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We decided it would be a good idea to have a ‘What’s Hot in E-commerce’ afternoon where we could invite all of our wonderful clients and partners to discuss the most recent and relevant revelations in e-commerce…so we did. We did this last week and it was great. The session was split into three sections; a talk from Simon (our MD) on the latest trends in e-commerce and digital, and two presentations from a couple of our partners Nosto and Feefo.

It’s difficult to condense all the important points from this into a single blog post, but we’ll try. Here’s our top ten of what’s hot in e-commerce:

1. The Visual Web – Things seem to be getting less wordy on the web, and especially within e-commerce. The introduction of visual navigations and filtering is a good example of this and more and more brands are adopting this more image lead approach. The introduction of touchscreens could have a lot to do with this. Images are bigger than words (with respect to website navigation) and as such are more easily tapable. Our message is invest in visuals!

burton-visual-navBurton‘s visual navigation

2. Social Curation Platforms – A new type of social media is sprouting up all over the web, ‘social curation platforms’. Sites like LYST, Styloko and FEYT to name a few. These sites allow the user to follow fashion brands and ‘love’ their favourite products to create a self-curated edit that other users can then follow. The site also alerts you if any items from your collection go on sale, which is very handy. 3. The Death of the Fold – A lot of clients seem to be scared of having information below the fold. We just wanted to say the fold is dead, people know how to scroll now. 4. M-commerce –There are three stages of mobile site readiness that brands fall into: 1. Totally unprepared 2. Mobile compatible

3. Mobile optimised If you’re not in group 3 you’re already behind.

5. Personalisation –It is really important for brands to personalise the consumers shopping journey in order to create a fully engaging experience. This includes everything from product recommendations to interactive content like shoppable videos and product customisation. Econsultancy found that “companies who are personalising web experiences are seeing an average 19% uplift in sales”. Check out of partner Nosto for more information about personalisation.

6. Reviews – One of our other partners Feefo came in to talk about the reviewing system they offer. Not only are reviews good for customers to share feedback with each other but it also has a huge SEO benefit as webpages that display Feefo feedback rank higher on Google. For more information visit the Feefo site.

7. The Convergence of Online & Offline – We believe the most successful brands will be those with a seamless link between their online and offline stores. Both channels should be working together to create an experience that is consist and engaging rather than competing with each other over who is selling more. Many brands are introducing touchscreens to their physical stores where consumers can browse and purchase from. This is a fairly simple way of linking the online and offline stores.

MCQ_DS_GRD_FLR_V_17Sep12_pr_b_1440x960Touchscreen table at the Alexander McQueen store.

8. Flat vs Skeuomorphic – There has been a lot of talk about this recently since the preview of Apples iOS7. Flat is the visual style that Windows has been using for quite a while now and Apple is starting to follow suit, moving away from the realist style of Skeuomorphic design they’ve been using for so many years.

9. Responsive Design – This has been a hot topic of conversation for the last year or so, and we don’t really need to go over it again but we felt it just couldn’t be missed off the list. Make your site responsive!

10. Democratisation– With the introduction of cheap (and even free) e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Etsy, Folksy and Tictail it now means that almost anyone can set up shop and sell online. Even more reason to make sure your e-commerce site is up-to-date with all the above trends! So that’s our top ten. Of course this is very brief and we couldn’t cover all points raised in the seminar but we hope this is a helpful insight into the current world of e-commerce. If you want to keep updated about our future seminars follow us of Facebook and Twitter.

– See more at: http://www.diligentcommerce.com/our-whats-hot-in-e-commerce-seminar/#sthash.NM8usdEw.dpuf

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