E-commerce has evolved at an unprecedented pace during the last few years. How it operated just 5 years ago is not how it operates today and who knows how it will operate a few years from now. E-commerce of today is much easier, faster, cost-effective, and reliable – not only from a customer’s perspective but also from those of merchants. E-commerce is not just here to stay but to grow.
The trends are changing fast in the industry. One has to constantly stay on their toes to keep themselves relevant and flourishing. The ever-increasing competition demands online merchants to identify and adopt these trends as early as possible. Whether it’s about reaching a targeted audience, creating a pleasant shopping experience, or maximizing sales, responding to these trends will create a positive impact on all success metrics.
Top E-commerce Trends
By identifying the trends happening in eCommerce, you can think of ways to leverage them for your store. We have done some research and rounded up the top trends that are happening in the eCommerce industry right now.
1. Augmented Reality
The use of Augmented Reality (AR) has removed a key limitation in e-commerce – the inability of customers to see how a product would look when put in use. It helps customers visualize the products they are interested in which makes buying easy for them.
One of the reasons people prefer in-store shopping is they can physically try an item or have a detailed look from all angles to see if it fits before deciding to purchase. Augmented reality equips your online store to give your customers the same shopping experience and minimize the ambiguity gap. Customers can now get a clear firsthand idea of how the product would look when in action.
61% of consumers say they prefer stores with AR experiences and 40% say they would pay more for a product they could customize in AR.
2. Voice Search
Customers of today want convenience and online stores always find ways to deliver this. Voice search is a great time-saving technology which is why its use in the eCommerce world is increasing by the day. How convenient it is to order something without having to browse or type anything?
Technology has made its place in households too and people are growing more comfortable using it. Voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are getting smarter processing user commands much more efficiently. For example, Amazon Alexa now has over 100,000 skills.
As far as voice search in eCommerce is concerned, as many as 38 million users in the US are expected to order online using the voice search feature on their smart speakers in 2021.
3. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has helped online stores adopt another aspect of brick-and-mortar businesses – personalized recommendations. An online store can now accurately recommend similar products based on customer’s interests and shopping history personalizing their shopping experience.
AI helps online businesses learn more about their customers and target them with their preferred products. It also helps companies automate tasks such as customer support, pricing, discounts, and searches, etc. Companies that used AI in digital ads reported a 50-75% increase in their results. The end goal of AI in eCommerce stores is to improve the overall shopping experience of customers and lead them to checkout.
Almost 60% of customer interaction in the eCommerce industry is already handled by AI. This trend is going to continue and more and more stores will bring automation and personalization in their sales funnel.
4. Mobile Shopping
One of the edges that online shopping has over in-store shopping is location independence. One can shop from anywhere one wants. With the ever-increasing penetration of smartphones, this edge has emboldened even more.
By the end of 2021, 73% of eCommerce sales will take place on a mobile device, Statista reported. With half of the online traffic coming from mobile devices and around 80% of smartphone users making a mobile purchase, your store must be mobile-responsive. Consumers should be able to shop on their phones just as easily as they can on their desktops.
BAINES & ERNST, a debt management company implemented responsive design to see a 30% increase in average session duration and a 51% increase in mobile conversions. FMEextensions which is an eCommerce website design company witnessed a 24% increase in their traffic after they redesigned their website to fit mobile devices.
Quality videos continue to attract customers as they convey more in less time. An unproportionately large number of people will prefer a video over text to learn about a product/service or see reviews. Putting a short video on your home page and/or product pages is not only eye-catching but allows customers to learn everything in a minute or so.
Fortunately, it’s a lot easier to script, record, edit, and publish videos than it once was. You can easily create educational, tutorial, or customer testimonial videos to explain or showcase your products/services.
An example will explain the importance of Videos in e-commerce stores. Go Promotional when creating videos of 4000 products noticed:
- Significant SEO improvements
- A 100 percent increase in conversions from viewers who watched the videos
- A 7.5 percent increase in the overall conversion rate
Customers of today are usually on the go. They want everything fast and accurate regardless of the device they use. The only way to respond to this is to incorporate AI and AR in your store, make use of videos and voice searches, and make your store responsive. If you are not taking advantage of them already, 2021 could be a good year to start.