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Why online retailers should pay attention to recent consumer trends

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One recent trend amongst online shoppers is to use their smartphone or tablet to make purchases, whether from their sofa or on the move. This has been made possible by a number of retailers creating specific mobile sites or apps with which customers can buy something in a matter of seconds, but it seems that security of said sites/apps isn’t all that it should be.

Making mobile work

After conducting some research with my colleagues at RandomStorm, I discovered that just 44.5 per cent of people would make an online purchase using a smartphone. This shows that, despite the strides being made in mobile ecommerce, there is still plenty of room for improvement, as many retailers only cater for desktops.

As more than half of consumers are yet to fully trust shopping on their mobile devices, should this change for the better, businesses need to be alert and make sure that they are ready for a surge in demand for online retail. This means having a fully-fledged mobile site or possibly a smartphone/tablet app, although the former is much easier to create and is likely to be cheaper.

Keeping it safe

Creating a mobile-friendly site for your business is essential, but the site alone will be insufficient. The reason is that more and more consumers are concerned about how safe every purchase they make actually is. We found that 65.8 per cent would only shop online on a certain website if it had an authentic PayPal certification, which shows that some payment software is more trusted than most.

Aside from that, businesses should do all they can to assure customers that their money will be safe come what may. It could be through having a page on their site dedicated to addressing any concerns, having an FAQ section or, perhaps most sensibly, through having as many relevant security certificates for your site are seen as necessary.

Going social

Close to a quarter of people we spoke to said that they felt inclined to trust a company if they had a sizeable following on social media sites. This can help to separate genuine retailers from those who are a little more rogue. Developing a good social following isn’t that hard, but to get followers on board, you should make your pages seem friendly and approachable, while maintaining dialogue.

An increasing number of businesses are focusing their marketing efforts on social media, as it’s cheap, easy and effective in directly reaching customers old and new. It’s possible to build your business’s reputation almost entirely through social media, whether by promptly responding to complaints from customers or creating campaigns which people can get involved in.

All of the above trends mentioned will help to put your business in a great position to take advantage of the growth of ecommerce while keeping your customers onside.

Andrew Mason is the co-founder and technical director at RandomStorm.com.

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