According to Statista, global ecommerce sales are expected to increase 246.15% by 2021, from 1.3 trillion in 2014 to 4.5 trillion in 2021.
The ecommerce industry is flourishing without looking back and will continue to do so in the years to come. A recent report shared by US Census Bureau shows remarkable hike in ecommerce industry, with the revenue from online sales eating into the total annual retail sales by over 1.5% from past couple of years.
To help you secure the various advantages of ecommerce in 2018 and further, here are top 10 trends that we think will change the way people buy and sell online.
- Shopping natively
As per an experiment, Facebook users prefer native video content over non-native. The same applies to ecommerce – fantastic visual platforms that millions of people use in Instagram and Pinterest and most of them do not prefer any other site because of better experience.
An excellent example is of Pinterest feature ‘Shop the Look’. A picture of the outfit you like can be clicked on any part of it and the details of the garment will be displayed in the Pinterest app. You can exit the app when you decide to purchase or pin it for later.
- Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
The physical experience of a product is what customers miss the most in online shopping. Urban Ladder and Pepperfry have launched their experience stores across various cities in India for visitors to get the look and feel of their online exquisite collection in the stores.
Augmented reality and virtual reality will witness a lot of traction in 2018, finally making it a standard mandate for companies to offer AR and VR options. Eventually, these added features are worth the preliminary venture in new technology. As ecommerce grows, consumers will prefer additional experience before buying from sellers.
- Automation and Chatbots
More than a billion of people use Facebook messenger, which reinstates the advantage of having chatbots for marketing, customer service and sales. Online shopping can be more engaging with automation.
Domino’s have introduced a Messenger bot, Dom for ordering. The consequences of this are enormous: when hassle free quick service is the priority for consumers, Domino’s will beat out all the competition. In addition, having chatbot order for pizzas is a great opportunity for Domino’s to engage their customers with novelty, showcasing easy assistance through latest and forward-thinking culture.
- Power of Personalization
Personalization has great potential, but it is a two-way street. Vendors have gained the ability to gather more data on customers more than ever and the modern customer anticipates personalization in the interim.
Creating personalized shopping experiences depending on the data gathered from demographics, historic buyer behavior and browsing and still in its nascent stage. Personalization is easy when you have access to the right data. However, ensuring all these factors are aligned properly is the trick.
Platforms like Evergage is a great tool for success of ecommerce businesses. It’s a real-time personalization platform that combines behavioral analytics with your customer data and advanced machine learning, allowing you to interact with all individually who visit your page in order to deliver completely personalized and individualistic experience.
This will automatically lead to delivering personalized content and recommend products accordingly, and further apply split-testing to optimize your conversion rates. This will also lead in reducing the cart abandonment and enhance customer loyalty.
- Mobile First
Nearly 60% of smartphone users use mobile app for online shopping. As mobile purchasing is on a rise, it is no more an option for businesses to optimize their ecommerce site for mobile compatibility.
Starbucks has a mobile order app since 2015 and by the end of 2017 more than 30% of customers use the app to place their order and pay online that has led to minimizing congestion in the stores and reduced the waiting time.
Mobile will soon become the preferred payment method for ecommerce transactions. It’s estimated that mobile will reach 70% of ecommerce traffic by the end of this year alone.
Fingerprint and facial recognition technology, as well as one-click payments, will simplify mobile payments and further encourage consumers to shift from desktop to mobile.
- Voice Search
With Google Home and Amazon Echo and many more voice activated devices around, voice search has become preferably the chosen method of search. 40% of millennials are already using it for online shopping. It’s critical to optimize your business for voice search in 2018, or you could lose most consumers who choose to shop through voice-activated devices.
Again, voice search is three times more local, it is impending to ensure business listing in Google for local searchers to reach out with accurate primary information.
As per ComCore report, by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be based on voice search. That future is not too far away.
Start optimizing your product pages and descriptions for voice search. Instead of using keywords, start using search phrases to target people’s voice commands, questions and searches.
- ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline)
It is difficult to track how digital marketing leads into offline sales conversion. ROPO, a tool with advanced and reliable features, helps retailers to accurately gauge their digital efforts contribution to in-store sales.
ROPO combines information from social media, mobile tracking/geolocation, mobile payments, in-store inventory, analytics tools, CRM systems, and other information to figure out which ads and site pages led consumers to in-store purchases.
This information is priceless. It will assist in creating higher conversion and targeted digital ads through confidence of appended data for meaningful consumer experience.
- Image Search
With ecommerce moving to mobile apps, companies will begin offering options to visually search for products by using personal photos, or photos found online. It’s estimated that image and voice search will make up 50% of all searches by 2020.
Image search offers opportunities to find similar products at a cheaper price online, it could eventually drive consumers to shop online irrespective of if they began their shopping from a physical store.
A few ecommerce businesses have already successfully implemented image search functions into their online platforms. Pinterest, for example, has its own image search function. On Pinterest, you can zoom in on an object in a Pin image and find similar objects. Target will eventually integrate this same technology to allow consumers to search an image and find similar products in Target’s online catalog.
- Robust protection against fraud
Stores lose a huge bulk of their earnings to fraud, alerting that its acutely necessary to equally protect the business and customers from it. With alarming security breaches customers’ core concern is privacy and security of their identity and information, emphasizing the grave need to have specialized services and storefront platforms.
While there are already ways for merchants to prevent fraud, expect security to become a bigger priority in the coming years.
- Same Day or Next day Delivery
Amazon has local warehouse and shipping centers set up in all small and big cities to ensure same day or next day delivery to their Prime customers.
As giant ecommerce businesses offer same-day delivery, they’ll win out with most of the consumers who want their products delivered faster and accurately. As it becomes the norm, people will become comfortable paying extra for same-day delivery.
If you don’t give consumers the option of same-day or next-day delivery, they’ll turn to competitors who will.
Retail stores too have embraced the online store, influenced by the 56% of shoppers who want to experience the digital commerce. What that means for retailers is, if they fail to engage their valued customers through online option they potentially lose half of their revenue.
If you own an ecommerce business, you need to be on the toes for latest trends which alert new strategies and technologies to look out for to remain competitive and sustain business growth.