Future of eCommerce

It’s hard to predict what will happen 2 weeks from now, let alone next year.

But when it comes to ecommerce trends there are 2 we’re willing to bet our reputations on:

1: Increase in mobile sales relative to overall sales.

2: Increased use of videos.

This post is about the increased use of videos.

Our prediction is that your ecommerce store will eventually become more like a “choose your own adventure” experience. In other words, it will be personalized to each visitor. Imagine TV commercials, for example. Over 90% of the commercials you see on TV are entirely unrelated to you, your interests, and your experiences. However, some of the commercials are about things you care about. Now imagine a world in which your TV networks could send targeted commercials to you specifically. Wouldn’t that be more effective?

How does this relate to your site? The world is becoming increasingly fast-paced. Attention spans are shrinking. Thanks to Amazon people want instant gratification. Everyone is staring at their phones and becoming desensitized to the content they’ve been seeing for the past 15 years. So here’s what we think will happen to many sites around the world—even yours:

Scenario 1: If a user is concerned about your return policy they’ll want to see a video.

Scenario 2: Let’s say you sell a product that has 2 primary use cases. Perhaps campers and hunters would be interested in this type of product. Instead of immediately showing each of these types of users the normal product page when they navigate to it, we’ll first show an intermediate overlay that asks the user: “Are you a camper or hunter? [Camper] [Hunter]”. After the user makes their selection, they’ll be taken to the product page and the video content will adjust according to their use case. For example, if the user selected “Hunter”, then the product demo video will specifically talk about how the product will meet the wants/needs of a hunter.

Scenario 3: If a user wants to compare 2 items they will first make a shortlist (like you can on Best Buy’s site)…

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… and then, after clicking the ‘Compare’ button, be shown a personalized video that specifically talks about the differences between the 2 selected items.

Here’s the bottom line: you’re going to have to create a lot of video content. But that video content will pay dividends.

To get a feel for where we are headed check out optinmonster.com. These guys have a video for every single feature of their site. All of their documentation has been converted into video walkthroughs of the tool. It’s a remarkably rich user experience.

Which of the 3 scenarios mentioned above do you think is most powerful?


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