TOP 10 TRENDS IN ECOMMERCE
The first item ever ordered on Amazon online in 1995 was a book. Almost 20 years after, the ecommerce industry has generated more than $2 trillion USD in sales worldwide, and there’s no turning back now.
Retail has been revolutionized by ecommerce where it has evolved to meet people’s changing needs by making online shopping easier for modern-day customers. Ecommerce was somewhat limited in scope and capacity when it started, but no more. The world of ecommerce was taken by storm with refined return policies, improved integration, customization –among countless changes. 2020 will witness even more advancements.
If you’re still unsure about the future of this industry, these ecommerce trends show that it isn’t only growing rapidly. It is here to stay. You, too, can include these advancements into your business to guarantee your online store’s growth. Make sure to enjoy the benefits of these trends in leveling up your ecommerce efforts this 2020.
Why are Ecommerce Trends Crucial?
The ecommerce world is getting more and more competitive. To stay ahead, these trends must be monitored constantly. If you don’t keep up with the trends –no matter how you’ve perfected your ecommerce shop at this point– you’re risking falling behind drastically. To guarantee success, you need to look ahead. Since 2020 has commenced, you need to be aware of these ecommerce trends so that you can take advantage of them. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of analyzing these trends and adapting to them in a timely manner. When you do, you can drive your online store’s brand forward and stay competitive.
Top 2020 Trends in Ecommerce:
If you want to know what ecommerce’s future looks like and see what trends will determine the success of your online store, look out for these 2020 top 10 trends in ecommerce:
1. Growing Mobile Shopping
Mobile ecommerce has had a remarkable growth: purchases via mobile devices increased by 15% since 2016. That’s 73% by the end of 2021 (Statista, 2019). Ignoring these figures is a remiss. In contrast, there’s a huge opportunity for businesses to tap into if they decide to improve mobile customers’ ecommerce experience.
The growth of ecommerce is in part driven by the increase of mobile device usage. Consumers not only buy online, they also use mobile devices to research/browse before making purchase decisions. More than ever, buyers feel more comfortable with mobile shopping as trust in online shopping is increasing –especially with Gen Z and Millennials who grew up surrounded by internet and computers. Compared to older generations, these generations are more likely to shop online using their mobile devices which resulted to more and more sites being upgraded for this particular use. Make sure to optimize not only your website but also your mobile app. When you do, you make ecommerce more accessible and simple for a larger market.
2. Unstoppable Online Sales Growth
For good reason ecommerce sales have been constantly increasing. One of the most popular activities online is: shopping. The sales are predicted to grow from $1.3 trillion USD in 2014 to $4.5 in 2021 (Statista, 2019). This figure is massive which means a threefold rise within 7 years’ period.
Although online shopping is among the most popular activities online, buyers’ habits vary by region. With the popularity of ecommerce stores rising, more and more are turning to online shopping. There are a number of factors that contribute to this and one of the main ones is the level of convenience, buyers’ increased trust when shopping online, and enhanced website experience. Before, people were hesitant to make purchases online, but no more. Websites are now made more customer-friendly. With this convenience, plus all the factors cited, the unstoppable growth of online sales isn’t a surprise.
3. Social Media’s Role in eCommerce evolving
The number of social media shoppers is increasing rapidly. Social media is a major player in the world of ecommerce with the introduction of Instagram Checkout and “Buy” button on Facebook. The way we live our lives has been changed by social media –including the way we purchase. Social media is an effective platform for brands to get discovered and it’s a chance for brands to consider how to improve their position in social media. People are spending more time in different types of social media and Instagram influencers can help online businesses increase their chance of being discovered by their target audience.
In addition, with platforms like Shopify, business owners can link their online stores with social media sites so that consumers can directly buy from them through social media. For instance, Facebook and Instagram constantly update their features to meet online buyers’ comfort needs.
Plus, there’s Tiktok –the latest talk of the town in the world of social media, which has not only captured the hearts of teens but also made its way to Hollywood. This video-sharing app has worked on incorporating online business elements to its latest improvements (which include testing a new feature that allows users to include shoppable links in their videos or profiles). This means that when users click on the link, they’ll be taken to the URL (within TikTok) to access the site without needing to leave the app.
These platforms are channels of inspiration that give brands an opportunity to be discovered while users scroll through their feeds. As social media has become a regular part of our daily life, its capacity to influence trends in ecommerce will only increase. This is why online businesses need to use a shopping-focused method to their social media plan.
4. Buyers are Influenced by Environmental Issues
Brands must take action as green consumerism is rising. 50% of online customers say that their purchasing decision is impacted by environmental concerns. Ecommerce business owners must make an effort to create more sustainable practices. Millennials are especially advocating green consumerism habits and people are becoming more aware of the environment than ever before. Ecommerce must step in and ensure that they, too, observe environment-friendly practices which include sourcing products from fair-trade organizations to help build a green online business environment.
Whether vegan skincare products or free-range meat, the demand to care for our environment is rising. Brands must increase their responsibility to cater to the eco-friendly needs of customers as today’s consumers feel more responsible for the planet.
5. Voice Commerce will Rise
There’s a growth in voice shopping among internet users. At the end of 2017, 13% of America’s smart speaker owners make purchases by voice. This figure is projected to grow by 2022 to 55% (OC&C Strategy Consultants, 2018). Voice shopping total spending in the UK has also gone up. The popularity of this ecommerce trend has risen mainly due to Amazon’s launch of their smart speaker, Echo, in 2014.
Although this type of shopping is yet in its early stages, the numbers show that its popularity will rise in the coming years. This is a non-visual experience where the customers select their products by verbally describing what they’re looking for. This restricts a product’s browsing scope before actually buying it. For a deeper perspective, customers mainly use voice shopping as a sales channel which means that they use voice to browse once they’ve already decided on a purchase instead of searching what they wish to buy. Products purchased are typically low-value products with categories that include food items and low-cost electronics and house wares. The increased interest in voice shopping implies that businesses have to note and provide the comfort customers need when buying products.
6. Role of AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Globally, total retailer spending on AI (Artificial Intelligence) will reach $7.3 billion per year by 2022 –a rise from an estimated $2 billion in 2018 (BusinessWire, 2018). This is because retailers seek new ways to increase customer experience’s personalization. This research reveals that retailers are willing to invest heavily in tools that will help them improve their services and give them competitive edge.
AI tools range from chatbots that respond instantly to customer queries to automated marketing platforms equipped to generate timely offers. Other areas include demand forecasting as well as AI-optimized pricing and discounting.
The coming years will witness the role of AI gaining strength as retailers invest in improving areas like customer service in trying to understand customer reactions to the product or services purchased. This has a huge impact in solving how retailers can improve the experience of their customers. To stay ahead, it is critical for retailers to invest in this ecommerce trend.
7. The Return of QR Code Payments
Mobile payments have become the norm with the rise of ecommerce. Research reveals that over one-third of the online population in 2018 used mobile payments. One particular method –the QR codes, seems to make a comeback. While invented in 1994, it gained popularity only until the beginning of 2010. The issues that plagued the codes are the reason for its decline.
But the QR code is making a return, especially in ecommerce, over the past 2 years. A study done in 2019 by GlobalWebIndex shows that 40% of all internet users scan a QR code on a monthly basis on their mobile phones. There’s also an inverse correlation with age where young adults and teens use it more frequently than the older age groups.
The QR code is geographically more popular in Asia, especially in South, East, and Southeast Asia. For instance, in Taiwan and Hongkong, nearly all internet users use QR codes. Plus, there’s China where 42% of the world’s ecommerce activity take place. Mobile payment is considered the standard method in China where QR code is used with most transactions, including food delivery, online shopping, car-sharing, and more. Inversely, as much as 65% of US mobile users are yet to adapt to mobile payments.
8. Personalized Experience is the Future
Over 50 percent of shoppers say that it’s important for them to have a personalized online experience (Bazaarvoice, 2018), and 74 percent of marketers are convinced that personalization has a strong impact on improving customer relationships (Evergage, 2018). The secret to keeping customers satisfied is by personalizing their online shopping experience. Such an experience helps them find the products they need and they value such experiences. Inversely, due to poor product recommendations, online shoppers tend to avoid certain stores.
Ecommerce are currently adopting this trend and investing in personalization techniques to give customers a much better shopping experience. This ranges from sending personalized messages via email to providing the right info to an interested consumer group. Delivering better shopping experience, as well as forming strong bond with customers, is enhanced by providing relevant discounts, offering personalized customer communications, and engaging with customers through video content for instance.
9. How we Shop is Transformed by Augmented Reality
By 2022, augmented Reality (AR) technologies will be used by more than 120,000 stores in the USA –offering a far richer buying experience (Prnewswire, 2018). Retail workforce and online shoppers will drive AR uptake. The ability to see the product firsthand is one of the consumers’ main concerns. AR tech helps fill this gap by enabling online shoppers to have a better visual of the product they’re interested in.
This could be a game changer for online shoppers, changing the way online customers perceive the products they wish to buy. With AR, customers will better understand their needs and whether the products they intend to buy would meet their need. A few ecommerce stores already started to experiment with AR tech which helps them stand out from the rest. A better online shopping is enjoyed by consumers when you deliver a more personalized experience. Not only does AR enhance customer experience, it allows buyers the ability to explore and test products in a way that’s similar to in-person shopping.
10. The Rise of Visual Commerce
Selling a product to consumers who have no physical interaction with it is one of the many hardships of running an online store, but that’s where visual commerce steps in. Visual commerce is the next gen of normal static visuals. It takes marketing to a whole new level by incorporating other form of visuals like interactive content, consumer-generated media, augmented reality (AR technology), and engaging videos.
Visual commerce is gradually but surely becoming an essential part of ecommerce as shown by how deep-learning technology has grown. This includes the image-recognition market projected to grow to $81.88 billion by 2026 from $20.19 billion in 2018 –which marks a compound annual growth rate of 19.6% (MarketWatch, 2020).
The adoption of image recognition is seen to be the most prevalent in the U.S. market –which correlated with the demand for, and popularity of, visual content among American consumers. As it is approx 75% of internet users in North America search for visual content before actually making a purchase on a regular basis. Only a few 3% does not.
With technology making headway and consumer behavior changing with the times, you should be watchful of these 2020 ecommerce trends. No matter which trend you decide to use, do so with the goal of enhancing your customers’ shopping experience and building a lasting relationship with them. Take your ecommerce expansion to the next level by taking advantage of these trends and evolving alongside with it.
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