2016 is a huge year for E-commerce. Technology and customer behaviors evolve so quickly that at times it can seem impossible to keep up. Consumers are moving towards more portable means of shopping, and the internet is becoming ever more integrated in our daily lives with the Internet of Things looming in the near future.

Online Saas E-commerce solution, Wizishop has put together a free E-book: 37 Expert tips to help you succeed in E-Commerce in 2016. These E-commerce experts weigh in on what we should expect in 2016, and the book is full of useful tips that you can (and should) start implementing immediately. We chose a few of our favorite bits of advice that fall into three categories: stay on top of marketing trends in 2016, optimization you should have done yesterday, and keeping your Logistics strong keeps you competitive.

Stay on top of Marketing Trends in 2016

With the focus on personalized marketing strategies in 2016, several of the Wizishop experts lent their advice on the latest communication trends to adopt and implement. The three hottest topics fell into SEO, differentiation, personalized marketing strategy, and classic retail strategies.

SEO: We need to go deeper

Several experts talked about the importance of SEO for E-commerce, which should be proof in itself that SEO is still a huge topic for E-commerce. According to these experts, it’s not enough just to optimize for search engines, we have to go deeper.

Grégory Beyrouti, founder and CEO of Wizishop, suggests taking advantage of the boom of marketplaces; it’s possible that there could be an extra channel of revenue potential. Founder and CEO of Socedo, Aseem Badshah, suggests using the immense data at our disposition to understand customer behavior for personalized marketing, and how to use SEO to improve conversions.

Differentiating in a Cacophony of Communication

Certain experts talk about methods of differentiation in the sea of ever emerging online retailers, like Pierre-Yves Banaszak, co-founder of My Pop Corner. Marketing manager for The Shelf, Sabrina Fenster expanded on differentiation tactics with the use of influencer marketing. She noted in 2016, it’s key to work with those who have the audience you need to get your product in front of.

Personalizing the Strategy

While influencer marketing will be a recurrent theme in 2016 e-commerce strategy, some experts brought us back to basics. Mélanie Pin, communication specialist, said “Don’t forget that behind the screen there are men and women.”

[Tweet ““Don’t forget that behind the screen there are men and women.” -Melanie Pin”]

In a world where the internet is becoming more heavily ingrained in our lives, it’s easy to forget that there are (usually) humans on the other end of every interaction we have. She suggests that storytelling for brand management will be what takes off in 2016, affording brands a human touch to foster customer trust. Maxime Baumard, marketing manager of iAdvize, touched on this subject as well, noting the rise of conversational marketing and one-on-one marketing via Facebook and messenger apps.

Using Classic Retail Tactics…Digitally

Aria Ardalan, marketing director of BuyBox, sang the praises of online gift cards. He stated that 30% of people with gift cards visited the store, and 10% became regular customers. It’s true that electronic gift cards (or e-gift cards) are on the rise, as 88% of consumers tend to prefer the electronic format. He noted that many e-gift card strategies involved rewarding loyal customers with them depending on purchase amount.

Optimization you should have done yesterday

Another huge theme we saw in the WiziShop E-book was the focus on optimizing the user experience, the security of E-commerce sites, and mobile design. Abhiroop Basu, content and product manager for Zopim and Zendesk, talked about the importance of a seamless experience for E-commerce. He says we need to understand mobile user behavior, which is vastly different than PC user behavior. Marketing manager at AB Tasty, Anthony Brebion concurred, saying:

[Tweet ““Personalize the omni-channel experience to increase engagement.””]

The Power of Omnichannel done right

Mireya Masclans, operations E-commerce manager for Toys’R’Us agreed, stating that omnichannel buyers spent more than 15-30% more than their traditional counterparts. She notes that omnichannel can be invaluable for an E-commerce, if it’s done right. She explains that it’s best to find the balance between what customers want and what you can offer.

Being Customer-Centric

Becoming customer centric is another important theme we’ve seen in 2016. Now, when customers have more power than ever, making them your primary focus will have a significant impact on your sales. Bryan Eisenberg Co founder and CMO of Idealspot had this to say:

[Tweet ““Focus on keeping ahead of your customers, not your competitors”-Bryan Eisenberg @thegrok”]

Sales Director at Mouseflow, Trenton Scott, presented his company’s product, which offers more specific metrics on consumer behavior and interaction with a site. It produces heat maps where customers moved the cursor, clicks and touches, scrolling, and keystrokes. He states that this allows you to understand how your customers navigate your site (and what makes them drop off).

Keeping your Logistics strong keeps you competitive

We’ve said it before, Logistics is the backbone of a great E-commerce. At the end of the day, all the marketing in the world won’t save an E-commerce with faulty logistics. Several experts of Wizishop’s E-book established that logistics is still one of the most important topics in 2016’s strategy.

Logistics is the base of Customer Service

[Tweet ““Make your return policy a competitive advantage” –Florian Laudillay, ShopRunBack”]

Florian Laudillay, co-founder of ShopRunBack, says that logistics is the keystone of customer satisfaction, and optimizing product availability is the best way to foster customer loyalty. He notes that your after-sales services should be equally as important, and offering personalized return policies can be a great way to give customers quality service.

Create a strategy around innovating logistics

Laure de Baudreuil, business development director of Boxtale, noted that innovating the way you ship to your customers can help meet the ever intensifying demands of your customers. In a world where next-day (and even same-day) shipping exists, customers are coming to expect faster shipping and more varied options for delivery. E-commerce Nation’s own co-founder, Nicolas Chevalier, notes all the reasons E-commerce owners should consider outsourcing logistics to better focus on their core activity.

Wizishop’s 37 Expert tips to Succeed in 2016 is a great read for those looking to stay on top of the latest trends in E-commerce, and use these practical tips to help their E-commerce grow. These were just a few of our favorite parts, and we highly suggest picking up a copy for yourselves. The best part? It’s free.

What were your favorite pieces of advice in this E-book? Let us know below, or Tweet us!