With the New Year quickly approaching, we’re tapping into our Auld Lang Syne spirit and reflecting on the eCommerce trends that shaped 2015. But don’t brush these off as bygone fads. The advancements that shaped 2015 will continue to drive growth and innovation in online marketing for years to come.

Whether you’ve already set your webstore strategy for 2016 or are in the midst of carving out your plan, employ these five tips to outsmart your competition and give shoppers the high-quality experience they crave.

Omni-channel focus

One of the notable eCommerce trends of 2015 saw many online stores opening physical locations to broaden their market and reach. In the U.S., 90% of sales are still made in brick and mortar stores, and 95% of consumers prefer shopping from online stores that have a physical presence. For many, the in-store product experience and customer service enhances the brand experience and builds greater trust. In an attempt to obliterate the difference between their online and physical stores, many innovative companies are bridging the gap by shipping customers several options of a product to compare, offering free shipping to their stores, and increasingly, free return shipping as they merge the convenience of online shopping with the customer in-store experience.

At StorePorter, we understand the importance of your brick and mortar presence. Whether you’re just launching your business’ first online store or are ready to open a physical location for your booming webstore business, our gurus can help you ensure your inventory and product details are seamlessly synched.

top ecommerce trends of 2015

Visual marketing

Visual content has consistently proven to be a reliable marketing technique and conversion tool. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and increases the time that a customer spends on your website. Video marketing has increased by 73%. High-quality images and engaging and useful video content consistently generate higher conversion rates. And with StorePorter, you can deploy videos and photos of your products more efficiently than ever before.

Personalized, big data-driven marketing

Millennials and baby boomers are the driving force behind today’s eCommerce marketing decisions. Successful online retailers used customer data and habits to connect them to a more personalized shopping experience. Providing suggestions or histories on similar customer purchases can go a long way in generating trust and building relationships and loyalty. Given the impact of big data on the 2015 eCommerce industry, this trend won’t be going anywhere in the coming years.

Content-driven sales and customer acquisition

Coupons are so 2014. While promotions still play an important role in eCommerce enticements, today’s savvy marketers are finding that they can attract customers organically through relevant, customized content. One of the major eCommerce trends of 2015 revealed that timely, relevant content is often the dividing line between gaining customers or losing them to a content marketing giant. Because useful content often drives sales and brand loyalty, webstores large and small are incorporating a variety of written, visual and video content into their product pages to enhance the customer experience. With StorePorter, you can manage product descriptions and other content with ease — leaving you more for content marketing and other business development projects.

In 2016, don’t be content with sub-par content. 80% of consumers reported that the leading factor in the decision to follow a brand was authentic content. In fact, 57% of a decision is made prior to ever talking to a salesperson or visiting a store. If that’s not a sign of content marketing’s staying power, we don’t know what is.

Mobile optimization

2015 was the year of Mobilegeddon, and 12 months later, mobile commerce (mCommerce) isn’t going anywhere. In just two years, eCommerce sales via mobile increased by 175%, and this figure continues to soar. Mobile commerce accounts for 30% of U.S. eCommerce, and to date, 98.9 million Americans have made at least one purchase over a mobile device. Not surprisingly, savvy ecommerce retailers are focusing their efforts on optimizing sites for a range of mobile devices, and simplifying the mobile shopping experience to convert more browsers to customers. Apps and mobile loyalty programs are additional ways to drive customer engagement and decisions.

This eCommerce outgrowth is on its way to behemoth status. If you haven’t already embraced mobile shopping, 2016 is the time to take a step into this increasingly crucial webstore territory.

Now is the time to position your webstore for a dynamic 2016. Whether you want to create a seamless inventory experience between your brick and mortar and online store, or are looking to deploy product content more efficiently, StorePorter is your ultimate eCommerce software solution. Our eCommerce gurus will help you leverage your strengths, streamline your inventory, and bridge the great divide between online and brick and mortar sales — positioning you for your most successful year to date.