If you’re like my sister-in-law, you don’t catch on to new trends very quickly. While the rest of the world is binge-watching the latest season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix, she’s excited about how she just got DVR last week. This girl is painfully behind. I don’t blame her. Keeping up with what’s hip in the world isn’t easy, especially when it comes to ecommerce trends. Online selling shifts with the whims of buyers and the capabilities of technologies, two things that change often. But we’re here to help. These are the six absolute hottest ecommerce trends for the summer of 2016.
If you’re still only selling in one digital location, you’re behind the times. 2016 is the year of multichannel. It’s no longer good enough to just sell on your own website, or to just sell on eBay. Shoppers have more options than ever and they should be able to find your products no matter where they’re buying. Selling only on Amazon means you might not be able to build a brand, while selling only on your own website means you can’t take advantage of the popularity of a marketplace like Amazon, or the trust of a brand name like Sears. Ecommerce marketplaces on the come up right now are Jet, which recently eclipsed one million shoppers, and Walmart, who’s hiring software developers in droves to help increase its laser focus on expanding its ecommerce footprint. It’s time to expand and explore all your opportunities for sales.
Merch By Amazon
Merch by Amazon is one of the most fun ecommerce trends, and it’s about to change what online selling looks like. Anyone, including non-designers and people with no experience, can now upload a design, sell it, and Amazon will handle production and fulfillment. Ecommerce is already the easiest it’s ever been and Amazon just leapfrogged a whole other step. With Merch by Amazon, you don’t even have to make your own product. As long as you own the copyright for the image, you can start selling within minutes. This will likely be great for bands, event organizers, and anyone with a funny idea. This is definitely blowing up this summer.
There’s something about seeing a video playing in the background of the website that just feels sleek to me. It makes a website seem modern, lively, and fresh. And customers are responding. That’s why it’s become so trendy in ecommerce. 14% of sales online were tied to videos, according to Invodo, and shoppers who watched a video were 1.7 times more likely to make a purchase. Businesses are using videos to tell their stories and demonstrate their products, and it’s increasing their conversions. Break out the camera and join the wave.
This one blew my mind when I read about it. Beacon technology allows smart devices to broadcast and receive signals and react accordingly in the physical world. That means, for example, you could use your phone to “drop” a beacon in your laundry room and set up an alert that reminds you to change the dryer filter whenever you pass by the beacon, such as when you go to do your laundry. The ecommerce applications of this technology are mind blowing. You could use this for scavenger hunts, special sales, or even pinging people near locations related your product. Only time will tell all the fun applications of this technology, but it’s surely going to become one of the big ecommerce trends this summer and beyond.
Sell on Social
Back in the day, traditional wisdom said social media didn’t yield sales. It was something a business used for brand awareness and to communicate with customers. But app makers have bridged the gap. Facebook recently added a buy button business owners can add to their page. Twitter followed quickly behind by partnering with ecommerce platforms to integrate buy buttons into Twitter. Similar integrations for Instagram and Pinterest have been developed, in addition to Snapchat’s pioneering cash-through-social functionalities. Imagine your customers being able to buy someone else’s product directly from a tweet. Get on this ecommerce trend before your competitors do.
Picture this: you’re on a website, browsing lazily, when you click on watches under accessories. Suddenly, a small popup alerts you that for the next hour only, all watches are 50% off. Whether or not you were actually planning on buying a watch, this is a sale you’d find hard to pass up. If you know how to do it well, a flash sale is not just a momentary bump in conversions, but a way to build long-term trust and raise your retention rate. With the holiday season just around the corner, this summer is a great time to explore this ecommerce trend and see how flash sales can help out your business.
The basics of selling never change. Offer a great summer product at a reasonable price. But the finer points of selling online, the things that make the difference between a conversion and a bounce, are changing all the time. Following these tips will help you stay trendy for the summer and win sales.