Ecommerce trends can greatly affect sales, which is why you should be aware of the following trends that are predicted for 2016.

By Will Blears

1. Faster Delivery

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in next-day or even same-day deliveries. Fast delivery has now become the norm, which is why more retailers in 2016 are expected to implement procedures that will shorten delivery time. An increased number of consumers are expected to take advantage of Amazon Prime Now, (a service that provides rapid, local delivery in a matter of hours).

Amazon is also expected to make great strides in its drone delivery program, Amazon Prime Air. When launched, this program will make use of drones to deliver packages weighing five pounds or less in under 30 minutes. A number of prototypes are currently being tested for use in arid, wet, and high-altitude environments.

2. Greater Emphasis on Content

In the past, many online retailers offered vague descriptions of their products; however, consumers are shying away from websites that provide generic information and instead are gravitating toward ones that provide more details. From enhanced descriptions and photographs to informational videos, look for more marketing teams to concentrate on providing better quality content than ever before.

Consumers are also more interested in viewing products from different angles. As such, you can expect to see more 360- degree product photos become available, which will not only allow people to view products from all sides, but also provide a more thorough look at the product.

3. UX to CX Conversion

More companies are also likely to switch from being user-experience (UX) based to customer-experienced (CX) based. The user experience model takes into consideration people interacting with a particular product, while customer experience involves all interactions with a company’s brand. This is important, as Big Data from online retailers such as Amazon are now being compiled by sites such as Consumer Essentials, which gathers information and provides rankings for a variety of products to help shoppers streamline their research.

4. Mobile Shopping Domination

In 2016, more online sales are expected from smart phones than computers. To gear up for these changes, expect a number of online retailers to begin revamping their websites to make them more mobile friendly. Back in April 2015, Google began including mobile friendliness in its ranking algorithms. Since that time, Google has strongly encouraged webmasters to optimize their sites to become more mobile friendly. Look for Google to place a higher emphasis on mobile-friendliness in 2016, penalizing sites that fail to meet its mobile-friendly test with significantly lower search engine rankings. Technology experts such as Criteo also provide quarterly outlooks on the mobile commerce market as a whole, an eye-opening look at the growth and future of global mobile commerce.

5. Virtual Sales Teams Become More Engaged

No longer are online sales representatives sitting idly waiting for an inquiry. In 2016, virtual sales teams will become highly engaged, interacting with potential customers through pop-ups and online chat sessions. E-commerce sites are becoming aware of the need to keep people on their website, as well as the importance of engaging with them one on one in order to convert visitors in to sales.

6. Increased Number of On-Site Flash Sales

Sites such as Groupon have peaked, which means you should expect more flash sales on individual retailer’s websites. Online retailers are increasingly using flash sales to move merchandise quickly. In 2016, they will likely implement them more often to get rid of outdated inventory or elicit a high market share of customers for shopping holidays such as Cyber Monday.

7. Enhanced Social Media Options

It’s no longer enough to simply manage a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business. Social media sites such as Pinterest and Facebook now make it possible to sell directly on these pages. In addition, websites such as Bigcommerce and Shopify now have Facebook selling options built directly into their platforms. As more consumers become aware of these options, retailers will have no other option but to step up their game if they are to remain competitive.

These are just a few trends that will be driving the e-commerce industry in 2016. If you’re an online retailer, it’s important you pay attention to these trends carefully to ensure you prosper from them.

Will Blears is an entrepreneur and founder of Perceptive Digital, a boutique agency which specializes in digital paid advertising for medium to large brands. He is also a blogger over at One Mans Brand where he helps teach people how to make an income from online marketing. @WilliamBlears.