4 key ecommerce trends to watch in 2015

As people use their computers and smartphones to purchase everything from high-end electronics to groceries, ecommerce is only growing in popularity. According to Entrepreneur magazine, 2014 hit an all-time high of $1.3 trillion in ecommerce sales and the number of regular users continues to grow.

“There was $1.3 trillion in ecommerce sales in 2014.”

However, along with these indicators of success, there’s also plenty of competition. If you want your business to make a name for itself on an ecommerce marketplace and stand out among competitors, it’s important to follow industry trends closely. Check out these four trends so you can capitalize on a growing consumer base in 2015.

1. Establish a presence in India 
Advertising and selling to people in foreign markets isn’t a new trend in ecommerce. However, one of the emerging markets that’s expected to become increasingly involved with and important to ecommerce is India.

According to Indian small business magazine Your Story, one of the reasons that the country is poised to become more important to online retailers is the growth of Internet access and mobile devices. There are roughly 1 billion mobile users in India, with about 200 million more connected devices expected to be added during 2015, Your Story reported.

With a quickly transforming economy and a booming population, India is the perfect target for any ecommerce site. However, Your Story explained that because it’s still an emerging economy, small businesses and entrepreneurs have an even better opportunity by getting more value on impactful marketing.

“India is expected to add 200 million more mobile devices in 2015.”

Start transforming your website and app to handle Indian traffic with professional translation services. Although English is one of the official languages of India, people are substantially more likely to purchase in their native language and trust the company that they’re buying from. Focus on Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Telugu translation and localization services to attract a wide array of Indian users.

2. Focus on mobile design 
It’s not just Indian users who are buying on their smartphones. Populations all over the world are seeing massive jumps in ecommerce action over mobile devices. About 66 percent of the time spent on ecommerce websites is done on a mobile device, Entrepreneur magazine explained. Conversely, if your website isn’t optimized for mobile use, a 61 percent majority of users will leave the website.

Avoid this high bounce rate and convert time on the site into sales by making every part of your Web presence mobile friendly. Ensure that your website and app are both easily navigable on a phone, tablet or other device. Entrepreneur recommended a streamlined responsive design that allows for user-friendliness. Get in front on this trend by acting now – only 9 percent of ecommerce sites are currently responsive.

Be prepared for software wallets to replace credit cards.Be prepared for digital wallets to make an impact on online sales.

3. Prepare for more payment options 
Services like PayPal have already made significant changes to the way people make purchases online. However, the next trend may be branded digital wallets, which have been rolled out as physical pay stations at some stores. Apple and Google are putting significant amounts of effort and money behind improving and increasing the use of Apple Pay and Android Pay, respectively. Make sure your business is prepared for the likely emergence of these two payment tools.

4. Take advantage of online marketplaces for international customers  
Each year, attracting a greater number of international and foreign customers is an ecommerce trend. It’s logical to look for a larger audience to increase your sales and customer base. However, it can be difficult to break into a foreign marketplace, although translation and localization can help. Business2Community recommended small businesses use existing ecommerce marketplaces to find customers and establish a footing.

Retailers have already been using Amazon and Rakuten in large numbers to reach their customers and that trend is expected to continue. Because ecommerce marketplaces aren’t expected to go anywhere anytime soon, small businesses can use them to establish a customer base in various communities. Just be sure that when your customer clicks on your website, looks you up or emails for customer service that you have a Web presence in his or her language that he or she can access.

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