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Ecommerce Trends to Watch in 2016

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 22/02/2016 Margarita Hakobyan

As 2016 begins to gain momentum, it's time to consider what lies ahead for eCommerce businesses. What are the biggest trends that your business will need to ride in this upcoming year? The experts have weighted in.
2016 is poised to be an amazing year in eCommerce
We're still seeing the effect of a variety of changes at Google last year, and the increasing prevalence of "sponsored" results on Google searches may change the behavior of customers. Social media outlets are making commerce easier, with Twitter and Facebook both announcing the inclusion of Buy buttons on certain pages, to make it easier for customers to shop online.
Smartphone revenue to overtake desktop
According to Silviya Dineva, 2016 will be the year that smartphone revenue will finally overtake revenue generated on desktop platforms. Smartphones have penetrated deeply, and more and more users are comfortable shopping on their phones.
What does this mean for your business? Make sure that your mobile platform experience is smooth and user friendly. Make sure that any testers look at websites on many different platforms, and pay specific attention to any pop-ups that appear on your website. It's frustrating enough to try and use a non optimized website on a smartphone, but if your customers get a pop-up that they can't get rid of because of their phone, they're going to give up and shop from your competition.
Increases in smartphone revenue mean that your mobile optimization is more important than ever before.
Less reliance on Google
2016 will be the year when businesses will stop relying quite so much on Google to bring them free traffic. The fact that when customers search on mobile, many of the top results are paid ads, meaning that the customer has to scroll farther to find organic results.
What does this mean for your business? Your marketing team needs to start looking for channels outside of Google. While Google talks about the importance of SEO, their own reliance on paid ads for their revenue is showing, and is affecting the very companies that are trying to build their businesses.
Other channels will likely include social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Creating shareable, high quality content is king on these platforms, and while SEO is obviously important, high quality content is the real necessity. Businesses that don't invest in content through non-Google channels are going to lose out.
Mobile payment following the Starbucks model
Another prediction from Gourd has to do with mobile payments and loyalty programs. He believes that customers are finally ready to accept the mobile wallet, and just need a reason to do so. Starbucks, the coffee chain, has been incredibly successful with their mobile app that offers rewards, delivers coupons and deals, and allows users to pay with their phones.
What does this mean for your business? You need to consider, first of all, if your business will support this model. If your business is mostly online, of course, this will be less helpful for you. But for locations that are both brick-and-mortar and online, this is a powerful tool in your arsenal. Make sure to work with a reputable app development company that can insure adequate security for your customers' information.

Successful return of the pop-up

Catalin Zorzini, an experienced web designer and blogger says that 2016 is going to be the year that the pop-up returns to the Internet. We began to see this in 2015; Zorzini predicts that 2016 will see the pop-up become ubiquitous in commercial websites.
What does this mean for your business? The pop-ups that users are seeing aren't the barely honest ad offers that we remember from the early millennium Internet. Instead, modern pop-ups are easy to dismiss, don't return if the user closes them, and tend to offer something free in exchange for an email address.
If you want to use pop-ups on your company's website, first make sure that your freebie giveaway is worthwhile. You have very little real estate to pitch the offer, so make sure your language is targeted and direct. Also, make the pop-up easy to dismiss. If your customer is convinced yet, you don't want them to be so irritated that they navigate away without looking at your site first.
What do you think will emerge as the biggest trend in 2016's eCommerce marketplace?

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