If one thing is consistent about the eCommerce industry, it’s how much it’s always changing. In the past few years, things have shifted towards a more customer-focused approach.
As an eCommerce business owner, it’s your job to plan marketing strategies that please consumers who are becoming more demanding while keeping your finger on the pulse of ever-changing trends.
If you’re looking for a place where all the latest eCommerce trends are discussed in a way that makes sense without getting too complicated or technical, we’ve got you covered.
Currently, there are ten major trends that are highly likely to stick around for a good while, and all businesses will benefit from adding them to their repertoire. Here they are:
Augmented Reality (AR) is a big deal these days. It’s taking over the gaming industry but is also very prevalent in other areas such as education and healthcare. For the eCommerce sector, AR has been a game-changer.
This innovative technology lets shoppers see the items they’re shopping for. Thus, helping them make more informed buying decisions.
Marketers can use AR to introduce new customers to products creatively and let them experience the products up close before even getting their credit cards out. Virtual shopping is definitely here to stay, and tapping into AR for marketing and eCommerce will become the norm.
Using AR to let customers try on new products or see what the products would look like in their homes is a fantastic idea. You can also make your user manuals much easier to understand with AR. The possibilities are almost limitless, and as this technology advances, there will be even more ways to use it in eCommerce.
Source: WE/AR Studio
Image shopping is a relatively new trend, but it gained so much traction that it’s quickly become a favorite with eCommerce businesses everywhere. This trend is exactly what you think it is: shopping through image searches.
Here's how it works: customers take pictures of a product they want to purchase and simply order it from an image-shopping online provider.
Although there aren’t as many options like these available yet, Bing already introduced its image-based product search back in 2020. Innovations like this are paving the way for convenient and easy image shopping.
With image-shopping apps, you can take a photo of that dress or pair of shoes you like and find sellers you can purchase them from. Additional features such as product suggestions can also help drive sales — so they go hand-in-hand with image shopping apps.
We’ve all felt the effects of struggling economies and difficulties in making ends meet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have also felt it and come up with creative ways of adapting. One of those ways is the Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) payment method.
This way of doing business is especially popular with Gen-Z and millennials, and the user base grew 85% between 2020 and 2021.
Thanks to this payment model, people can buy things they can’t really afford right now and pay installments until they’ve made up the total amount due. Electronics and gadgets are the most common items purchased this way.
BNPL is expected to remain popular and grow in demand over the next few years. With the world and finances being as uncertain as they are, it’s not difficult to see why people prefer this method of paying for products.
Mobile shopping is a trend that has been around for a long time, and it has gained momentum in recent times. With Mcommerce, customers can buy from anywhere and even shop from businesses they may not have supported otherwise.
Mcommerce and eCommerce are peas in a pod that support each other. Shoppers like that they can use their phones to make purchases and pay for the products they want digitally.
A big part of eCommerce already takes place on mobile devices, and it’s believed that this will become even more commonplace. Mobile devices have actually surpassed desktops as the primary way of online shopping, and they are bound to remain preferred.
Voice search may not be such a big deal just yet, but it’s likely to become much more used in the eCommerce space. This growth in popularity will be partly due to more people owning smart speakers like Alexa and partly because more people will rely on voice assistants.
As such, with more people owning smart speakers, more of them will be using voice search to do their shopping.
For eCommerce businesses, this means a lot more doors will open in the form of marketing through content and keywords. It will also make voice search optimization more important.
You’ll have to make sure your content is optimized so it can be read aloud by the smart speaker or voice search device. The focus on local listings will also intensify because most voice searches so far have been for local businesses.
Voice searches are much more convenient, and we live in a time when consumers demand convenience. Voice searches are fast and easy as well, explaining the technology's popularity.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is nothing new and has been important in eCommerce for quite a while now. Thanks to machine learning and AI, customers enjoy more personalized and automated shopping experiences — something that will only become more commonplace in the future.
AI can cleverly collect information on how people shop, their buying habits and preferences, and what they’re looking for in a service or product. This information has changed how we do business and will remain important for years to come.
With AI, businesses have the ability to pull off more targeted advertising and marketing campaigns that boost customer retention rates.
Optimizing prices, enhancing customer service, and personalized product recommendations are all made possible with AI. There are countless benefits to using AI and machine learning, which is why it’s a trend that will stay for a long time.
Chatbots have been around for a while, and the technology behind them is continuously changing for the better. These bots help improve shopping experiences by making the user’s interactions much smoother and more convenient.
Ecommerce companies use chatbots to interact with their online customers and take the place of an in-store salesperson. Chatbots are very useful when customers have questions or are struggling to find the products they want.
They are also very effective in customer support, a vital part of any business. Chatbots have changed how people interact with brands and companies online and are expected to continue to impact the eCommerce industry.
Chatbots make real-time interactions possible when they would have been challenging in the past. They can help improve your customers’ shopping experiences, which will result in higher brand loyalty and better sales.
Also, they’re fantastic at leading potential customers through your sales or marketing funnel.
In this example, you can see a chatbot guiding a potential customer through their shopping experience.
One of the best examples of a subscription-based company is the Dollar Shave Club, and they’ve shown us how to make the most out of the approach.
Subscriptions used to be all the rage years ago and are making a fierce comeback. They’re very convenient and give eCommerce companies a good way to ensure guaranteed sales. Locking in subscribers can help an eCommerce business grow in leaps and bounds.
Subscriptions are especially good for larger or more expensive purchases because they’re easier to handle financially. This encourages consumers to buy something they otherwise may have chosen not to spend money on.
Adding personalization to subscriptions is also part of the reason they’re gaining so much popularity.
Because subscription eCommerce is flexible and more affordable for consumers, it’s a trend that's expected to stick around for a long time.
Being charitable can do an eCommerce business’ reputation a lot of good and boost sales simultaneously. We live in a time when consumers expect more from brands — they want to support businesses that show they care about the world rather than cold, faceless companies.
Most consumers think more highly of a product or brand when it shows support for the charities that matter to them. Social consciousness makes people think that eCommerce companies are more than just money-driven. When customers see that a brand is charitable, they feel more connected to it.
Doing good deeds can also make customers feel that a product is of higher quality.
Of course, your company shouldn’t be supporting charities just to look good. Find charities relevant to your niche or brand, and take them under your wing. Your business will benefit by creating ways to connect with communities, and your staff will feel like they’re making a difference. It’s a win-win situation!
Environmental and sustainability awareness has become a lot more important over the years. Consumers expect the companies they support to be responsible and help take care of their environment.
Taking an eco-friendly approach in everything you do as an eCommerce company is almost expected. People want companies to be more aware of their impact on the world.
Elements like packaging and manufacturing are often scrutinized. If you can show your customers that you’re responsible and taking a sustainable, environmentally-friendly approach, your brand’s reputation will grow. When it comes to brand marketing, how your customers see you is of vital importance.
Whether you’re going paperless, recycling supplies, or using biodegradable packaging, doing your part for the environment will always be seen in a positive light. This is a trend that is certainly not going away any time soon.
There are many eCommerce trends, and the ones we’ve listed here are expected to outlast most of them. From AI to AR, the digital world is ever-growing, and its impact on how we do business will continue to be an important factor in the eCommerce industry.
Incorporating these trends into your business model and marketing campaigns will give you an edge over your competition. While making the most of trends will benefit your business, all that effort will be for naught if you don’t know how to measure the success of your hard work.
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