will translate to an increase in the number of new online shoppers and the number of financial transactions that are conducted online. Online brands will garner more trust and reliability through the use of one-page payment methods. Online customers will feel more secure and less dependent on cash.

Customers will become apprehensive with so many products and services at their disposal. Images are not a convincing tool as consumers cannot exactly judge product with them. Product demonstration videos will used more frequently to address the needs of even apprehensive customers. Online businesses and product demo videos will become more popular with the ever-improving internet speeds.

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