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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 20, 2015

Expert: The ecomm trends to watch in 2016

As we move toward the new year, one expert offers insight into what trends will impact ecommerce brands in the coming months.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What trend will be the most impactful for brands in 2016?

Jim Davidson, Head of Research, Bronto Software: Personalization should be at the top of the list of 2016 New Year's resolutions. With so many shopping choices, commerce marketers need to get the right content to the right customer at the right time. But they also need to automate and optimize the process, reserving resources for the development of creative campaigns that will make the personalization that much more effective.

Commerce marketers must be savvy to personalization, employ automation and ultimately optimize their encounters with customers to improve engagement and long-term brand loyalty.

Kristina: How important will mobile be for brands next year?

Jim: If 2015 was the year of mobile, 2016 is the year of getting mobile right. It's critical to understand how shoppers use mobile devices and craft a plan that works for your particular organization. For example, if you aren't selling a product people order daily or weekly (think pizza, coffee or groceries), don't waste money investing in a shopping app. Your budget is better spent making sure your website is mobile-friendly, uses the latest in responsive design best practices and allows customers to engage and enhance their shopping experience.

Kristina: One Bronto survey of U.S. consumers from earlier this year shows 76% of [shoppers] prefers to use mobile browsers vs. 24% who prefer apps. What does this mean for brands moving forward?

Jim: For web-only retailers, Google's algorithm announcement on giving an added boost to mobile-friendly sites should have already caught your attention. But being mobile-friendly isn't just about SEO. Customers increasingly use their phones to window shop, to check out prices when they are in the store, or park items in a shopping cart to look at later. Having a clunky mobile interface discourages shoppers from shopping with you.

A Bronto survey showed something startling: The percent of homes with a desktop computer or laptop fell in 2015 compared to 2014, while tablet ownership and smartphone ownership increased by double-digits. The same consumers do prefer shopping and buying on desktop computers and laptops, but we wonder for how much longer, especially given that 23% of online shoppers ages 18-29 prefer shopping on a smartphone. Whether omnichannel or online only, make your mobile shopping experience inviting, engaging and worthy of the return trip.

Tags: 2016 ecommerce predictions, Bronto Software, ecommerce, ecommerce trends

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