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The Future of E-Commerce Websites Over the Next 12 Months

Continuing the idea of what the next 12 months is going to entail for web design and
different aspects of Internet marketing, we are going to look at the kind of future that is predicted for e-commerce websites throughout 2017. This is clearly something that will be of interest to a number of people and we are not just talking about those that are looking at taking the leap into the e-commerce world. Instead, we are also thinking about those currently in the industry and who may wish to take advantage of the changes that are coming.

1. The Use of Chat Bots.

This is something that is really starting to appear and it is predicted that the use of chat bots is going to gain real momentum over the next 12 months. Basically, this means that a bot pops up on the screen and it becomes almost like a personal shopper for the visitor.

By interacting with the bot, it means that the customer is going to be in a better position to find the things that they are looking for and overall it will be making the entire shopping experience a bit more pleasant.

2. An Increase in Live Support.

This is different to the chat bot mentioned above as we are talking about an actual customer service representative rather than a bot. However, the idea is still the same in that the visitor is able to interact with someone from the website. This means they can deal with issues, orders, a whole host of things and that is why more websites are including software such as ZenDesk to make the entire process that bit easier.

This is something that can be easily implemented into your website and it is certainly one thing that you should give some serious consideration to. It has been shown in research that the average sale does increase as a direct result of this live support so the benefits of it do really outweigh the potential costs to you especially as it increases customer satisfaction.

3. Yet Another Increase in Mobile Usage.

Even though you will clearly be aware of the fact that mobile usage is always on the increase, it is known that there will be a huge push for it in 2017 with e-commerce. It is believed that the average person now goes to their smartphone more than 150 times a day and yet it is also understood that as little as 14% of e-commerce retailers are actually taking advantage of this.

With mobile usage, it is anticipated that there will be an increase in the number of websites that allow forms to be filled in automatically or the use of mobile money wallets. These should be incorporated into your e-commerce website as early as possible as the push is really towards helping individuals to have a better all-round experience when it comes to shopping online via their smartphones.

4. Using a Prime Like Experience.

There is no doubt that Amazon really changed the game of shopping online when they introduced their Prime package. The fact that people get faster deliver and better customer service in general has led to a huge number of people signing up each month just to get these rewards.

However, the rest of the online world has been slightly slow in catching up with this and that is one area that is going to change in the forthcoming 12 months.

Expect websites to be looking at ways to speed up delivery times and also the returns procedure to be made a lot easier. This is especially true for apparel websites where the number of returns remains predictably high due to the fact that people need to try on the clothing before they know if they like it. If people are then of the opinion that returning items is easy, then they are more likely to complete purchases in the first place.

5. The Impact of Social Selling.

You know that social media has a huge impact on marketing and advertising, but there is going to be a real push towards social selling in 2017.

This is where websites are going to really link up with the likes of their Instagram page but where people are taken from the images they post directly to the items so they can buy them. Now, you might be sitting thinking that this has already been done, but so many companies have been lagging behind and just hope that people go from a profile to their website. This is what is changing and there are several services out there that will help such as Curalate and Soldsie.

The thing that you have to remember with e-commerce is that this is something that is worth a huge amount of money. The entire time there is a need to keep trying to simplify the sales process and making life so much easier for your visitors. Anything that can improve their shopping experience really should be welcomed with open arms throughout 2017.

Is Social Media Important For My Website?

The Internet has certainly evolved for business owners in the last decade. Indeed, it is not that long ago that even the idea of having a website was completely new with so many business owners feeling as if they were entering uncharted territory. They were often left feeling unsure as to whether or not this was something that their business wanted before finally accepting that not having a site left them at the mercy of their competitors.

Is Social Media ImportantFast forward a few years and you had the emergency of social networking websites with it all really starting off with MySpace. Sure, they then almost vanished without a trace after Facebook took control of that particular market followed by the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, and now Pinterest, but the one thing that was clear from the outset was the role that these websites played for businesses.

Now, it is essential for the success of both your website and your business social media profile that the two of them are linked. Indeed, the recent changes to the search algorithm by Google, which means how they calculate where you appear on the search engine results, actually focuses on social media and your links on there. Quite simply, if you only have one, then you need to get the other and then have them interlinked in every possible way.

Why is this so important?

So do you want to know why this is so important? Quite simply it is because of the way in which people now view social media. There is such a level of trust being applied to profiles on these websites as well as people paying more attention to how a business or person interacts on there rather than anywhere else. In some ways, there are people that feel that having a social media profile gives extra credence to the business as if they would not trust them if they did not have a profile.

There is of course also the fact that sites such as Facebook are wonderful marketing opportunities for companies and indeed this is something that you simply cannot afford to miss out on. Studies have shown that people are now looking at social networking websites more than ever to not only learn about a company, but to also see what others are saying about it. If you are not on there, then the chances of them taking action when they read comments from customers and actively looking for you will be very slim indeed and you must not miss out on that opportunity.

What you need to do.

This does then beg the question as to what you as a business need to do. To be honest, you just need to make sure that you have both a profile on the relevant sites as well as a website and put links between the two. With your website, think about having updates to your Facebook or Twitter appearing on your site to encourage people to go there and join you as well as bookmarking your site. On the other hand, make sure that if you have a blog on your site that it is linked to your Facebook or Twitter account so it is announced on there when you have made a new post. It is amazing how much traffic this can generate and it is traffic that can be extremely useful to your business.

How it will change opinions of you.

People will automatically view you as being a business that keeps up to date with the latest marketing trends if you have both a website and a social media profile. However, it is important that you are active on both and do not allow accounts to just lie dormant. People love to see some action even if it is just updates on what is happening with your business or any special offers that you have available. People also enjoy seeing a business respond do its customers, or potential customers, and sites such as Facebook allow this to happen in the public domain whereas with a website it is all done via email and in private.

You also need to remember that social networking is free marketing, so there is really nothing to lose by setting it up and being active on these websites. Careful analysis of the visitors to your actual website can also show how many are clicking through from your profiles and you will be quite surprised as to the percentage of people in a very short period of time. The only problem is that it does depend on you to continue to use the profiles or all of the initial hard work will be undone.

So if you are lacking either a social media profile or a website, then it is important that you rectify this immediately for the sake of your business. Make your life as easy as possible by hiring a professional web designer to make sure that both aspects are working in conjunction with one another just the way they should. Your competitors are already doing this, and you may even see links on their website, so it would be madness from a business point of view to not also take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

Do yourself and your business a favor and contact Webfoot Designs today to see how we can help you take your website into the world of social media.