The number of people shopping online has been growing steadily in recent years and is expected to reach up to half of the world’s population by the of 2018. For e-commerce businesses, this is great news. To take advantage of the growing interest that consumers all over the world show in online shopping and to stay ahead of your competitors, you will want to keep up with the latest e-commerce trends, from mobile optimization to ecommerce purchase order apps.

Usabilla, a leading provider of website user feedback tools used by big names such as Adidas, Booking.com, or Philips, has recently highlighted in a blog post some of the key e-commerce trends online businesses should watch out for in 2016. Here’s a quick summary of that post, together with what you should do to make the most of these trends.

  1. Offering the lowest price won’t guarantee more sales

For customers, the user experience of your e-commerce website as well as the overall customer experience your online checkout provider are as important as your prices, hence the need to invest in a high-quality, responsive web design and use storytelling to sell your products and services in a more personal and more compelling way.

  1. Online shoppers will spend more money in 2016 than in 2015

Use data analytics and a forecasting tool for small business to understand the evolving behavior of your customers, who they are, how they search for the products they buy, and what products and services interest them the most. The better you understand your customers, the easier it will be for you to take the right inventory and marketing decisions next year.

  1. Mobile optimization quality will become key to mobile success

Almost 5 billion people own a smartphone, which makes mobile optimization a priority for your online shop. More than displaying well on mobile devices, your e-commerce website has to provide a great mobile shopping experience.

  1. Multi-channel shoppers will increase

While in the past online shoppers did their buying mostly on a desktop or laptop, today they are using a wide range of devices, including smartphones and tablets, which means that in your efforts to improve your web design, user experience, and marketing efforts, you have to take into account the constant switching of devices shoppers engage in.

  1. Beacon technology adoption will rises

Beacons placed in physical locations such as shops can already interact with apps on a customer’s device, sending them personalized offers, coupons, and more through notifications. In 2016, more and more companies will be using beacon technology — be one of the early adopters.

  1. Online loyalty programs will become more important

Integrating loyalty programs into your website, email marketing, and social media experience will help you keep existing customers returning.

  1. Social media marketing will continue to evolve

Social media helps you analyze demographics and improve location targeting to market your products more effectively.

Finally, another important e-commerce trend for 2016 is likely going to be the increased adoption among online shop owners of convenient, web-based ecommerce purchase order apps, such as DataQlick. An advanced ecommerce purchase order app, DataQlick integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks and comes with an intuitive user experience. Learn more here.