One thing is true for every ecommerce business and business owner—you have to keep up with the times because if you don’t keep up with current and future trends, you might find yourself and your dated ecommerce business being left behind.
Now, being able to accurately predict the future is a challenge in on itself, but there are a few emerging trends that tell us what’s going to be even hotter in the new year and new decade to come as the ecommerce business environment changes and evolves.
Thus far, we’ve seen ecommerce become a term that is nearly synonymous with the word growth. Globally, the last decade has seen an upward projection in ecommerce sales. The booming world of ecommerce is being fuelled by the changing buying habits and increasing preference for the many conveniences of online shopping. An estimated 1.8 billion people worldwide purchased goods online in 2018, and by 2021 an estimate of 2.14 billion people of the world’s population will have turned to online retail.
Being an online businessman or woman, it is of paramount importance to stay on top of current and emerging trends in ecommerce to be able to keep up in the coming years. If you want to continue to build and run an online business that resounds well with your customers and their expectations, you must work to develop your business and online website based on the trends seen in ecommerce and in your particular niche, so that your ecommerce business can continue to grow and flourish in the years to come.
In this article, we have dedicated ourselves to helping our readers navigate the future of ecommerce so that you can stay up to date with the coming trends. We know that staying ahead is essential to any ecommerce business owner, so here we are providing you with the top 10 ecommerce trends and developments that you can focus on in 2020.
1. Increase in Mobile Shopping
One thing’s for sure in 2020, we are going to see an increase in the use of mobile devices when it comes to shopping and buying things online. According to Statista by 2021, as much as 70% of all ecommerce sales will be transacted from mobile devices.
People simply have their handheld mobile devices with them wherever they go and as more people are constantly connected to the net, people can literally shop any time and anywhere, whether they be on a bus from work or scrolling through their phones in their neighborhood café. When it comes to mobile phones, shopping can conveniently take place anytime and anywhere, which explains in part the popularity of smartphone use to complete online purchases.
In addition to that, mobile payments have also become more secure for shoppers, making online customers feel safer about making purchases through handheld mobile devices. This means that optimizing your website for mobile use only becomes more significant every day as people’s preference for mobile shopping increases. Ecommerce businesses must tune in their focus on the mobile experience of their consumers and perhaps, even develop a mobile app if needed.
2. Video Product Descriptions
As digital marketing evolves, video content will continue to be king in 2020 and will continue to extend to influence the way that we shop. Today’s shoppers prefer to watch video descriptions and often do their research to find product demos and reviews online. Written product descriptions are limited in enabling the potential buyer to “experience” the product, whereas video descriptions and demonstrations help to stimulate shopper’s interest.
According to a survey on online consumers, 50% of shoppers want to watch videos before they purchase electronic goods, appliances, tools, and even personal care products. The survey also found that 85% of consumers between the ages of 18-34 report they’ve purchased a product or service after viewing a video.
Knowing this, ecommerce stores that rely only on product images and written product descriptions should consider adding video content to market their products more successfully to their consumers.
3. Voice Shopping
Voice assistants and voice search tools are experiencing growth in usage. Tools like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri are changing the way that people shop. Since the dawn of the smartphone, smart speakers and AI are the fastest-growing consumer technology and it is positively changing the way we interact with our tech. Our computers and smartphones are finally speaking our language, and the general consensus is that voice shopping is on the rise.
Users are increasing their voice searches instead of typing them down on the search box. First of all, it’s convenient because we talk faster than we type with our thumbs. Voice search is great because it eliminates barriers and the friction of holding your phone, unlocking it, swiping to find the application, opening it, typing a search query, and so on. You are familiar with the drill. Voice search is delightfully frictionless in comparison, which may help convert more leads into sales online.
While voice-activated search is still relatively new and usage hasn’t extended to the great majority, ecommerce experts believe that it will become a significant factor in online shopping in the future. Ecommerce stores that want to keep up will have to optimize their sites for long-tail keywords, which are typical of users’ voice search.
4. Social Shopping
Most ecommerce stores are using social media as a marketing tool to sell their products and to draw potential customers to their store. Today, people who are browsing social media can now purchase what they see on their feed by clicking on the buy button. Take Instagram for instance with their added shop function. Users now can tap their finger on a photo to view the price and can be redirected to the shop’s site where you can complete the transaction—all without leaving the Instagram app.
For online retailers, selling directly from people’s social media news feed eliminates a huge obstacle, creating a seamless shopping experience that leads customers directly to make a purchase from their preferred social media platforms, and consumers are definitely ready for it.
Ecommerce stores who know the value of creating a frictionless shopping experience need to start creating shoppable posts for a more direct shopping and marketing experience.
5. User Generated Content
When we compare both influencer marketing and user generated content, consumers find user generated content and word of mouth have far more impact on their decision to purchase than advertising with social influencers.
User generated content is a form of content such as images, videos, and text that are posted by product users on online platforms such as social media, review section on product sites, and product discovery and review platforms for consumers like Influenster.
The appeal of user generated content lies in its authenticity. UGC are created by real-life users of a product and not someone who has been hired to say good things about a company or product, like an influencer. UGC are trusted opinions by authentic individuals who consequently help convince potential customers to go ahead and make that purchase.
As consumers continue to become avid researchers pre-purchase, ecommerce stores should place a higher priority in convincing their buyers to write product reviews, post images, and to mention their brand on social platforms. The more user generated praise a brand acquires, the more it can exponentially increase a brand's ability to acquire new customers and buyers.
6. Niche Stores
For those looking to start an online business in 2020, take note that niche stores are still going to do better than opening a themeless online general store. The logic behind opening a general store lies in the idea that if you sell everything, then absolutely any customer that visits your sites is guaranteed to find something for them. But if you want to butt heads with mega ecommerce empires like Amazon and eBay, then tough luck.
Niche stores, on the other hand, have a far greater advantage to building an online general store because you’ll only have to deal with moderate competition in comparison—meaning your store will have a chance with a few choice products and a well-defined target audience.
With a niche store, ecommerce entrepreneurs can work with their passion, whether it's selling Hello Kitty merch or pet supplies. Niche stores can also have a dedicated blog to help with SEO and create a community of consumers who share the same passion for a specific niche.
7. Augmented Reality/ Interactive Visualization
One advantage that physical stores have over online stores is that physical stores offer more than just a 2D representation of the product. Today, ecommerce shops are circumventing this obstacle by providing customers with interactive visualization options that help customers experience the product before purchase.
Online retailers can now develop augmented reality programs that essentially allows customers to test a product. Customers can also customize products with AR and experience the product in a 3D environment with the help of your smartphone camera. For instance, if you run an online décor store, AR programs allow users to project the rendered items they are interested in to their real-life space so that they could see what the item would look like in their homes.
8. Subscription Based Services
When someone signs up for a subscription based services, it means that they are signing up to receive a recurring service in the form of being sent a package on a monthly basis. Today, companies in fashion, personal care, and even food industries are adopting the subscription based approach because it incurs regular, monthly payments from customers.
Subscription boxes are typically niche-oriented or themed. For instance, if you run an online beauty shop, you can send your customers who have signed up for your services a themed monthly collection of goodies that your beauty product loving customers can be excited about.
15% of online shoppers are signing up for one or even more subscription services. People who subscribe to such services are often on the younger side. They are people who enjoy the convenience, the excitement, and the novelty of receiving a unique set of personalized and themed items every month for a fee that typically goes for 15 USD to 50 USD.
9. Real Time Conversations
Prepare to get chatty with your customers in 2020 because customers today are learning to prefer live chat over email and over the phone communication with online stores.
Today’s customers express the desire to see more companies using chatbots and private messaging to offer solutions and to answer their questions about products and services pre and post purchase.
Much of the time, a customer will have questions that they want answered before completing their purchase and you might not always be there to respond to your customers right away. If they have to wait too long, their interest in your shop and its products may drift elsewhere. This is where chatbots and AI come in handy.
Often customers will ask more or less the same questions, questions that chatbots and AI can be programmed to provide quick responses to. Installing a chatbot to your online store is easy enough, and it’s a program that can work for you and your customers on a 24/7 basis.
10. Customization & Personalization
Personalization is an ecommerce industry trend that all online entrepreneurs should definitely be looking out for. It is estimated that businesses that include personalization options will see as much as a 15% increase in their profits by 2020.
When you offer customization in store, you are giving your customers the option to customize the product of their choice so that they can create something that they feel is truly their own.
The preference for customization isn’t new, but businesses are constantly leaning to find more ways to give their customers exactly what they want, and what better way to do so than to get personal with them! When it comes to personalization, your customers will be highly involved in the creation process, which enhances the experience for your buyers. This usually leads to more conversions and a lucrative ecommerce business that your customers can love and have fun with.
Ecommerce businesses that wish to incorporate some aspects of personalization to their online store can add a feature from their website that allows customers to customize the color, engraving, and patterns on their chosen items. This way, shopping can be more fun and creative for your online customers.
In this article, we have given you the ten hottest trends for 2020 that can help you grow your online store and your profits.
If you are an online business owner, keeping up with the developing trends is an absolute necessity. When you know what your customers want and what they come to expect in their online shopping experience, you will be able to effectively provide your customers with the best services and smooth shopping experience that will keep you in good business in the years to come.
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What are your thoughts on the developing trends for ecommerce in 2020? Would you like to implement some of our mentioned methods to your online store? If you have a project in mind, contact Ecommerce Pro today. We help entrepreneurs like you build better and more successful ecommerce and dropshipping businesses. We not only help build foundations, but we’ll also help take your online business to the next level.