It’s now 2020 and the competition in the e-commerce industry is fiercer than ever. It’s not enough to have the best products or services to offer. You need to be able to keep up with the latest trends if you want to get ahead in the game. So just as you have watched out for industry predictions last year, you should check out the trends that will help you change your e-commerce game this year.
Top 10 Trends to Adopt for eCommerce Domination in 2020
Seventy-one percent of marketers agree that mobile marketing is core to their business. It’s not shocking because according to Statista by 2021, 53.9% of retail e-commerce would be mobile device-driven.
One of the things that you can do is make sure you have meaty but easily digestible content that would look better on mobile. Also, don’t forget how crucial a role page speed plays, especially on mobile as users expect to access information faster when they’re on their smartphones and tablets.
Did you know that there’s a forecast that advertisers will shell out $98 billion on programmatic advertising just this year? That means a lot of brands and businesses are allocating huge chunks of their digital advertising budget on this automated ad-bidding method.
To the uninitiated, programmatic advertising is a system that automates the processes and transactions involved with purchasing and dynamically placing ads. The entire process makes it possible to purchase and place ads (even targeted advertising content) in less than a second.
And because it’s a great way to optimize the advertiser’s investment and the publisher’s profit, you should not get behind. Choose the programmatic advertising format that works best for you, but it’s recommended that you focus on buying programmatically on the top social networks. Video ads are particularly popular on such platforms.
If you haven’t harnessed the power of user-generated content for your e-commerce business yet, now is the time to do so. Not only is user-generated content a cost-effective strategy but one that when done properly, really works.
When outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw did their #lovethemadness campaign a couple of years ago, they sent a free flag to customers who wanted to join and share a photo of their outdoor adventure with the flag somewhere in the picture. It worked wonders for the brand and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work for you! Offer freebies or other perks to those who would participate in your marketing campaign and witness the magic of user-generated content unfold organically
About 40 percent of consumers buy a product online after seeing an influencer (on Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter) use it. Influencer marketing is an excellent way to build your brand online, catch the attention of a new target market, and generate leads. Check out how Gap’s Styld.by campaign nailed influencer marketing when they worked with influencers.
If you’re not sure how and where you’ll look for influencers who would possibly fit your brand, you can try tools like Buzzsumo which can help you find relevant influencers. Don’t stress yourself trying to get celebrity influencers with millions of followers because micro-influencers (those who have a following between 1,000 and 100,000) with a more specific niche can deliver great results, too.
AI and AR
As e-commerce businesses lean towards increasing personalization to further improve customer experience, the need for AI tools increases as well. There are a lot of e-commerce sites that are now enjoying the benefits of such concepts as predictive intelligence for chatbots, among others.
As for Augmented Reality, it is predicted that more than 120,000 stores will be making use of AR technologies by 2022. Its popularity is unsurprising since it solves the problem that customers have with not being able to actually see the products they want to buy online. E-commerce businesses should recognize the opportunity presented by AR technology to enhance their customers’ online shopping experience, especially because a huge percentage of consumers are willing to pay a higher price for products if they can “experience” them first through augmented reality.
As you can see above, L’Oreal’s virtual makeup stylist allows its customers to experience their products by simply using the cameras. This way, they can easily see which lipsticks go best with which eyeshadows, for example. With 260 million virtual product trials, it helped boost L’Oreal’s conversions greatly.
Meanwhile, the simplest way to get started with AI is with chatbots as 48 percent of consumers prefer live chats over other means of contact when it comes to communicating with a business. If you’re worried about the cost, you can try chatbot builders that allow businesses to create one for free.
Automation and Virtual Assistants
Although automation is becoming a trend in the retail industry everywhere, e-commerce businesses are the ones that benefit most from it. From warehousing to direct sales and delivery, automation can help provide a better customer experience without requiring much effort from you.
Not only can automation help make running an e-commerce business more convenient it can also help generate revenue. Find the right automation software that you can utilize to better handle tedious tasks so you can focus on increasing your sales.
Visual and Voice Commerce
Visual commerce is expected to take your traditional visuals to a higher level. The industry will see the rise in the use of videos, interactive content, and as mentioned above, augmented reality and consumer-generated media. This is to keep up with the 75 percent of consumers in the United States who look for visual content before making a purchase online.
Similarly, voice shopping is continuously growing. OC&C Strategy Consultants predicted in 2018 that by 2022, the number of people doing voice shopping can rise to 55 percent. The trend began to grow exponentially from the time Amazon launched Echo.
These trends mark a shift in the way people are doing their shopping online, and you should take note of these changes. After all, you should be able to adapt and provide your customers with their preferred shopping method or you’ll be left behind.
For a few years now, personalization has been a huge thing in the e-commerce industry, so much so that 74 percent of marketers claim that personalization has a strong impact on improving customer relationships.
Today, shoppers expect product recommendations that are tailored to their preferences and there are those that leave stores that fail to do this. That’s why you need to invest in tactics like providing exclusive discounts, personalizing messages, tailoring product suggestions, and more.
Internet of Things
As an e-commerce business owner, you want to make sure that you are on top of your inventory. Having tools like IoT sensors and RFID tags integrated into your system will make tracking what you have in stock so much easier. You won’t have to hire a store manager and human error in ordering and stock taking would be minimized.
Additionally, IoT can also help personalize customer experiences by leveraging the buyer’s connections and incorporating gathered data. For instance, if a man’s car is connected, the driver of that vehicle may receive tailored product info and offers.
Just remember to provide sufficient security measures and clear with your customers how you gather and use their information to prevent any legal issues.
Optimizing your e-commerce website to boost your sales is a trend that would probably never go away. After all, even if you consider your e-commerce site as a store, it’s still a website and you still need to optimize it.
Seventy-four percent of younger consumers prefer visual searches so optimizing images and using semantic markup to improve the look of your search results would help drive more people to your site.
Of course, you should also consider your website’s design and UX, especially the load speed. Remember that the longer your pages load, the more revenue you lose. Make sure that navigation is easy for your customers. For instance, Wolferman’s navigation offers navigation options depending on how customers want to proceed with their shopping. Doing something similar could work for you, too.
In the e-commerce world, things change and evolve faster than most people can keep up with. But knowing the latest trends and planning your strategies well can ensure that you continue to dominate this 2020. Whichever trend you choose to add to your e-commerce strategies, keep in mind that as long as your goals are to provide your customers with an amazing shopping experience and establish a lasting relationship with them, you can never go wrong.