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According to a report published by eMarketer in 2016, the trade and commerce sector will experience double-digit growth until 2020. During this period sales are expected to increase by over $4 trillion.
It’s clear that only a handful of industries can boast about such a beaming future. To make sense of our rapidly changing industry, we’ve compiled for you some of the most disruptive and potentially beneficial trends in e-commerce that marketers and consumers can expect to see in the very near future.
Greater Integration of Machine Learning and AI
Given the increase in marketing and business automation, it is inevitable that the commercial sector will continue to be influenced by a deeper level of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the years ahead.
In fact, machine learning is already integrated into today’s leading e-commerce retailers. In the upcoming years, however, additional e-commerce retailers will increasingly utilize the many benefits that machine learning offers in order to maintain their competitive edge.

Additionally, product recommendations, upsells, product bundles, as well as inventory forecasts, are also poised to become even more accurate and helpful. As a move away from keyword and human-based recommendations occur, merchants with a wider range of signals for product purchases history will become evident. In essence, retailers will have the power to know what the customer wants, before the customer does.

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Voice search
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to talk about retail search without mentioning the advent of voice search. In the near future voice will be one of the leading drivers of online sales innovation, specifically with consumers on the go.

With an increase in the adoption of smart home appliances such as amazons echo and Googles Home, retail purchases are witnessing the incorporation of voice search,
Voice search, particularly in the smart speaker market, is not just a matter for convenience and neatness anymore, but it is the next stage for customer loyalty. For instance, the sales completed via Amazon Echo units also provided retailers with many new selling opportunities, with upsell rates of more than 60% for some product lines.
Faster shipping and better delivery logistics
One of the very few remaining differentiators when it comes to e-commerce sectors is the time and quality of delivery logistics that a retailer carries out. As we all know, Amazon is the indisputable king of e-commerce delivery and seems to remain firm on its throne for the coming future. Even more intriguing is the data on Amazon’s fastest deliveries- just eight minutes for a forehead thermometer and a mere nine minutes for 5 pints of ice cream.
We’re not too far away from a time when we can expect Amazon and other e-commerce retailers to step up their logistics game and offer their customers lower delivery times and better services.
Unprecedented growth in mobile checkout systems and IoT
These days, without mentioning the use of mobile checkouts and payment systems, anticipated e-commerce trends would not be complete. Mobile payment has been one of the most brilliant changes to the way people shop since e-commerce has skyrocketed. The mobile payment market has increased steadily since 2015, and now there are ten different systems available today. These also include Apple pay and Google pay as well as proprietary offerings from different banks including Chase and Softbank.
With ongoing innovations and new technologies being introduced daily, the e-commerce sector has and will continue to witness one of the fastest evolutionary shifts that the industry has ever seen.

Growing a successful Shopify eCommerce store can be quite a challenge. Working towards that goal requires you to conduct optimization, while consistently providing a positive customer experience.
When optimizing your eCommerce site, one of the things you need to keep in mind is that consumer behavior has changed over the last couple of years. So, it’s always a good idea to start with who your target customers are, and what their online shopping journey looks like. To get you started, here are some quick and effective tactics to help you out.

#1: Retarget Your Existing Customers
One of the best ways to get your customers to come back after they’ve interacted with your products or content is by retargeting them. Facebook and Google retargeting are two topics you or your marketing need to implement towards a solid retargeting strategy.

Your previous customers have already bought from you. Great! You’ve already built trust (more on that a little later). Have you told them about your latest product launch, or put your latest products at the top of their social feeds? If not, it is high time to let them know.

#2: Integrate Video Ads
No one has time to scroll through the massive content. This is why videos help convert better. Generally, websites with videos convert 88% better than those without. A recent report also found that conversion on pages with video was 160% higher than normal – that adds up to a lot of traffic and revenue. See the rest of the case study in Tracking the Effect of Product Videos on eCommerce Conversions.

#3: Increase Trustworthiness
At the top of this post, in point 1 we touched on the importance of building customer trust and how to leverage that words more sales. Let’s dive into that a little more. Think back at some of the sites you recently bought from. What made you choose them over another? Would you buy from a website, which you know nothing of? Definitely not. That’s why ensuring that your site and company are trustworthy. 

Trust in eCommerce is slightly different than our normal understanding of trust though. Consider a business transaction at a brick and mortar location. You’ve seen the store before, and you recognize the name. Inside a person greets and assists you with your purchase. After paying, you leave the store with a real, physical good.
Online eCommerce stores should utilize trust badges, trust seals, logos of your payment providers, the little secure “lock” icon on the browser. Each of these little additions are trust indicators that add to the final “trust” factor and can nudge up your customer trust and get them to buy.
Since your customers are paying big bucks for your product, provide them with a secure gateway. Invest in an SSL certificate to show that you are trustworthy. Also include badges from antivirus companies, after making sure your site is virus free.

#4: Optimize For Mobile
Most, if not all of your viewers visit your site from their cell phones. So, mobile optimization is a big factor in conversion. Make sure that your site loads properly and they get all the facility that they are looking for.
You need to focus on the following for better conversions

  • Speed
  • Convenience
  • Personalization
  • Preference & Settings
  • Checkout & Ease of Payment

#5: Use Photos for Customer Testimonials
Would you trust anything said by anyone, especially when you don’t know that person? No, Same is the case with your future customers. They need to see the face of your previous customers to know that they are legitimate. Once you have established that fact, you would have more conversions.

#6: Offer Discounts
Discounts bring in more clients and more conversion. If you are worried about your profit margin, then raise the price and offer a discount. This is one of the age-old methods of converting your visitors to clients.

#7: Promote Your Site
Well, you might have the best site available in the market. However, if people do not know about it, how will they buy from you? This is why you should run paid promotions for your website, especially during the holiday season. Keep in mind however paid media can get pricey, so as with all the points in this post, do your research first or hire experienced professionals.

Special times or the festivities are always a time when people spend money. So, if you provide the best service or products, no one can deny buying from you.

#8: Create A Send of Urgency
People buy most when they fear that they might be missing out. So, if you offer a deal, offer it for a limited period. This will urge buyers to spend the money on your products. However, don’t make the safe offers again. For example, if you are offering a discount, vary the discount amount, each time you are starting over.

#9: Offer Different Payment Methods
Offering different payment methods allow people to spend more money. If you only accept credit cards, people paying through debit card or any other methods won’t be able to purchase. So, always keep options open.

#10: Humanize Your Business
This sounds like an easy tip to Having a story behind your brand helps to humanize your brand. If you can, upload some videos of production of the products. This will help people to see why they should trust you and buy from you.
If for any reason, you see a slow sales season, then it is time to ramp up your efforts. Changing your marketing strategy or adding some specials on your site might help you increase sales at the time.
You can also use customer testimonials and other methods of eCommerce optimization for better results.

Today’s leading Shopify merchants know that having a great looking eCommerce site and traffic is no longer enough to stay competitive. Even with a good amount of traffic, you need to ensure it’s optimized for maximum conversions.
To help give Shopify online business owners an advantage, we’ve put together a sales optimization guide. Even for the most experienced online retailers, it never hurts to review if you’ve missed out on any of the essential optimization tips. Getting these right will also assist in improving your search rank. Bonus!
#1: PRODUCT HEADLINES & TITLES
Your headline or title is the first chance to grab the audience’s attention. It also tells people what they can expect from the page and the products it includes. This is why your headline should be attention-grabbing. However, don’t forget to use your main keyword in the title. We’re going for a little extra search engine rank after all.
#2: HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCT IMAGES
Having low-quality images or unprofessional product shots almost always leads to lower sales. Invest in professional product images. If required, hire a professional photographer and editor who will take care of your images.

#3: CONSTANTLY REVIEW YOUR ANALYTICS
One of the biggest advantages online retailers have is access to analytics tools and services. Sure, Shopify comes bake in with its own analytics dashboard and Google Analytics is usually the ‘GO TO’ analytics solution, but it still only delivers part of the information you need. HotJar, for example, is an amazing solution that delivers visual recordings of your site visitors is another solution you should already be using. Additionally, Curve is rolling our predictive analytics for Shopify owners. If you use BigCommerce, you can also go for BigCommerce analytics.
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#4: KEEP YOUR MENU EASY TO NAVIGATE
This may sound like a fairly basic point, but we still see far too many online merchants create confusing links and navigation menus that frustrate online shoppers.  In addition to the header links, you should also include footer links, which will help your audience to scroll through the pages.

#5: PERFECT YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION
Why should people buy from you instead of your competitors? Understanding and communicating what sets you apart will not only help your business in the long run, but also create deeper engagement with your visitors, Competing on price isn’t always the best solution, and it’s certainly not the most cost-effective. There should be value in your product and your audience should know that. Include value proposition in the product copy on the product page.
#6: TARGETED ON SITE SEARCH
How would you feel if there is no search bar on a website? ProbablyDoubtful or frustrated, correct? Always take a step back and put yourself in your customer’s place and try to identify issues that may doubt your site during any part of the sales funnel. That includes a clean and easy to find on-site search.
#7: EMAIL COLLECTION POP UP
Emails are the best way to connect with your audience. However, if you don’t collect emails, how will you contact them. In your website, there should be a pop up to collect the email of the visitors.
#8: LIVE CHAT
Everyone loves a support staff clearing out their doubts, even if it is an online store. Having a live chat platform will help your audience to connect with you. They will feel that you are attending them in person, which plays a big role in the conversion of visitors to buyers.

#9: CALL TO ACTION
Well, you wanted users to visit your website, and they did. Now, what do you want them to do? Obviously, you’d want them to buy from you. This should reflect in your call to action. Your home page should also have a clear call to action, which will help your users decide on what they want to buy.
#10: SHIPPING & RETURN POLICY
One of the biggest fears online shoppers have is being unsure about shipping and return policies, set their fears to ease by putting your policies front and center (as long as they’re good policies). This will not only help your customers but also you in case of a legal dispute. Having a defined policy in place will show your customers that you are a reliable and trustworthy brand.
Now that you have these tips and checklist ready, it’s time for you to start putting it to work. Run through each of the points and carefully assess how well your Shopify site rankS for each of these points.