Overwhelmingly, recent advances in technology have played a huge role in empowering businesses for the better. Thanks to some pervasive, robust e-commerce trends, our entire landscape has been transformed. Not only that, these newer trends have helped improve the overall shopping experience of nearly every target market.
E-commerce today is powered in large part by the convenience that comes with having products delivered to our doorstep. No small amount of effort has been expended making the online shopping experience as smooth as possible. Anyone who is still on the fence about e-commerce being here to stay needs to consider some relevant statistics.
- In the United States, 125 million+ users currently own smartphones. Of that number, approximately 62% of smartphone owners use their devices to make online purchases.
- That means that more than 75 million shoppers use their smartphones to make purchases through e-commerce websites.
Grabbing some of those eyeballs for your business means staying on top of purchasing habits and trends. Listed below are seven you’ll want to keep an eye on this year.
Top 7 E-Commerce Trends to Watch
1. Omnichannel Marketing
Prospective customer habits have changed dramatically in the past few years. Potential clients now typically surf cross-platform before making a purchase decision.
This means that to attract any target audience, you must maintain an online presence on multiple social media platforms. By keeping every channel updated with fresh content, your business can offer relevant merchandise, solve client inquiries quickly, and engage a wider swath of interested users. If your business maintains an omnichannel presence, you can more easily build a well-oiled network that successfully steers your audience into the sales funnel.
2. Increased Emphasis on Personalization
In the e-commerce industry, customization has been one of the most prominent trends and features for e-commerce applications, and as usual, the buyer’s persona is ever-changing. To align with the buyer’s persona, you need to use the latest technology, including e-commerce App Development. You cannot make the most of your sales if you don’t align with your target audience.
3. Mobile-Friendly Websites
With approximately 60% of audience members accessing the internet via a smartphone, it pays to make sure that both mobile and desktop audiences have an enjoyable experience. If you are operating an e-commerce business but not making effort to maintain a mobile-friendly platform, you’re missing out on a huge number of customers.
Today’s mobile-savvy world requires that your business seek out mobile app development services if you don’t already have that sort of expertise in-house. If you do decide to engage an outside vendor, make sure whoever you select has the capacity to integrate your e-commerce app with both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). All the indicators are that this trend will take off in the next few years. Set yourself up for success by making sure your vendor can grow with your mobile app as needs change.
4. Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with E-Commerce
The addition of AI in various apps and other technology may not be new, but its inclusion in communications technology and e-commerce is advancing by leaps and bounds. Through the use of AI, e-commerce businesses are now engaging with their customers in an increasingly shorter window of time. Potential customers are being enabled to search for products using their voices instead of their keypads. AI is stepping in to allow customers to interact more naturally with technology and thereby increase conversion.
AI is here to stay. It will play an increasingly vital role in our everyday lives and substantially impact both our personal and professional lives. The storefront of the immediate future will include chatbots and virtual assistants, with many prominent businesses already having made the investment as a means for improving user experience. Examples in operation today include ordering food online with the help of a chatbot, asking for recommendations for various goods and services, and checking in your luggage at the airport.
5. The Rise of Conversational Marketing
Traditional marketing channels were most likely to flow in one direction, from business to audience, but that may well become a relic of the past.
The latest concept made possible by technology is conversational marketing. Businesses are discovering that two-way communication can lead to several previously untapped opportunities, especially in the e-commerce space. Acting on information received directly from customers makes far more sense than using hunches when adjusting your marketing plans. Businesses can also establish customized, real-time, one-to-one conversations and better understand prospective customer needs.
Conversational marketing is also a technique that stores can use to reduce fraud.
- Chatbots. Chatbots can handle several conversations simultaneously and provide potential customers with answers by drawing on knowledge stored across several pooled resources.
- Live Chat. Live chat allows your support personnel to communicate with people in real-time. Businesses can also initiate a pre-emptive chat with specific clients based on behavior.
6. Image Search Within E-Commerce Sites
E-commerce companies are rapidly integrating image search technology into their sites so users can easily see photos related to their products. Searching by image speeds up the decision-making process as it frees people to pause and read product descriptions only after they see something they like.
Finally, blockchain has begun a meteoric rise in the online marketplace. Look for it to make its presence felt across all industries. Thanks to its focus on maintaining a public ledger, blockchain shares information with all the members that have signed on to its network.
Thus, blockchain aims to offer transparency to e-commerce companies. That is why people are willing to start their e-commerce business from scratch. If you have yet to take a serious look at blockchain, its applications, and its benefits, start your research today to avoid being left behind.