Every year has its ups, downs, and trends. As we embark upon 2016, we wonder what the year ahead will look like, particularly what the future of e-commerce will look like. We know that in our rapidly-growing society consumers demand convenience and mobile-friendly services. But let’s take a deeper look at what will impact e-commerce in 2016.
It is nearly impossible to have a discussion about the future of anything without factoring in Millennials—those young, hip, Internet-obsessed kids who will one day take over the planet. Millennials have very specific demands when it comes to almost everything, which causes financial businesses to have a difficult time appealing to this generation. Although they relish in the convenience of online banking, a large percentage of them don’t have/use credit cards (Bank Rate).
So, alternative lending platforms are trying to use their unconventional appeal to attract the Internet generation. Lending startups and apps such as Earnestand Affirm are hoping that short-term loans with specific deadlines, payment amounts, and timeframes will draw out credit-hesitant Millennials.
Mobile Pay Options
Using your mobile-pay-enabled smart phone in stores and businesses is just going to continue to increase. What once seemed like something out of “The Jetsons” is becoming common practice. Beyond ApplePay, more and more e-commerce technologies are taking it to the streets, if you will, and letting you, nay, encouraging you, to pay via mobile device.
Online commerce giant PayPal is even getting into the action with its acquisitions of Paydiant and digital wallet Venmo, hoping to capture coveted Millennials and offer in-store payment options. Venmo works similarly to PayPal, but you can pay and transfer money to anyone you'd like—even if they do not have a Venmo account—and, of course, it incorporates a social element as well.
The line between on- and off-line will continue to blur as consumers demand more convenience. And mobile pay will do away with the old “I forgot my wallet excuse” since we never seem to be without our phones!
Automatic And Integrated
Convenience is the most common thread when looking at e-commerce trends—we want it now! Or, we at least want to be able to order it now, quickly and easily! We’ve become totally accustomed to ordering items online (via computer and/or mobile device) with the click of a button and expecting it to magically arrive within a few days.
So, smart businesses are continuing to make that even easier. Remember several years ago when personal printers began integrating software that would allow you to easily reorder ink online when your printer began to run low? Well, the automation and integration of the future blows that away!
Online shopping behemoth, Amazon.com not only offers one-touch shopping and automatic repurchase, it now offers Dash, a home-based delivery device that allows you to order frequently used—and easily forgotten—household items, such as laundry detergent, paper towels, soap, etc. with the quick click of a button. As soon as you run low on something, just click on Dash and never be without it—you don’t even have to pick up your phone anymore!
Rumors abound that more and more items will offer integration, such as appliances and other household items. Plus, MasterCard hopes to integrate the “wearable payment” technology from the Apple Watch into more wearable jewelry, such as bracelets and rings. Move over, magic decoder rings!
To 2016…And Beyond!
So the future of e-commerce looks like this: mobile convenience. The easier you make it, the more likely consumers are to purchase items. Online shopping continues to lead, but remember much of that is done via device. According to research by Shopify, 50.3% of online sales come from mobile devices. Apps and mobile-friendly shopping sites will be industry profit leaders as will unconventional lenders and innovative payment platforms.
With the changes that 2016 will bring about, make sure that your marketing technique is changing with it. For some helpful tricks, check out our free e-book!