Keep Up With Online Shopping Trends Or Risk Becoming Irrelevant on the Web

Looking to cash in on the global online shopping trend?

Online shopping is on the increase. This means you can now reach a truly global market with your products. As with all things on the web, increased popularity and presence means increased competition.

There are certain boxes your e-commerce website must tick in order to be a on level playing field. Once you are properly set up you will be able to reap the rewards of the other spin off that comes with the increased popularity of online shopping – world wide commercial opportunity.

Trust is the biggest factor when it comes to online shopping

According to leading international marketing research company Ipsos, around 75{64ac70eb04d4ffcd64add956a61c9fe2f5a377b9052e6675190bedd5ae71c6b8} of online consumers fear fraud and/or identity theft. Make sure your customers know that their information is secure and that none of their details will be passed on to a third party. This is crucial for both personal and financial details.

Follow these steps to guarantee your customers online shopping peace of mind:

o Have clear refunds, delivery, privacy, returns and guarantee policies easily available and accessible on your site
o Offer printable order, delivery and receipt documents
o Ensure your online payment system is secure
o Ensure your site is secure and SSL encrypted
o Register with a reputable security site such as Verisign and display their logo on your site
o Register your site with reputable directories such as

Online consumers are looking for easy and fun experiences

Online shopping is a creative activity. Consumers love to compare sites, read product reviews and use social media to get recommendations (and warnings!). What creative interaction can your site offer to your customers? How visually engaging is your site – especially your product pages?

Product videos are the online version of shop assistants

Product videos are a great way to engage visitors to your site. They can be shot simply with a good quality high definition camera. Keep them brief and to the point. E-retailers such as use a magazine style video, in which products are reviewed, explained and promoted.

Consider live chat rather than telephone when it comes to customer queries

Online customers are used to multi-tasking and would rather engage in an online chat than be tied up on hold. If you have sales or customer service representatives who normally handle calls and inquiries, you could follow the lead of many software companies that provide an online chat option as part of their customer support. Once you engage a consumer with a quick, personal and helpful response, their trust in you will skyrocket.

Stay in tune with the economic environment and offer real value

Offering value does not necessarily mean cutting prices. Convenience is the main reason people engage in online shopping. But value is what will keep them coming back to your site. According to Nielsen Online, one of the fastest growing online shopping demographics is mothers. Neilsen research indicates that mothers are looking to save money by shopping online. But they are also looking for information, assistance, support and social networking.

For many stay at home mothers, the internet is their lifeline. Become part of a powerful and influential group such as this demographic and be rewarded with loyalty, sales and referrals.

Use online shopping trends to inform your overall internet marketing strategy

If you are a business not set up for e-commerce, you need to still stay up to date with online shopping trends. These trends have a significant impact on your website, business, traffic and off-line sales.

Ensure your site is packed full of useful information. If people cannot buy directly from you online, they may come to count on your site as their authority site in your industry. Consider the following strategies:

o Report news and trends in your industry
o Offer product reviews
o Set up a blog or forum where your customers can interact, recommend and discuss
o Create affiliate relationships with online shopping or e-commerce sites to cross promote products

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