Global Online Shopping Trends

Online shopping continues to advance from a niche business model to a do-or-die component of modern retail. More eCommerce brands than ever are turning to an all-digital market, and brick-and-mortar stores are rapidly transitioning to a brick-and-click model, with equal emphasis on digital and physical sales.

Digital business firm iVentures Consulting put its finger on the pulse of the modern eCommerce retail scene to see what trends popped up. Their report, published just recently on March 18, 2015, was compiled after mystery shoppers examined 111 well-known eCommerce brands.

In light of this 2015 eShopper Index report, here are the most telling trends from major eCommerce retailers:

Content Marketing

Small, professional, locally-based brands across the world are realizing the power of content marketing. Now, so are major retailers. Many originate engaging content covering a variety of subjects, including:

  • Product updates
  • Company culture updates, such as a recent charity drive
  • Industry updates, such as trade shows and new technology
  • Evergreen content, such as top 5 lists
  • Tips on using products or aspects related to products
  • Lifestyle topics, such as the best places to dine in Paris for an upscale clothing brand

iVenture found that 61 percent of websites regularly updated this sort of content in a blog or magazine format, and 50 percent took the editorial approach.

Among most brands, fashion or not, 65 percent used some sort of photography content to engage and help convert customers. Most were “lookbooks” capturing products being used in an artistic way. This content not only benefitted the content on the website, but it provided fodder for social media campaigns, such as Instagram and Facebook.

Video Product Demonstrations

Along with entertaining content, brands are also branching out on the type of media they use in normal site functions. Video product details are appearing more and more often, especially with fashion-forward brands like Saks Fifth Avenue. They allow visitors to click on a video player to see the product from multiple angles and in motion, giving a fuller sense of the product than a “flat” picture.

Personalized Offerings

Many sites are taking advantage of new data sources and robust analytics dashboards to help leverage past customer behavior. They use this information to create specialized and highly-targeted home pages for site visitors. Sites like Amazon, eBay and American Apparel all display products related to ones the visitor viewed or bought within the past several months.

This strategy can be a powerful tool for increasing order frequency and volume. American Apparel reported a whopping 59% sales lift when they implemented the program between 2011 and 2012.

Despite this clear advantage, iVenture noticed that only 13 percent of the 111 sites reviewed implemented personalized offerings in this way. Smaller brands have the potential to get ahead of bigger name competitors by adopting personalized customer pages in the near future.

Many sites were also using a similar approach to send promotional offers that were razor targeted to increase a sense of excitement and urgency to customers. Whether through email or on-site notices, these instant, extremely-limited offers had a tendency to convert sales from shoppers that would have otherwise hesitated or price checked with competitors.

Thrive Commerce has created a deal discovery platform that helps eCommerce brands manage and create these offers. Advanced analytics suggest the types of offers that trigger the desired responses, and a management platform ensures that all of your offers are being monitored even through multiple venues like email, social media and display. To learn more about how our platform can revolutionize your customer relations, visit our home page.

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