Thursday, 19 January 2017

How to Grow Your Ecommerce Business in 2017

It's that time of year when Ecommerce blogs and news sites take great pleasure in publishing their trend predictions for 2017. We've read them all, and re-read the ones from 2016 and have decided they're not very useful. 

Most trend list articles recommend new plugins and gimmicks that promise to make life easier and improve your bottom line (think drone delivery). The reality, however, is that ecommerce growth comes from a disciplined, multi-channel approach that isn't afraid to take risks and record the results.

Having said all that, here's our spin on the top trends for 2017, and for every year:

  • The Increasing Importance of Mobile (this is mentioned in every article, every year) - If you still don't have a mobile site and a mobile strategy then, quite frankly, you're mad. With over 50% of internet traffic now mobile, if you don't have a mobile friendly site you are closing yourself off to at least half of your potential customer base. 
  • Live Customer Engagement and Customer Services - Live Chat, phone lines where customers can talk to real people and humane refund and replace policies have been around forever, but as the ecommerce landscape gets more competitive, hugging your best customers will become more important.
  • Delivery and Returns - Again, a good delivery and return strategy has always been essential but, with the onward march of Amazon Prime, businesses have to think long and hard about how they can offer next day delivery at attractive prices, or risk losing out to the big players. 
  • Payments - Think back to how many times recently you have bought something from Amazon simply because it's easier when they have your card and address details already on file. What's more, as of 2016, phone and contactless payments are here to stay. When did you last talk to your payment solutions provider (PSP) with regards to one click payments?
  • Content - The mantra 'Content is King' wasn't invented last year, or the year before. It's been around for ages. But as competition for ecommerce eyeballs grows it becomes even more important to create content and create a solid brand that will make a compelling case for your products over anybody else's (eg. Amazon).
So, as always, success in ecommerce is about a strong proposition, a decent site and a disciplined approach to marketing and communication. Hard work, not gimmicks, will win the day in 2017.

If you want help reviewing your recent performance and identifying areas where you could create a step-change in results this year, do get in touch. We have over ten years experience helping ecommerce businesses grow, and we'd love to help you.