E-commerce continues to grow at an astonishing rate. According to eMarketer, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to reach almost $2 trillion this year, with around a third of that coming from digital sales. This increasing popularity is due to the ease and accessibility of online shopping. As consumers become more detached from brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce becomes their primary source of goods. You should know key e-commerce trends that you need to know about in order to create a successful brand strategy and build your brand’s future.
Retailers have struggled to keep up with e-commerce demand, but that’s not stopping this sector from growing. E-commerce will continue to grow at a rapid rate in the coming years some estimates show it could hit $25 billion by 2020. With such a large impact on brick-and-mortar businesses, we know branding will continue to be an essential focus for companies of all sizes.
Your brand is your company’s first impression and can make or break your business if not handled correctly. If you operate an e-commerce site, you already know how important branding is for online shoppers.
This article details 8 key e-commerce trends that you need to know about in order to create a successful brand strategy and build your brand’s future.
1- Voice-Activated Shopping
One of the biggest trends in e-commerce is the rise of voice-activated shopping. Consumers are growing accustomed to using digital assistants to quickly and easily complete tasks, and purchasing goods is no exception. This shift is likely due to the increased use of smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home with shopping apps like Amazon and Walmart. E-commerce companies are also working to make their sites voice-enabled and increasing their selection of voice-activated products. These E-commerce trends are useful for companies who are looking to build up their brands in the future.
Amazon is leading the way in this arena with its Alexa Assistant and its large selection of Alexa-enabled products. These include the ability to order items from Amazon directly through the Alexa app. Customers can also use Alexa to order other products through the “skills” feature. By asking Alexa to search for a product or brand, consumers can purchase it through Alexa.
Amazon’s investment in voice-activated shopping looks likely to pay off as research shows a majority of customers are using voice-activation for shopping and expect it to become widespread in the near future. In fact, a full 70% of people say they use voice-activated devices to shop at least once a month, with 61% saying they use them every single month.
2- Same-day Delivery Programs
Consumers are always looking for ways to save time and effort. This is especially the case when shopping, as consumers want an easy way to purchase their desired items. E-commerce brands have been providing this satisfaction for years by offering a variety of shipping options for their products. Now, some retailers are going a step further by offering same-day delivery services.
These programs allow customers to order their desired products and have them delivered on the same day. This has been made possible by the development of new logistics systems that use algorithms to optimize delivery routes and create accurate delivery times. Same-day delivery is becoming especially popular in high-volume markets such as groceries and consumer electronics.
This is thanks to the huge potential profit in these markets and the ability to satisfy customers’ growing demand for quick delivery.
3- Virtual Reality in E-commerce
Virtual reality has transformed the entertainment and gaming industries, but how does it fit into your e-commerce strategy? VR is an exciting way for customers to experience your products directly and visualize how they will look in their homes. This can make the shopping experience much more engaging and fun, especially for impulse purchases. VR is a trend that is expected to continue growing quickly as platforms like Facebook and Google launch VR devices and tools for developers. Businesses should use these e-commerce trends to promote and enhance their brands with trending technologies.
Vendors like 3D and VR model marketplace, V-Real, allow you to create a virtual storefront where customers can browse through your products and place orders, all from their mobile devices. V-Real can simplify the process of creating and managing your online store, while also providing a more engaging experience for your customers.
4- AI-Enabled Shopping Experience
Artificial intelligence is going to play an important role in e-commerce in the future. AI is already used in e-commerce to personalize the shopping experience by recommending items based on customers’ interests. AI is also being used to create virtual shop assistants that can answer questions and provide product suggestions. These assistants are growing more intelligent every day as they are given more data and information. AI is already being used to create more interactive customer experiences.
A good example of this is an AI shopping app that makes suggestions to customers based on their previous purchases. Retailers can use this information to create more in-depth product descriptions, provide suggestions for other products and even suggest personalized discounts.
5- Blockchain in E-commerce
Blockchain is a buzzword that has gained a lot of traction in recent years. This digital ledger system has been used to power cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Now, companies are turning to blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of their e-commerce operations. Most commonly, blockchain is being used as an additional layer of security to keep customer data safe from cyberattacks.
Blockchain can also be used to facilitate payments without the need for middlemen like banks or PayPal. And it allows customers to track their orders from start to finish. This can be helpful for customers who worry about the security of their data.
See Also: What Does the Future of Blockchain in the Logistics Industry Seem Like?
6- Mobile Commerce to Lead the Way
If there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that mobile sales will continue to rise. Mobile commerce sales are expected to reach $319 billion this year. And by 2022, that number is expected to grow to $1.2 trillion. This growth is driven by a variety of factors. Including the rising number of online shoppers and the fact that most people shop on their mobile devices while at home, where desktop computers are more prevalent.
However, e-commerce brands must be aware of the rising complexity of mobile commerce and be prepared to address those challenges. Mobile devices are different than desktop computers. So brands must be ready to optimize their websites and apps for mobile devices. This includes making sure items are clearly labeled and easily visible.
Another important factor to consider is the user experience. Users who shop on their mobile devices want a quick and easy shopping experience that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort. This can be challenging for e-commerce brands. But it’s important to remember that customers will abandon their carts if they find the process too difficult.
7- Automation Tools to Enhance Efficiencies
As e-commerce becomes an intricate part of many businesses, companies are increasingly turning to automation tools to enhance efficiency. Automation tools such as chatbots, virtual assistants, and inventory management apps can help you to streamline your business and cut costs. They also provide a better customer experience and make things easier for your employees. Chatbots are being used in an increasing number of e-commerce businesses.
These tools allow you to automate conversations with customers, making the order process more efficient. They can also provide more accurate answers to FAQs and improve the customer experience. Virtual assistants are also used to take the strain off employees and improve efficiency. They can help with a variety of tasks that would otherwise require a human employee.
8- Rise of Niche Marketplaces
Online marketplaces are continuing to grow in popularity because they allow customers to buy products from a wide variety of brands without having to go to each individual store. However, as these marketplaces grow in size and number, it can be difficult for brands to stand out among the competition. To succeed, brands must find a niche in which they can excel and differentiate themselves.
To do this, brands should focus on creating engaging content and making themselves easily accessible on their marketplace. Successful brands can also consider teaming up with other niche brands to form alliances with similar audiences.
E-commerce is growing at an astonishing rate, and it shows no signs of slowing down. To succeed in this space, brands need to keep up with the latest trends and use technology to its full potential. By following these 8 key e-commerce trends, brands can ensure that they have a strong e-commerce strategy and are positioned to be successful for years to come.
See Also: How to Grow Your Small Business Online