Innovation reigns in eCommerce, making it a dynamic industry. With the e-retail sales predicted to hit US$ 6.54 trillion in 2022, every eCommerce business owner should embrace the trends that continue to influence success.
Over time, more brands are joining the market, which translates into growth and competition. To outdo the competition, you should always track and follow the trends.
Regardless of the age and size of your store, if you don’t embrace the current patterns in the industry, you risk getting out of business.
Here are the top eCommerce trends to consider:
With the development and use of personal assistant devices, such as Siri and Alexa, voice search continues to be popular. In 2020, at least 50 percent of search queries will be based on voice search, according to ComScore.
More customers continue to shop online using personal assistant gadgets, which presents a massive opportunity for eCommerce.
The devices can not only surf the web and play music, but they can also make online purchases. So, how do you position your store to benefit from voice search?
Well, start by optimizing your product pages so customers using voice search can find them with ease.
Augmented reality (AR) adds digital aspects to your phone camera, which creates the illusion that a three-dimensional image is part of your physical environment.
AR enhances the online shopping experience by helping customers see how a particular product fits them even before purchasing it. For example, before buying a couch, a customer can use a smartphone to visualize how the furniture fits into their living room.
AR gives users the in-store shopping experience, which makes product selection a breeze. It helps to minimize the shopping risk associated with a lack of confidence or imagination gap.
Take the Sephora Virtual Artist, for example.
The app allows users to try new lip shades as they shop for lipsticks. Similarly, Pinterest has an AR makeup tool (Try On) in its Android and iOS apps to help shoppers find their favorite lipstick shades and proceed to buy from various eCommerce stores.
Interactive product visualization
Every customer hesitates at least once before hitting the “buy” button when shopping online. This happens because, as a buyer, you may not know whether the product is as displayed.
Thus, a powerful way to increase the chances of people buying your product is to let them interact with it.
And there’s no better way to achieve that than to use detailed videos and photos to make shoppers decide quickly. Most eCommerce stores use videos to enhance product visualization.
You can use demo videos to show how the product works. This helps customers to understand your products and increases the likelihood of them making a purchase.
An eCommerce trend that’s gaining popularity is social payments. With Facebook’s buy button and Instagram’s checkout, social media plays a critical role in eCommerce.
The payment methods work like a digital bank account. While using social media, customers may purchase products on these platforms or from a store that offers similar payment options.
Businesses need to prioritize their social media strategies and improve their social media presence. Most users spend their time on sites like Instagram and Facebook. Build your presence on such platforms to grow your customer and sales base.
You can also connect your store with social media sites to make it easy for customers on social media to buy from the store directly.
A chatbot refers to a virtual conversation agent. Based on various pre-set scripts and rules, chatbots can conduct an online conversation with potential customers. Chatbots perform particular actions as a response to an event.
For example, a chatbot may offer a discount if a customer abandons a shopping cart. These bots are easy to make (you don’t need any coding skills), faster (it takes a few minutes to set them up), and less expensive for medium or small business.
Often, most sites have a chatbot added to the live chat. You may have a live chat agent help to answer questions from your customers and use a chatbot to automate some tasks.
Can chatbots turn customers off? Not really.
A Point Source Global Chatbot Report reveals that 34 percent of customers are ready to spend more, while 49 percent can shop more when a chatbot is available.
Here are ways in which chatbots boost sales and business growth:
- Deliver a welcome message – The bot greets customers to attract their attention and put them in a mood to shop.
- Stop a site visitor from leaving – Chatbots can engage a customer who’s about to exit and even change their mind or get useful feedback from them.
- Recover an abandoned cart – When a customer leaves a virtual shopping cart, the chatbot can remind them to complete the purchase.
- Generate leads – Your chatbot can collect contact information from customers. You can use the information for marketing and ultimately generate sales.
- Inform about a discount – Chatbots can influence the browsing behavior of customers by redirecting users to selected products, suggesting discounts, and more.
Using data to make sales predictions
A sales prediction is paramount because it lays the foundation for nearly every other planning activity. It would be best if you had accurate sales forecasting so you can understand how to plan financially.
A sales forecast is usually built based on historical sales data, where business owners analyze previous results to make predictions.
Here are some of the ways data helps to make sales forecasts:
- Length of sales cycle forecasting – The approach focuses on the average length of a sales cycle by taking the number of days it took to close a deal divided by the number of closed deals.
- Lead pipeline forecasting – This method entails reviewing every lead in your pipeline to establish the likelihood of closing the deal, which depends on factors such as seasonality, the performance of your sales team, and more.
- Inventory forecasting – It refers to analyzing sales data, customer purchasing behavior, and previous inventory volumes to gain insight about the future demand of customers. As a result, businesses can make an informed decision over the inventory.
To sum up
As the eCommerce industry continues to grow, staying on top of the trends is one way to remain competitive.
Start by implementing the technologies mentioned in this article to trigger growth in your business.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters