The world of Ecommerce is always changing and evolving, with new trends going in and out of style in the blink of an eye. It can be tough to decide if a trend is worth jumping on, or if it'll really benefit your business in the long run. Sometimes sticking with old ways of doing things is better than trying to keep up with the times. But it's never good to get left behind. This article will give you a few tips for how to decide if a trend is a good fit for your business.
The only way you'll know which trends to follow is by knowing what trends there are in the first place. There are a few good ways to stay on top of an industry that is always fluctuating. First, identify who the "influencers" are in your particular field. These individuals are the movers and shakers, the ones who are constantly innovating and making new paths for the rest of the world to follow. For instance, the first few airlines to follow CORSIA may have seemed ridiculous to the rest of the airline industry, but years later they are seen as innovators. Pay attention to whoever is doing new, exciting, and risky things in the business, because they might just be the new trend setters.
Second, follow the relevant publications in your industry and make sure you're reading on a consistent basis. Whether it's a regularly issued journal or a handful of well-written blogs, it's important to stay informed on who is doing what so you can jump on the next big thing. Trends within your particular niche, not just in the Ecommerce industry, are also important to follow. For instance, if you're selling home decor it's important to know trends within that industry, in addition to your own.
Use the Data
Within an Ecommerce business, data is constantly being collected on both your shoppers and your products. It would be a huge waste of resources not to take advantage of this data when deciding if a new trend is worth following. If you can identify the needs your customers have that aren't being met, or areas of your business that could be streamlined, then you can more easily decide if a change needs to be made. The more data you are harvesting and interpreting, the more knowledgeable you'll be about your business overall. Whether you're setting up a focus group within the business or delegating the data collection to market research, you'll be using one of your most valuable resources to its full potential.
Watch the Competition
While you are trying to stay ahead of the competition, it's likely they're going to show you a lot about what you could be doing better. It may seem counter intuitive, but learning from the competition is one of the best ways to decide if a trend will be beneficial for your business or not. If they're innovating in a way that seems to be working well for them, it might be time to try the trend out for yourself. On the other hand, their experiments may not work out for them, and that will give you an idea of what to avoid. Keeping your "enemies" close is a great way to avoid being left behind in your industry, so don't neglect to observe what the competition is up to.
Get Customer Feedback
While gathering data on your customers can be incredibly effective and accurate, nothing can replace direct feedback from the customers themselves. Whether you're sending out surveys or asking for reviews, it's important to know if the entire purchasing experience went well and what could be changed for it to go even better the next time. Even if customers are going through with a purchase, it's possible that a certain frustration or hitch will prevent them from coming back again, so make sure you're regularly gathering feedback and making improvements along the way.
This will also be a great indication that you need to hop on certain trends to make the customer experience more ideal, such as increasing the payment options at checkout. You might have the best product, website layout and checkout process in the world, but you'll never know if it's perfect unless you hear about it from the customers themselves. Certain Ecommerce trends might be useless for your business, but others may be the answer to a specific problem your customers are having.
Staying ahead of the curve in Ecommerce is always going to involve knowing and following certain trends. Being innovative in your industry will help attract new customers, make more sales, and set you apart from the competition. By using these four tips to help you make a decision, taking risks will get a lot less risky, and making future decisions will get a lot easier.