The eCommerce industry has been growing rapidly over the past decade and many companies are trying to join the bandwagon to grow and expand their business. It is interesting to note how advancement in technology and the development of more efficient hardware and software has boosted the capabilities of the eCommerce business.
Emerging markets like Russia, India, China, South Africa and Brazil will play a major role in the future of eCommerce. An addition of 3 billion new buyers in the emerging market will happen by 2022 as internet availability continues to expand to new areas.
People are beginning to prefer eCommerce stores when compared to brick and mortar stores since they don’t have to wait in queues or travel long distances to find the perfect product they prefer. They also have the option to choose from a variety of products available online.
Multiple brands are offering special deals and coupon codes to attract customers online. All these factors are helping the eCommerce industry to move fast and create the best experiences for their customers as they continue to innovate and progress at an astounding rate.
“The Top 11 eCommerce Trends to Watch Out”
1. AI and Chatbots will Boost Overall Shopping Experience
AI (Artificial Intelligence) and chatbots can power up the overall customer experience by engaging customers and recommending the right products they would be interested in, to provide a 24/7 seamless shopping experience. They can help to answer basic questions instantly and also assist customers through the checkout process.
AI and machine learning will continue to grow as retailers use it to provide personalization to their customers. They can connect customer data with real-time insights to improve customer service. Chatbots can help to automate the tasks and help customers. They can also be used to create optimized pricing, discounting and demand forecasting.
2. AR will Add the Element of Virtual Reality
AR (Augmented Reality) is slowly going to play a major role in the eCommerce world. It will continue to grow as customers seek better options like visualizing the products.
Shoppers can see and understand how they would look, with a certain dress or accessory or anything they would like to purchase; even before hitting the buy button.
Now it would be easier for customers to compare multiple brands and products and choose the perfect one. The major problem of not being able to feel the product or see it in your home can be solved using AR.
3. Personalisation (Big Data, Subscriptions) and Voice Search
eCommerce personalization will lead to providing individual solutions to customers by identifying multiple factors and traits of customers.
AI and big data will help online retailers to understand customer requirements much better. They would now have a deeper insight to provide highly personalized products and services.
Businesses will now consider who, where, when, what and how the customer is engaging with them. Customers who subscribe will get better deals, offers and personalized services to get them coming back.
More customers are beginning to own smart speakers. This will enable them to use voice assistants like google assistant or Amazon Alexa to get information or even buy products.
4. Multiple Payment Options
eCommerce companies are always trying their best to provide a smooth user experience and that includes payment options too.
A number of payment options including e-wallets are available for customers. eCommerce websites and Apps are using multiple payment options like Apple pay, Paypal, etc for a smooth experience.
The COD (cash on delivery) option is also offered by some companies. Smart devices will help customers to remember past purchases and make their payments quite easily.
5. Mobile Shopping
One of the biggest advantages of online shopping is the ability to shop from anywhere in the world. Currently, a bulk of the purchases are happening on mobile devices. The mobile shopping phenomena will continue to grow and develop further in the coming years.
Companies are investing to create robust responsive designs to ensure that the customers have similar incredible experiences on their mobile devices.
Customers are receiving push notifications and using progressive web apps (PWAs).
6. Micro Animation and Video to Increase Conversion
This is one of the latest trends and companies are using animations like GIFs to improve customer experience and also boost conversion rates.
Videos are also playing a big role in explaining and showcasing the products in a better way. They are a colourful, attractive and a powerful tool to increase sales. Most people love the audio/video experience and enjoy watching attractive, unique and funny videos.
7. Drone Delivery and Other Innovative Systems
This trend is slowly catching up in the US and other countries; with Amazon trying out few deliveries. This can be the future way of sending the products directly to the customers. This will rapidly increase the delivery speed and efficiency.
Drones can launch and fly autonomously and hence it is quite suitable for the task. The only issue is the limited range they can move. But with new innovations and systems, it will be used to provide quick and reliable service to customers around the world.
8. Optimization of Digital Strategy
The rise of competition among eCommerce players has created the need for improved digital strategies. This helps companies to optimize the conversion rates and highlight their wide range of products and services.
This includes creating dynamic ads on Facebook, shopping ads on google and on the site digital marketing efforts to attract more customers.
Every brand wants to attract customers and great content along with photos, creative or videos can act as a magnet to bring in more potential customers. The aim is to drive conversions with such strategies, as people are becoming more demanding, curious and impatient.
This is one of the best channels to uniquely position the brand and make sure it is different. The digital marketing systems and strategies are evolving each day to cater to multiple demands of the eCommerce business.
9. Growing B2B
The B2B market is growing fast across the globe and even in e-commerce its sales may cross 1.1 trillion dollars by 2021. More and more B2B businesses are moving online for better visibility and increased sales. It offers wider coverage and scope to expand the business beyond the borders.
The current generation prefers a simpler and self-service based system rather than talking to salespeople. Hence technology will bridge the gap to provide better solutions and multiple options to grow and promote the B2B business.
10. Social and Ethical Commerce
Social commerce is a part of eCommerce but involves social media. It is a part of the online world and also supports social interaction. The user contribution also plays a role in the purchasing or selling process.
Networking websites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are used by people and businesses to sell different products and services. Companies run campaigns that enable customers to like, retweet or share content and messages.
Ethical commerce is the process of doing business in a socially responsible manner. It’s a philosophy to consider the people and the environment as a part of the universal system to nurture and support a wholesome sustainable growth and development. It is also a part of the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).
11. API and Headless Driven e-Commerce
This is a part of the back end tech structure and can improve the overall experience.
Headless commerce is a system that allows the eCommerce platform to decouple from the frontend presentation layer. This allows them to use custom front ends like CMS, DXP, PWA, IoT, etc to complete their tech stack.
This helps the store to power up the content marketing, SEO and digital experience on their storefront. These systems and processes are gaining pace across the spectrum to create a better user experience and improve efficiency.