In business, the products that have the best user experience usually end up winning. The products that are so intuitive that you don’t need to open up a manual to learn how to operate it. The ones that create the least amount of headaches and the greatest amount of joy end up getting the consumers attention and pocketbook. And to create great user experiences, businesses need to stay agile and stay responsive to change. They also need to be one step ahead of the curve.
In the eCommerce world, things like product selection, pricing, shipping, and customer service all play an important role in the customer experience. We see a company like Amazon really trying to stay ahead of the curve on shipping by their proposed use of drones to deliver small packages. In some parts of the US there is also Sunday delivery. For customer service, Zappos is a company that has built its reputation on delighting customers.
So we see how companies like Amazon are continuing to innovate in eCommerce. The space will continue to evolve in the direction of providing customers with more selection at better prices and faster shipping. But these are all logistics. There are other elements that play an important role in delighting users. Going forward they’ll continue to be important and companies certainly don’t want to be left behind. Let’s run through some of these important areas.
Screen resolutions are only going to get better. We won’t be going backwards. As we look towards the future, companies will need to ensure their website is ready for these high resolution displays. Elements like product photos become a priority for needing an overhaul.
A survey by Instart Logic revealed that only 6% of online retailers are ready for retina devices. As retina devices become more popular, 100% of online retailers will need to adapt to this technology. People want to see visual detail of products, they don’t want pixelated images.
As a general rule, it’s best to shoot for image quality that is about 300 pixels per inch.
Mobile commerce is another trend that is here to stay. eMarketer estimates that in the year 2014, one fifth of all eCommerce sales will take place on a mobile device.
By now all stores should be optimized for mobile. A visitor should easily be able to view images and make purchases via their phone or tablet. There should be no pinch and zoom required, all images and buttons should have even proportions, and users should be able to find products quickly with their prices clearly labeled.
Users shouldn’t have to settle for a downgraded experience when they browse on mobile. It should work just as well as it does on desktop.
The future of eCommerce will have more personalization. David Selinger, CEO of RichRelevance says, “personalization will be the differentiating factor in e-commerce and digital commerce going forward, especially for multichannel retailers and new entrants online.”
In some industries it will be more critical than others. Fashion, for example, will benefit greatly from personalization. An algorithm being able to offer accurate suggestions on what to buy will overtime replace personal shoppers.
Personalization will go beyond just suggested selling. The next wave will help the consumer discover new products that help the consumer save money while also giving them a product more fit for their needs.
The ones that can innovate the most in this space will be one step ahead of their competitors.
Today’s infographic gives us all sorts of stats around eCommerce. Read on to learn about where we are today and where we’re heading.
About the Author: Zach Bulygo is a blogger for KISSmetrics, you can follow him on Twitter.