As we move closer towards 2022, the e-commerce industry is showing more signs of improvements and trends that businesses need to keep an eye on.
Through unprecedented times, key elements that businesses need to adapt to is consumer behaviour, increased competition and digital content which are proving to create problems in the e-commerce industry today.
The e-commerce industry is growing at a rapid speed, with e-commerce retail sales amounting to 14% of global sales in 2019. As online shopping continues to gain momentum, e-commerce retail sales are also expected to grow past 20%.
In order for e-commerce brands to succeed in 2020, they need to understand and analyse the new trends that are emerging within the industry in order to stay afloat.
Let’s dive in and see what e-commerce trends companies should be looking out for.
1) Improved Machine Learning
In the past when we’ve visited a shop, we’ll be given recommendations based on our preferences, helping us to navigate around the shop. In the same way, online shops are using AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning to give customers a more personalised experience. They are able to do this by making smart recommendations on products and predictive search.
However, with already so many advances in machine learning, there is still a lot to be done to improve the shopping experience.
Chatbots have become very popular across the e-commerce industry and have proved to be very successful with customers. Whenever you visit a website now, it is likely that a chatbot will greet you to see if you need help. This approach makes customers feel less alienated and feel they can reach out for help if they need it.
Today, many customers actually prefer the chatbot method as it offers prompt recommendations that can save a great deal of time, especially if you have a busy schedule. In addition to automated responses, chatbots are continuing to evolve and add even more value for customers when they’re shopping online.
3) Virtual Reality Expectations
Ordering products online has improved massively in the past 5 years, but there is still one thing that’s missing from it being complete. There is still a gap between the customer’s visualisation of a product and how it can fit into their lives.
However, VR or virtual reality can fill this gap. Virtual reality allows you to see an object or product in a 360-degree view and it gives customers a virtual tour of how something will look.
For example, if you wanted to know how a certain t-shirt would look and feel, you could put a VR headset on and virtually try it on. In the e-commerce industry, VR could bridge gaps in a number of sectors so customers can be even more satisfied with their online experience.
4) Sustainability is Crucial
Did you know? Around 50% of Millennial parents say they like to purchase products that support environmental causes.
With that said, customers are becoming more conscious of the fact that resources are becoming more scarce. Alongside this, there is a realisation that customers purchasing habits can play a huge role in sustaining our environment.
In the e-commerce industry, a lot of brands are adopting sustainability in their business operations. Whether brands are looking to add more sustainable raw materials to their clothing range or their packaging, it’s imperative that brands adopt a sustainable strategy.
5) Shopping Improvements on Social Media
As social media continues to be a large part of online shopping, many consumers are now looking towards platforms like Instagram for inspiration, as well as buying products.
Around 74% of users rely on social media for making their purchase decisions. A large proportion of users would like to purchase products on the platform they’re browsing on.
Instagram shopping has now evolved so customers can directly complete their purchases on the platform without having to be redirected to an e-commerce website. This step is crucial for brands looking to evolve their online sales and keeping up with customer’s preferences.
As we move closer and closer towards 2022, we’re likely to see these trends emerge and evolve. Each trends goal is to improve the overall customer shopping experience, making it easier, more enjoyable and most importantly, more straightforward.
If you’re a brand looking to evolve, make sure you choose a trend that suits your business model. Conduct detailed analysis to see if you’ll be able to achieve what the trends want you to achieve. Remember, the end goal is to improve customer satisfaction!
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