Whenever new improvements to technology arise, e-commerce will always find a way to benefit from it. According to Statista, e-commerce is estimated to make a total of $4.5 billion from sales in 2021. That says a lot to the kind of profit you could make with the right approach. The right approach, however, is constantly changing, and there are businessmen far and wide struggling to keep up. Here are eight e-commerce trends we’re expecting to see grow in the near future, so you can implement them now:
According to McKinsey, subscription-based e-commerce services have grown more than 100% per year for the last 5 years. If you’re wanting to retain loyal customers, a subscription service can help you build a strong fanbase. Giving people freebies or discounts for buying from you monthly can be the difference between a one-time customer and one who invests in your product for years on end, and that’s why companies worldwide are jumping on it.
In an age where a customer’s needs are catered to in a variety of ways, you may fall behind if you’re not doing the same.
Recommended items are an easy way to take a customer’s data and give them a worthwhile experience. It keeps them coming back and persuades them to buy more, which is a no-brainer for an online store.
Chatbots, chatbots everywhere
The tool of AI-assisted chats have been around for a while as a way to easily perform tasks simple enough a human isn’t required for it. As 2019 continues, many companies are looking into the benefits of using them for tasks previously needing a human’s input, like checking inventories and answering customer questions, as it saves a lot of money.
As for the biggest example of chatbots in e-commerce, that would be eBay. Their use of it allows customers to become aware of new deals and find what they’re looking for far easier.
Note: Whilst AI is expected of the technological age, many customers still prefer to be able to naturally talk to a human when it comes to specific queries on an item before they buy. Not only that but having a team of only chatbots would be an awful idea. There needs to be a balance, so people don’t lose patience if there’s ever a bug or something else stopping the bots from functioning.
Seeing a product in person and being able to physically feel for quality it are two aspects lost in online stores compared to the more traditional type. It can be highly disappointing to see a product that has a nice image but has poor functionality or product quality when it comes to finally using it.
Because of this, it should be a goal for anyone working in e-commerce to invest in the idea of 3D imaging and other types of virtual reality to make this drawback a thing of the past. Whilst nowhere near the sort of virtual revolution written in your typical sci-fi story, it is an area of technology that has made strides in recent times, enough to the point of maybe becoming a common way for people to evaluate products without needing to go to a store.
Along with the enlarged 3D images of the products, video descriptions are becoming more popular to allow the customer to get a more in-depth experience.
Moving from the eyes to the mouth, the voice search feature is quite a new one that has already grown to the extent that it makes up 20% of all searches at this point. Comscore also estimates it will make up 50% of all searches by next year.
With the growing popularity of phone assistants such as Alexa, more companies are making an effort to improve their voice search system, as demand in the market rises. Voice search is a lot more convenient than typing for a lot of people, so we can guarantee it’ll continue to grow.
Let’s say a customer wants a product from you but doesn’t have the money at the time. This could be costing you a sale. Instalment payments are getting more popular because of this, with PayPal being a huge innovator in the space.
A lot of companies do seem to lack the trust in customers to do this, and maybe rightly so, but when it works, it really works. For instance, the retail chain Very makes a lot of its profits in the sales of electronics through monthly instalment payments from customers.
As for creating a good experience out of this, convenience for the customers is key. They should get automatic updates on a payment before the deadline so they can plan accordingly, as well as the option to pay the remainder all at once if they become capable of doing so.
The power of influencers
Nowadays, those of the millennial generation constantly make up a larger percentage of the market each year. In terms of their spending habits, 70% of this group tend to buy products based on peer recommendation according to a survey by Collective Bias. Meanwhile, blogging seems a useful tool as well, with 30% going by the recommendation of a blogger. That is why brands love influencers, and that is why they’ll continue paying them to talk favourably about their brand.
All of these e-commerce trends are already being used by the biggest online stores on the internet, and there’s no good reason as to why smaller stores can’t also take advantage of them. If you’re looking for the next step to bring you closer to the user experience levels of Amazon, these should help.
Do you need to help to take advantage of new e-commerce trends?
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