Trends that define the future of eCommerce in 2021 and further
The online retail marketplace is getting increasingly competitive. This means there are several businesses that are trying to beat you down and get your customers. So you need to stay competitive and constantly make improvements. Even if you are doing better and have a stable eCommerce website, you need to keep on making improvements in your store by staying abreast of the latest trends. If you fail to do so, you will see a decline in business sales.
To keep the future of your business bright, you need to keep up with the eCommerce trends. If you are not sure about what you can expect in 2020, just keep reading below:
The future of online retail stores: Top eCommerce trends for 2021
1. Environmental factors will influence shopping
Whether it is about the declining animal population or rising sea levels across the world, today’s generation is more concerned about the environment. The same can be seen in their purchase behavior too. There has been a stupendous rise in green consumerism and the brands need to be aware of the same. As per a report, half of the digital consumers have agreed to the fact that their online purchases are affected by environmental concerns.
For the same reason, it would be wise enough for the eCommerce businesses to implement better practices. Several people are now concerned about their environment and it is good. So eCommerce businesses need to be sure that they are following environment-friendly practices and come forward with a clear agenda. One of the ways to do so is by taking products from the organizations in a fair-trade manner that can help build a better environment.
A huge number of millennials are now coming forward and making wise choices while buying online. They are more inclined towards making purchases that are environment-friendly. They avoid products with animal contents or the ones which are made by negatively affecting the environment. This means brands should change too and cater consumers with greener products.
2. There will be increased use of AI Assistants and chatbots
We have seen the eminent role played by robots across the eCommerce industry in 2019. Artificial Intelligence and chatbots are said to have a greater role when it comes to delivering the utmost shopping experience to the customers. No doubt in 2020 and further, such chatbots and shopping assistants will continue to play an important in online shopping.
You can make use of AI assistants instead of a human figure to take care of several things which can include hearing to inquiries, managing inventory, etc. This helps the business to free up the time of human agents and use such resources to run the business instead.
For example, you can use a chatbot to answer customer queries and revert with an appropriate answer. The best thing about AI chatbots is that they keep learning from the conversations they have with the customers and get better next time. This helps them to offer a personalized experience to the customers.
As per Forbes, 60% of the millennials have used chatbots while visiting online sites and 70% of them have positive reviews about it. In short, they can work as your first-level contact with the customers when they are shopping at the store.
3. More focus will be on customer engagement and personalization
Unlike the brick and mortar stores, eCommerce stores do not offer direct contact to the customers. Here there is no personal interaction with the customers. No salesman to recommend the customers the right product based on their personal preferences.
So just to make the shopping experience better for online shoppers, today several online businesses are coming up with personalization opportunities. eCommerce stores can be called as a better way of serving the customers rather than making them visit the retail stores in-person.
It becomes possible for online stores to serve well the customers by making use of personal online data like brands chosen, purchase history, page visits, search queries, most searched products, etc. Websites like Amazon offer you recommended products when you visit the store the next time after you have made purchases. This can be based on past purchases or search history. They even offer you tailored-ads based on what you like in there. In the coming time, more businesses will realize the need to have personalization integrated into online stores.
Just as consumers react faster to personalized emails and lead to higher transaction rates compared to template emails, offering personalized experience will make 48% of consumers spend more. It can be wise enough to connect your online store with CRM software to know more about customer behavior and their purchase habits. This will help you build personalized emails, marketing campaigns. You will also be able to boost upsell as well as reduce cart abandonments.
4. Boost in B2B eCommerce will be seen
Unlike the common belief that eCommerce business works only for B2C, the latest trends in eCommerce business are also leveraged by B2B companies. It has been said that by 2020, the B2B eCommerce sales will reach by $6.6 trillion.
Recently, BigCommerce surveyed 500 B2B companies and they found that 80% of the orders they accepted came from the website and even the payment was made through the website. Even B2B businesses can gain from the personalization offered by eCommerce businesses.
5. Voice commerce will increase sales
Voice shopping is seen to be an increasing trend among people using the internet. Smart speakers are not a new thing today and more people are seen buying and adopting it. If we look at the numbers, 10% of the UK households and 13% of the US households shopped online using smart speakers in December 2017. Things will change and it has been estimated that around 6% and 3% of the total online spending in the US and the UK respectively, will take place through voice commerce by 2022.
The launch of Amazon Echo, a smart speaker by Amazon is the main reason why voice shopping became such a popular trend. Currently, there are few voice shopping instances taking place in the market but, in the coming years, it is said to increase in numbers.
Voice shopping is all about choosing products through a verbal description without actually seeing it. There is an actual restriction experienced by the shopper as the scope of browsing the product is limited. Voice search work in scenarios where the user is not into browsing different products rather, buying the one they have already selected earlier. If voice searches become one of the popular mediums to shop online then businesses will have to do their part of research to understand how voice searches work to offer a better shopping experience.
6. Product visualization in an interactive manner
When shopping online, we have all been confused and hesitant about completing the purchase just because we were not sure about what we were buying. There was a confusion regarding the quality, look and feel of the product. For the same reason, we must interact with the product strongly before we buy it. Watching influencer videos or online reviews are not enough sometimes. We want to be clear about all doubts by feeling the product and holding it.
Today interaction with products has gone a level high as now we have more than just high-quality images. We can view the product in a better way using augmented reality, 3D imaging, and virtual reality. Additionally, the product videos in the eCommerce stores have evolved to be more engaging now. Product videos have outgrown to be just informational into something that boosts the shopping experience of the shoppers.
Interactive product visualization technology has worked towards mitigating all the doubts that the consumers have regarding the product and has helped towards improving the shopping experience. This way the shoppers have complete confidence in the products before they make payment at the checkout.
7. Social media to influence eCommerce sales
Social media platforms are used by many people for shopping. The selling capabilities of social media turns it to be something more than just a platform for advertising. People can now choose the social media platform of their choice and seamlessly and quickly shop for products that they want.
Some of the social media platforms that offer the buy option to the customers are Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. This kind of eCommerce trend cuts down the time people spend on shopping and create instant shopping opportunities for businesses. This means it is time for businesses to think about new and creative ways to make use of such social media platforms for their business sales.
8. Online sales to keep growing
There has been a constant growth in eCommerce sales over the last few years and it can be said to be good for the marketplace. When we look at the online activities of the people, online shopping seems to be on the top of the list. As per a report of Statista looking at the market between 2014 and 2023, it has been projected that online sales are expected to reach 4.5 trillion in 2021 from 1.3 trillion in 2014. Now, this growth is commendable and exceptional.
Again, it has to be said that online shopping activities changes as the place changes. The increase in online shopping activities can be directly connected to the increasing popularity of eCommerce businesses. Several factors can be held responsible for the rising online shopping spree.
One of the top factors can be the ease of shopping that the online stores offer to the customers. Online businesses thrive to offer a better experience to the shoppers and there is an increasing trust experienced by the shoppers when shopping online. There was a time when people were not comfortable buying things online; however, it is not the case today! Today online stores are much customer-friendly and it offers all the comfort that the shoppers can ask for.
Consumer behavior in terms of buying keeps on changing just like changing technologies. This means if you want your eCommerce business to do well, you need to keep up with the eCommerce trends. Having an idea of the trends beforehand will let you get a clear idea about the future of online retail businesses. Which trends to follow and which ones to neglect, can depend on your individual business needs. You should choose the ones which can help you offer a better shopping experience for your consumers.