The ecommerce industry is rapidly changing. Consumer behavior is evolving, and the goalpost to delight customers keeps shifting.
This is why it is important to stay on top of trends and adapt so that you can be ahead of the competition.
Here are 8 ecommerce trends for online retailers that you should know about –
#1. Use print on demand model
While print on demand has been around for a while, it still bears repeating. A print on demand model allows you to scale rapidly with little overhead. And since you pretty much create new designs on the fly to capture memes, viral trends, or sayings, customers like this option as well.
There are several platforms that allow you to do this and also provide detailed information on adoption. For instance, you can check out the etsy print on demand business explained article to learn why it works and how you can adapt to it seamlessly.
#2. Optimize for mobile
In 2018, mobile eCommerce turnover made 50% of total U.S. ecommerce revenue. This suggests that not only do customers want mobile-first websites, but they are also shopping on mobile. Apps are great if you are a well-known brand but if not, invest in a mobile-first website.
This is also good for your search rankings. Google ranks websites better that are optimized for mobile. So, if your traffic is largely driven by search engine optimization, a mobile version is key.
#3. Include more methods for payment
With more ways of digital payment, you should start accommodating more than just a credit card. Using QR Codes, cryptocurrency, online wallets, and more can be a great way of improving abandoned cart rates.
#4. Start using chatbots
People want instant answers, but the cost of hiring 24×7 sales and support teams can quickly add up for smaller businesses. Chatbots are a far more cost-effective means to augment support.
Chatbots can increase engagement, offer product recommendations, answer frequently asked questions, help raise complaints or even ask for refunds.
There are several chatbot-building software platforms that allow you to get started for free so that you can experience the solution before you make an investment.
#5. Start personalizing your messaging
Personalized messages increase conversions and influence revenue. A study by BCG found that retailers experience a whopping 25% increase in revenue by including advanced personalization capabilities.
Your website, emails, physical products (if applicable) should be personalized to make the buyer journey relevant and useful.
#6. Leverage AI to learn more about buyers
Without audience research, you cannot create a definitive marketing strategy. Even if you have audience personas that you think are buying from you, you may not have insights into the exact triggers that cause someone to make a purchase.
You could invest in customer research, but a smarter way of doing this is to use artificial intelligence. AI collects a ton of data, including how visitors navigate your website, what kind of products they purchase, and you can leverage all of that to upsell, create better customer experiences and offer better support.
#7. Include video in your marketing
Videos drive the messaging home. People absorb content in a video far better than text. So if you haven’t started including videos, you should create a video strategy.
A good example of how videos can drive customers is the Dollar Shave Club. When they first started, they created a video ad that went viral because it was funny and relatable. That led to instant brand recognition, and they were able to acquire customers rapidly following that.
#8. Use AR on your website
One of the drawbacks of ecommerce businesses is that you cannot try a product before you buy it. With augmented reality, this is no longer a problem. Several ecommerce websites create AR versions of their products so that customers can try it on or see what it looks like in their space. The latest smartphones also have the native capability to display AR experiences which have fastened the adoption of AR for ecommerce.
IKEA’s Place app uses AR to help potential customers visualize how the IKEA product will look in their homes. Amazon had also tried this with a digital catalog for Christmas where children could use AR to see what the toy would look like at scale.
To sum up
Despite the adoption of different technology, the core strategy is to provide a better customer experience. Customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. Millennials also stop purchasing from brands that don’t care about the shopping journey.
Some other trends that you can adopt are to make a move to sustainable packaging and be transparent about the data you collect. Sustainability and privacy are some of the main reasons why buyers prefer one brand over the other.
Finally, make sure that your website is set up to load fast and provides value to your customer.
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.