In the Digital Transformation era e-commerce entrepreneurs and marketers have to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and predictions. The fast-growing online shopping industry is strongly related to new technologies. It takes only while to be left behind. Here you can find a batch of trends for the upcoming year.
AR & VR
A game-changer for many companies. Augmented Reality can help customers with the decision process. For example, IKEA’s solution allows clients to place furniture in their houses; therefore they can check if the size and color fit their expectations.
Virtual Reality is a computer-generated interface which can visualise the environment or even allow to interact with it. Tourists agencies can benefit from showing potential clients the destination etc.
New payment method
When it comes to online shopping, the biggest challenge is to gain customers’ trust. For quite some years by now e-stores became more and more trustworthy, and consumers don’t fear of the online payment anymore in the same scale as before - the new generation got used to cashless operations (via credit/debit cards, PayPal and Wallets like Apple Pay and Android Pay). What’s next? It’s time for cryptocurrency used as a payment method. A crucial aspect for marketers is to highlight cybersecurity of customer’s data in the communication. Moreover, the e-commerce sector will be exposed to cyber attacks, especially during hot shopping seasons like Black Friday or Holidays.
The future of logistics seems to be related to drones as a delivery method which promises to do the task within an hour. Impatient customers are willing even to pay extra $10 for drone delivery. This solution may be not fully introduced in 2019, but for sure there may be a wide discussion, which has already started. Same-day delivery (even without drones) is in demand in today’s e-commerce.
New search methods
Voice search develops quickly among younger users. Smart speakers also become more and more popular, they allow for purchasing only with few verbal commands (with previous app configuration). With Machine Learning support the system will recommend products based on past shopping. By the 2020 voice search will be 50% of all searches. Voice commerce is definitely something to look for in 2019.
Image search is significant for the e-commerce sector because of its character. Customers often look for products they have seen before. eBay already offers visual search which matches products with uploaded photos, online pictures, and blogs. The challenge in this area is the search engine optimization for these developing search methods.
That’s a trend which will continue. Customers willingly read reviews and opinions, especially when it comes to influencers who have authority among the target group. But - brands will focus on authenticity! With the dedicated software companies are able to detect fake followers. Disclosure of sponsored content will also make influencer marketing more transparent and professionalised.
It’s going to expand even more in many aspects of marketing and e-commerce. The usage of chatbots for customer service will increase because they give customers the instant answers. 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without human agents’ help. Crucial for further purchasing is customer satisfaction and speed.
Marketing automation should be used for personalised experience, whether it comes to reminding about the abandoned carts or content distribution. Make the most of e-mail and web push notification tools - send targeted campaigns to reach audience highly interested in the given articles or products.
This platform has already developed concerning business usage, but it’s expected to expand the marketing field even more. As it’s based on visual communication with audience Instagram can be an effective social network for e-commerce campaigns. For now, it’s limited for accounts with fewer followers, but for more significant profiles it can be advantageous as it allows linking in the stories and so on. For sure we’ll get some new ad features in the upcoming year.
74% of people hate when companies show them irrelevant content. The key to the issue is marketing automation which enables building a database and creating targeted campaigns to deliver a message to a potentially interested audience. Surprise your customers with individual emails and notifications related to their action on your site.
Thanks to deliberate content marketing strategy you can engage your audience and get more traffic to your website. Yes, visitors will come for valuable content, but they can also buy your products from time to time. The most important is that they still come back to you. Build an ecosystem focused on your branch and tell your story the way you wish.
Customers interact with brands via many platforms, not only website. They can complain on social media, switch between devices while purchasing and so on. Brands should adjust to their expectations and become reachable anywhere consumers want to. It also means integration with physical stores. That can meet the research online purchase offline trend as well as buy online and pick up in store.
This solution is very convenient for customers who know what they need once in some period, i.e., month. For e-commerce, it’s a hugely profitable order type because they don’t have to „fight” for new clients. Prepare special offers that will also allow for personalisation. Reorders are also a way to attach consumers to your brand. It will be easier and faster to make an automated purchase that lookup for the same products every month. Promote it as an amazing time-saving solution.
Social media encourage brands to advertise their products on social media by adding new features, and that’s not going to stop anytime soon. Facebook has its marketplace, Instagram allows for tagging products in the posts, Pinterest provides many options for product promotion and even Snapchat this year introduced the native commerce by adding a shop button. The more convenient shopping is for consumers, and the shortest customer journey - the better.
Responsive web design and UX
Shoppers go mobile! Purchasing via smartphones and tablets will increase to 69% by the year 2020. Mobile apps and sites have to provide an excellent user experience and fast speed and respond to the screen size. Quick and easy customer journey (especially paying process) is the key to win the clients’ hearts. To make it the most convenient implement autofill fields, don’t require registration, provide a one-page checkout and adapt image recognition software for scanning credit cards.
The beginning of the presented trends we could have already noticed this year. According to the survey by Divante, in the upcoming year e-commerce Managers will invest in Business Intelligence, CRM, Big Data, Content Marketing, Conversational Commerce, Personalisation, Digital Content, Omnichannel, Marketplaces, and Data-Driven UX. Identify the most significant trends for your industry and make your e-commerce trendy in 2019. Good luck!