illustrating eCommerce trends of 2020

Ecommerce Trends to Observe in 2020

Ecommerce is a fast-growing venture. What was working in 2018 and 2019 may already be defunct or slowly losing effectiveness in 2020. Take sliding carousels, for instance, it used to be a fad a few years ago, right? But now, it’s heavily frowned upon because it detracts buyers.

Online businesses are all about being relevant. The more up-to-date you are with everything, the better. The moment you take a break, two or more stores will take your spot and it will be a herculean task to get back.

The future of eCommerce is very bright. In fact, the recent eCommerce growth forecast indicates that revenue sales will jump up by 16% from the previous years. Furthermore, the number of digital buyers is increasing each year thanks to convenient picking points, faster shipping, and friendly return policies. 

There is a lot of evolution happening in the eCommerce sphere and you don’t want to miss out. In this article, we are going to shine a spotlight on the eCommerce trends of 2020 and beyond that you can implement so you can face the future with vibrant optimism. Alright, let’s get cracking.

Top eCommerce Trends To Watch in 2020

Here are the top eCommerce trends you should keep your eye on:

Personalization and customer engagement

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One of the main reasons why eCommerce sales haven’t surpassed offline stores is because of the absence of personalization. In traditional retail shopping, there is always a store attendant that will tell you what goes well with what and why you need a certain accessory for your purchase to function properly.

In the online world, there is no one to offer product recommendations and that is why most eCommerce conversions remain measly. Look at email marketing for instance; personalized emails convert better than cold emails because they address the customers’ pain points. 

How to personalize eCommerce experiences

You can personalize customer experiences based on browsing behavior (from cookie data), purchase history, and demography (time and location). When relying on browsing behavior, you need to consider things like customer’s page visits, recently viewed products and items left in the cart. These activities can help to accurately tailor relevant product recommendations.

You can also improve personalized experiences by looking at past email interactions, time and day they visit your site, where they come from, referral source and type of device used to access your store. As you can see, it could be near impossible to work with all that data harmoniously unless you integrate the help of machine learning.

The stretch of eCommerce personalization

Before you lay the foundation for personalized eCommerce, you first need to have an objective. What do you want to achieve by personalizing the platform? Is it to ramp up ROI, is it to boost engagement? Are you trying to reduce bounce rates? Other metrics you can consider are:

  • Cart abandonment rate
  • Average order value
  • Average page views
  • Revenue per session
  • Total time on your store
  • Add to cart rates and much more.

If you’ve got a big budget and several staff members, it’s possible to launch a cohesive personalized experience that touches on all the major points discussed. But if your budget doesn’t allow, then you would need to move from one metric to another.

Multi-Device/Cohesive eCommerce personalization

Let’s be clear about one thing; those who offer personalized experience across different devices get better returns. Customers are increasingly relying on different gadgets to access your store so if you track them on all those devices, you will have comprehensive data on how they are interacting with your site.

Once you know what they are up to, you can reduce their shopping journey by offering personalized recommendations. By doing this, a client feels truly and fully recognized which improves loyalty.

Ecommerce Omnichannel personalization

Ecommerce Omnichannel personalization refers to when personalization efforts expand across all your shops, both online and offline. How your brand interacts with clients online (through mobile or desktop), offline, through email, or in-store should be consistent to inspire loyalty. 

AI, Assistants, and Chatbots

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There are so many ways in which retailers can put artificial intelligence to good use. Like we said before, personalizing online shopping experience revolves around large blocks of data. AI can help you harmoniously use that data across all your platforms in a timely manner and without flaws.

For those with offline stores, AI-enhanced cameras can be used to measure customer’s dwell times in various parts of the store for retargeting purposes. Once you have new stock, you can use the previous data to remarket to your former clients.

An AI tool can automate marketing by generating timely offers, manage inventory, and reply to customer queries. As at the moment, artificial intelligence tools are majorly used to handle menial duties that would otherwise take long in human hands.

Nevertheless, as mass spending goes into AI, we’re looking forward to advanced applications that include forecasting reports. For instance, this tech will help retailers know buyers who are likely to make a purchase or abandon a cart (and what can be done to avert that). As a trend that will put some retailers at the top of the eCommerce perch, it would be ideal to start looking into it.

Rise of B2B Commerce

Currently, most eCommerce enterprises are hugely B2C (business to customer) oriented. A B2B market forecast indicates that eCommerce deals in B2B will gross to $6.6 trillion this year. Granted, B2B eCommerce models are complicated and probably costly to launch but if you’ve got the means, the ROI would be worth it.

Interactive product visualization

Traditional offline buyers are unable to migrate to online buying because there is no way to feel, taste or touch the product. To them (and many others) the existence of product photos just doesn’t cut it. Although reviews and celebrity endorsements help to build trust, they do little to help users interact with the product.

Lately, eCommerce stores are slowly tapping into advanced technology that can help customers interact with products better. There is an increase in video production as manufacturers make tutorials that show the product in action-no more cheesy infomercials. 

3D imaging, augmented reality and virtual reality are also being used in online and offline shops to give a user a concrete feel of the product before they can place an order. Timberland launched a virtual fitting room in one of their shops in Poland in an effort to drive sales and the program was successful. 

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3D imaging is ideal for complex products. By spinning a product at 36o degrees, your client will be able to see all the important details. If you have product explosion technology, internal layers will be shown to clients which helps to justify why your prices are higher than your competitor and this can put the customer’s mind at ease.

VR is still in development and by the time it’s ready, it’s going to take time for people to adopt. Nevertheless, you still need to be ready for it. Interactive product visualization could be the silver bullet to increasing your conversion rates. Be sure to start looking into it right away.

Increased social shopping

Social commerce is a practice of selling directly on social media platforms. Previously, social sites were used to improve brand awareness through the creation of company pages and for building traffic. With the rise of “buy buttons”, now users can make purchases on sites like Facebook and Instagram without being redirected to the main store’s website.

Selling via social media exposes you to millions of active users who roam the platforms on a daily basis. But it’s not as simple as having buy buttons. You need to first choose the site where most of your buyers spend their day and what time they are active.

Can all eCommerce platforms link with social media sites to allow for social selling? Yes, almost all eCommerce site builders allow social commerce. However, Shopify and BigCommerce are among the top choices to consider. Others might need installing plugins which to some people is like venturing into advanced algebra.

Some of the tools you can use to connect your store to social networks include StoreYa, Ecwid, Chirpify, Beetailer, and Twitter Buy Buttons. If you’ve never done social selling before, it might be time to try it.

Growth of mobile commerce

Mobile phones have grown to become an essential part of our lives-especially millennials and generation Z. Digital money transfers are happening via phones and you can get loans easily via store apps. As you already know, there are multiple payment solutions already happening via smartphones-Google Pay, Amazon Payments, Apple Pay and the list is endless. 

Ecommerce transactions are not any different. As social commerce booms, a big portion of those transactions is going to take place through mobile phones. Research by Statista corroborates this and further projects that 73 % of eCommerce sales will be transpiring on mobile devices. 

This is a huge opportunity that shrewd e-tailers should not ignore. But to benefit from this growing trend, there are two things you need to do. First, make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices and secondly ensure your store offers a friction-free and hassle-free process. 

Rise of Green eCommerce 

There is going to be a repercussion for eCommerce brands that do not uphold eco-friendly practices. According to green consumerism research, many digital buyers are now leaning towards companies that strive to help in the efforts to minimize carbon footprint.

And guess what, a large proportion eco-friendly practices ambassadors are millennials and Generation Z’ers. These two groups are the biggest online buyers now because they were born during the computer generation. These are the people who are increasing social commerce statistics.

It’s so easy to dismiss the relevance of green eCommerce so how about an eye-opening example? Good. When plastic straws were banned in many restaurants in the UK, Turtle Savers became the only option for alternative steel straws. No competition.

When reports indicated that many household products contain harmful chemicals, people quickly started to look for green household products. Unilever was quick to capitalize on this and their bottom line skyrocketed.

As you can see from the two examples above, upholding green practices is not just for PR purposes. Rather, there is a significant financial gain from it. So, what are the examples of green eCommerce practices? Here are a few ways eCommerce stores can become eco-friendly:

  • Offering vegan-friendly products
  • Using recyclable/reusable bags and bottles
  • Stainless steel straws
  • Selling products with no harsh chemicals
  • Using sustainable packaging techniques

Clickbait and Dodgy marketing tricks will die

The problem with online businesses is that everyone thinks about getting rich. Everyone wants to do affiliate marketing because their brother, sister or friends is minting racks. Your friend just started a dropshipping business because someone told them the returns are crazily massive. While it’s good to make money, the problem is, most people do it in a short-term sense.

When your approach to business is profit-centered rather than customer-centric, then you are on a race to the bottom. If your marketing style is heavily clickbait or heavily exploits people’s emotions then you are on a path to destruction.

As an eCommerce individual, you need to repurpose your marketing approach. You need to make your customers your priority. Your marketing strategies must be toned down. A brand must engage with its consumers at a deeper level. Millennials and generation Z’ers now have accurate radars for detecting BS marketing tricks.

To succeed in the current and coming seasons, you must double down on messaging. Stick to marketing methods that build trust and loyalty. Stop being so last decade and adopt eCommerce marketing strategies that last.

Influencer marketing will gain traction

PPC advertising, content marketing and other forms of marketing are effective but they are a bit of a hit or miss technique. Also, these methods take time to deliver fruits.

The shortest and most effective method to expose your brand to a larger audience is through influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a little different from celebrity endorsements-although they achieve the same goal.

An influencer is someone (usually a regular person) who becomes famous for producing relevant content within a certain niche. As a result, they develop a huge social media following and earn the trust of their followers.

As an eCommerce startup or one that is slowly gaining traction, you can enroll the help of influencers to market your products or services to their audiences. Research is evident that many people don’t trust traditional marketing but would readily buy a product or service that is recommended by an influencer. So while you may have done everything to improve trust, you still need the help of influencers to improve your brand’s exposure.

When dealing with influencers, there are two key things to remember. First, stick to those within your niche. This way, you can be sure your product or services will be broadcasted to the right audience. Secondly, if you are just starting out, then you can rely on Micro-influencers as they are likely to be affordable.

Repost User’s message on Your social media

One of the biggest problems eCommerce stores are doing is continuously using social media to press for purchases. “Like this”, “retweet this” and “click here” are the most common content you’ll find on their social pages.

What if we told you there is a better and most effective way to get unique content for reposting? Every brand has satisfied users who went to social media to praise them for a good product or service delivered. How about taking a screenshot of their comments and posting it on your social media timeline?

Reposting customer’s positive reviews offers a fresh way to post unique content that is engaging. It boosts the authenticity of your store. When you use UGC (user-generated content) alongside micro-influencer marketing, you can spur the growth of your company to a whole new level.

Wrap Up

As technology changes with time, so does eCommerce trends. There is a big wind of change blowing across online ventures and customers seem to swerve in the direction where their needs and demands are fully met.

To keep afloat, you need to adopt some of the top eCommerce trends with the aim of improving customer relationships. However, you also need to ensure to stick to the best eCommerce practices so your efforts weave together towards the common goal of improving your ROI-after all, that’s the whole point of starting an online business. 

What other eCommerce trends do you think will be adopted a lot in 2020 and beyond? Share them with us through the comment section below.

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