Five Things You Need To Know to Prep for the Future of E-Commerce

Despite the presence of well-established online retail giants like Amazon and Zappos, the e-commerce world is a still rapidly shifting and developing space. In many ways, brands and consumers alike are still catching up with the potential that the technology available to them allows. Here we’ll take you through five of the big things that could change the e-commerce game.

1. The Fight Against Showrooming:

This March, a specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia gained international notoriety for posting a sign in their store announcing that visitors would be charged a five-dollar fee for browsing without buying. Why? To combat showrooming, the practice of looking at products in-store to then purchase for less online. According to Adweek, 60 percent of consumers are intentionally showrooming and less than ten percent of consumers are buying from the same website as the store they are using to showroom. For digital natives (i.e. Millennials) that number drops to less than five percent. The browsing fee plan of the Australian store may have been misguided (charging people to browse your goods is not a permanent solution to the problem if you want to keep people coming to your store), but the fact remains that big-box and small business retailers alike are trying to combat showrooming. Best Buy says that the practice is “now dead to [them]’ thanks to year-round price matching policies, a method which Target has also adopted. Brick and mortar isn’t going anywhere, but it is certainly going to have to adapt to a world where buying online is starting to make more sense to many buyers. Which brings us to…

2. A Mobile App Revolution:
More and more of e-commerce will be going mobile. A recent study from comScore also found that 86 million Americans are using their smartphones to shop…

 
 

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Quote of the Day: “Whether I want to draw, paint, read, study, or dance, influences the kind of music I listen to.”—Female, 25, GA

Brands  are increasingly using emojis within their messaging—and for good reason. A new survey from mobile app engagement provider Appboy found that 39% of U.K. and U.S. mobile phone users 14 and up view brands that use emojis as fun, and 13% found them more relatable. Only 12% of respondents refer to emojis as childish, and 11% as inappropriate, and younger mobile users were even more likely to see emoji use as a positive than older users. Between June 2015 and June 2016, the number of messages brands sent that contained emojis increased by 461%. (eMarketer)

Musical.ly has attracted 70 million users of mostly teen, tweens, and kids within two years—so what makes the app that allows users to record 15-second music videos so successful? For starters, it’s a gateway to social media. Young “musers” who aren’t old enough for Facebook and Instagram are getting the opportunity to showcase their talents, and accumulate likes and followers within a platform that encourages viewers to “say something nice” in comments. (Kidscreen

Food Network is giving YouTube sensation Hannah Hart a show to cook up more young viewers. Hart’s YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen, gives a comic take on cooking, and earned her 2.5 million subscribers with whom she has “tremendous rapport and engagement.” On her Food Network show, she’ll be travelling the U.S. learning about the local foods, and dining out on a budget “determined by the city’s average dining price.” The series will also include digital content of behind-the-scenes footage and vlogs. Millennials have shown “they love digital content and they love food,” and have helped “the food vertical [reach] explosive heights online.” (StreamDaily

Giant food manufacturer Mondelēz International recently teamed up with Fox Networks Group to strategize ads that will be more appealing to the ad-skipping generation. According to the brand, “We don’t deserve consumers’ attention. We have to earn it,” so they plan to decrease “consumer time with commercials, and [increase] the impact.” As young consumers have become “less tolerant of traditional ads,” brands have begun experimenting with digital marketing that lets viewers choose what ads to watch, and Fox is working to serve up ads that are more customized to individuals watching based on what brands they already know about. (Variety

The new generation of employees are seeking out side hustles. A report from FlexJobs revealed that one third of Millennials would like to have part time work along with freelancing on the side. The number one reason: necessity. According to Student Loan Hero, a 2016 graduate has an average of $37,172 in student debt, so it’s not surprising that Millennials are looking for additional income outside of their 9-to-5 jobs. Need for income has also limited them in terms of pursuing their true passions and finding their purpose, which can be fulfilled by an outside role or project. (ForbesCNBC)  

Quote of the Day: “Political correctness is voicing your beliefs but not at the expense of other's identities.”—Female, 15, NY

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