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How to Benefit From E-Commerce Trends

by Lily O'Halloran


As an online retailer, it is imperative to stay on top of the latest e-commerce trends. E-commerce trends can help you decide where to list products for sale, how to attract new customers, and what factors influence a customer to make a purchase. Learn how to turn consumer trends into profitable sales by following a few quick and easy techniques.


New Trends Lead towards E-Commerce Growth

The Internet is changing the way consumers purchase products. A growing number of consumers use the Internet to research products, whether they intend to purchase the product online or in a brick and mortar (B&M) store. Statistics also show that the amount of money spent per online order is increasing. This fact shows us that consumers are becoming more comfortable using the Internet as a medium for their purchasing needs. However, many consumers still want to remain as anonymous as possible when ordering online. The secret to your success is using these current trends, as well as other trends we will discuss, to generate more traffic to your business and increase your sales.

The current generation of Internet users relies heavily on social networking services and collaborative knowledge to learn about up-and-coming products, new technologies, and how well certain products perform. You can see examples of this behavior by the ever-popular MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other virtual communities. Product review websites, such as consumerreports.org, consumerresearch.com, epinions.com, and pricegrabber.com, are becoming handy go-to sources for consumers interested in researching a product before buying. Many consumers use the Internet to decide what products to buy – not necessarily where to buy them. This trend provides you with an opportunity to entice those customers to buy from your business.


Strategies You Can Use to Increase Sales

Now that you aware of current e-commerce trends, you may be wondering how to capitalize on them. I am going to teach you a few quick and easy techniques that you can implement in your business to increase your sales. The two most important concepts to incorporate into your business are: provide honest product reviews, and make shopping easy. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Well, it is. I’ll expand further on each tip to provide you with a solid technique to implement right away.

Consumers love product reviews. Think about it, it’s true. How many times have you used the Internet to research a product that you might be interested in purchasing? Chances are pretty good that you have indeed researched a product online. You can implement product reviews in your business by a few different means. If you sell your products by listing them online at retailers, such as eBay or Amazon, then add product reviews into your product listings. Product reviews sell the product by enticing customers to obtain specific results. Your listing will have the benefit of a full-time sales person. The listings should include information regarding product features as well as the benefits gained from using the product.

Your options increase when you own your own web site. Message boards are a great way to share product information and gain honest product reviews. Consumers can also use message boards to ask questions or discuss concerns they may have. Message boards provide you with a chance to reach your customers and build their trust. Trust is a key element in the success of retailers; even more so with online retailers, because the customer is not able to walk into the store and speak with someone. Trust is essential; message boards enable you to build consumer trust and loyalty.

Blogs are another popular option that can be added to your own web site or anywhere on the web. A blog in a location other than your web site can be used to discuss how great your business is and to promote products. You can sell more products by writing compelling product reviews on blogs and linking them to your business. Enabling comments will allow customers to join in on the enthusiasm. Product reviews should not only boast the benefits of the product, but they should also show why your product is better than a competitor’s product.

Spread the word about your web site as much as possible. Blogs and your own message board are great, but don’t forget to use MySpace, Facebook, and any other virtual community where millions of people hang out. Your potential audience on any of those web sites is huge. Not only will you be able to reach a diverse population, you get to do it for free! Share your love for the products you sell and encourage others to discuss the products as well. Be careful not to post sales information on message boards or blogs that prohibit ads.

Internet users want instant gratification -- this includes online shoppers. Make shopping simple. A customer should be able to navigate products easily, and be able to find any product within a few quick clicks. If customers are required to search a web site for more than a couple minutes to find a product, they will leave. Same goes for product information. It is essential to have all important product facts in each product description, especially dimensions, volume, weight, or materials used – depending on the type of product. Another pet peeve among many shoppers is the requirement to register at a web site before buying. You might want to consider implementing a quick buy option that allows customer to order without registering, or entice them to register by offering an email discount or some other benefit.



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