E-commerce has already been a fast-growing industry before Covid-19 hit. Since then, with every restaurant, outlet, and shops closed due to lockdowns, the e-commerce business kept growing with every purchase, from dresses to something as small as your day’s grocery, done online. Hence, an already predicted growth in 2020 turned out to become even bigger.
When it began, E-commerce was limited to specific market options. But with the expansion of technological solutions, the industry has been growing tremendously. Now, e-commerce is a revolutionized method of buying any and every kind of product. It’s a fast, easy, and convenient method of doing business. And if you’re someone involved or interested to get involved in the industry, you need to keep your knowledge about it up-to-date. It’ll also be vital for you to learn more about how you can optimize your e-commerce strategy. Here are the e-commerce trends you should know in 2020.
E-commerce personalization refers to creating a person-focused experience for an individual rather than approaching a broader subject of the target audience. This means that with the help of studying the data on a person’s activity on the given brand, the store creates opportunities that cater to that individual’s needs. This data refers to studying the buyer persona i.e., past purchases or abandoned carts, recently viewed products and categories, location of the customer, etc. After analyzing this data, the brand then focuses on the individual’s experience by optimizing their journey on website browsing, email marketing, social activity, etc.
Personalization doesn’t only increase customer retention; it also increases customer loyalty. Studies show that about 80% of customers are more likely to invest in brands that provide personalized experiences.
The Importance of Cell Phone
With the advance in technology we face today, it’s no wonder that mobile phones account for almost 50% of total e-commerce sales done in 2019. And that number has only grown this year. With the way this year has progressed, with people quarantined in their homes and face-to-face business all but shut down for more than five months in a majority of countries, mobile commerce was the only way for a lot of people to continue with their purchases. This means that as an e-commerce store, your solutions need to be so simple and convenient that every user who shops online, and even those who don’t, look your way for directions in your niche. One way to provide advanced mobile commerce solutions is to optimize your UI/UX designs to make your brand more approachable for customers.
Simplicity is the best policy – especially when it comes to the world we live in today. So why can’t this be applied to e-commerce? A lot of brands are focusing on simplifying their solutions by bringing in minimalistic yet essential options to their users and getting rid of the unnecessary clutter to avoid making the buying process complex. Minimalism has been in practice for quite some time now for big companies. And now you can apply it in your e-commerce strategy, from website designs to product categories, to make the customer experience more positive and straightforward, while less confusing.
Social & Environmental Support
The World is changing its priorities, and that’s not just limited to technology. On every platform, people are increasingly raising their voices against injustice, whether social or environmental. Hence, the brands that are standing in support against such issues are the ones getting the spotlight. For your e-commerce strategies to become successful, you don’t just have to provide personalized experiences through an automated plan. Still, you also have to stand up and actively empathize with your audience. You have to care about what matters to them and raise your voice to send a message to them in support.
More than 75% of consumers state that they feel more comfortable investing in brands that provide social or environmental benefits. And brands are hearing them out with their waste reduction solutions of shipping and packaging products.
Previously, e-commerce stores used to offer their services through one central marketplace, such as Shopify, to engage customers to buy their products. But now, with the introduction of websites like Sellbrite, e-commerce stores have the option to make their products available on multiple diverse marketplaces without too much fuss. This is especially beneficial for small businesses that want to spread awareness of their products on different platforms.
We live in a world where we have access to almost all the tools and resources we need to develop our brand, and this personal brand becomes part of the influencer market, which is then approached by brands for reaching their target audience with ease. With the increase in influencer marketing, the need of the hour is for brands to find influencers that relate to their niche and sponsor them to create awareness on the brand’s existence and products. E-commerce platforms can also use this strategy to reach out to not just a huge amount of people who would be interested in their services, but also seem authentic while doing so as influencers are people that the audience has come to trust. Being recognized by such a trustworthy person will only create loyalty for your brand from a broad audience.
The Role of AR
When technology and marketing strategies weren’t as advanced, the fundamental problem people faced during online shopping was that they couldn’t test the products they were buying online the way face-to-face interactions allowed them to. But now, augmented and virtual reality is becoming more and more common in every e-commerce strategy so that people can test the products they’re buying with convenience and hence make their decisions accordingly. Augmented reality is also an acceptable form of providing reciprocity in marketing in which brands offer solutions to people and, in turn, make them invest in the brand’s products.
If you’re a brand that offers expensive products, making large purchases might be considered a risk by your consumers, especially those who are new to your store. This issue can be solved by offering flexible payment options that will build convenience for your customers without making them worry too much about the money they will be spending on your products. Some several apps and plugins can help you with determining these payment options by breaking the payments down over months and schedule a plan for the customer to follow to pay you for your services without making the customer stressed spending too much money.
We have already discussed personalization as a growing trend, but along with that, there’s another strategy being optimized, and its called customization. Over the years, brands have introduced deals and packages of products that can be essential and also easily affordable for people. Now, those packages are being customized to make the customer more satisfied with what they’re purchasing. Online quizzes, polls, votes, etc. help brands decide what the customers need from them, and based on these polls. They determine the customizing criteria that will make an individual more content with the brands. This customizability is a convenient method of making the audience buy your products without making them think about whether their investment is going to waste.
These are the most common and growing trends being applied in e-commerce in 2020. Although trends change regularly, keeping yourself aligned with these changes and evolving your features in time will help the audience trust you better as you’ll be providing them with the solutions they need.
Kamil Riaz Kara is a content contributor at Mainstream and associated with digital marketing for the last six years. Presently, he is working at Digital Eggheads, a digital marketing agency in Pakistan.