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5 Trends in E-Commerce in 2020

Is your business up to date with the latest movements in e-commerce? Don’t be inactive. By embracing new e-commerce marketing strategies, you will be placing your business at the crest of the e-commerce wave as opposed to leaving it in the trough. At the end of last year, the global e-commerce market had sales reaching $3.5 billion and represented 14% of the total share of global retail sales (Statista).

So, what does the year 2020 have in store for e-commerce, and more importantly, how can your business adapt ahead of time? This article will list the top 5 notable trends in e-commerce that you should bear in mind to ensure the success of your business.

Personalisation and customer engagement

Traditional retail shopping makes face to face customer engagement easy, but e-commerce lacks this type of personal interaction. However, it is still possible to mimic this experience through e-commerce, and giving customers a personalised experience online is becoming a focal point of improving the customer shopping journey.

Online businesses have the opportunity to leverage consumer data such as search queries, page visits, and purchase history, all in an effort to transform their online stores to best serve the customer’s needs and interests. Take Amazon for instance. They are great at making the best use of their consumer data, and their hyper-personalised product recommendations are a testament to this. They also display ads that are tailored to your search history, which means you are very likely to be hit with an ad that speaks to you directly. 

Studies have shown that consumers spend 48% more when their experience is personalised. However, wherever consumer data is mentioned, we must take into account the need for privacy. Having said that, 57% of online shoppers are happy with providing personal information to a brand as long as it directly benefits their shopping experience. This goes to show that using the data you already have available to you is the first step in providing a tailored online experience to your customers, as well as tailoring their shopping experience to their personal needs. Doing so allows you to engage with your customer base on a more personalised level, further driving brand and customer loyalty.

Social media shopping

Did you know that 55% of online shoppers have bought a product directly through a brand’s social post? This goes to show that social media is a growing platform for e-commerce brands looking to grow their customer base and drive up sales. In a way, platforms such as Instagram can serve as a portfolio for brands to display their offerings, making it easier for e-commerce stores to sell directly through their social pages.

It’s as easy as having your customers clicking on specific products advertised within a post and being led directly to a store page. This taps into the instant gratification that many consumers are craving these days. We like to find things quickly, so using your social channels effectively by embedding links to shorten the shopping journey makes it easier for brands to boost impulse buys through their social media marketing efforts.

Ultimately, this feeds quite nicely into our next trend, as social media shopping is mainly done from mobile phones. Did you know that mobile e-commerce sales are projected to make up 63.5% of total e-commerce sales this year?

Mobile Optimisation

This trend goes hand in hand with the last. Mobile sales on Cyber Monday in 2017 broke $2 billion, making it one of the largest online shopping days in history, further illustrating the importance of optimising your e-commerce site for mobile browsing. Another statistic to pay attention to in this regard is the fact that 40% of mobile users leave pages that take longer than three seconds to load! We mentioned instant gratification before, and this statistic really hammers the point home.

Knowing this, it is important to consider how well your e-commerce store is tailored to mobile users, as they make up a large part of the market. When creating new web pages, it is advisable that your brand keeps both the mobile and desktop pages looking identical, and that both flow as smoothly as each other.

Another factor to consider here is making the payment process easy and quick. E-commerce websites are increasingly using payment options like Apple Pay, Paypal, and other platforms that enable a truly frictionless checkout process.

AR & VR for product presentation

Some people are pensive about purchasing things like clothing or makeup online, in fear that it won’t fit or meet the online description. This is why AR and VR have become essential for presenting products, as it gives consumers a better idea of exactly what it is that they are buying. It removes the smoke and mirrors that can sometimes be present with online shopping. According to a current Gartner study, 100 million shoppers will order and buy their products digitally and analogously using AR by the beginning of the year.

Embracing this trend will help your customers better interact with your products, which is likely to boost your e-commerce sales. IKEA got the memo early with this trend, and launched their IKEA Place App in 2017. This free app lets customers see exactly how more than 2,000 furniture items would look and fit in their homes. They did this by developing 3D models of their furniture products in painstaking detail, even mimicking the sound of how the furniture would ‘sound’. What this means is emulating the sound effect of placing the furniture in the room, giving the user a better idea of its weight by using sound as a reference point. 

The French cosmetics chain Sephora have also pioneered AR into their e-commerce strategy. They offer shoppers the opportunity to virtually test various realistic make-up products on their own faces, whether that be lipstick, foundation, or eye shadow. All of this from the comfort of your own home! This can result in faster purchasing decisions and reduce the number of returns a company receives. A vital string to the bow of your e-commerce strategy in 2020!

Voice search

Last but not least is voice search. Voice search has had a huge impact on e-commerce, with a ComsCore study going as far as to say that by 2020 every second search will be a language search. Voice-controlled assistants like Amazon Echo have been seeing increased usage, with statistics showing that voice-based shopping is expected to jump to $40 billion in 2022.  

This trend is firmly in motion and is in the fast lane of e-commerce. The continuous optimisation of voice assistants is further driving e-commerce sales through advancements in voice SEO, and many business giants are not integrating voice search into their overarching e-commerce strategies. Voice search presents a great opportunity for online stores to expand the horizons of how they appeal to customers, and also makes the purchasing process far easier. 

What’s next in 2020? We’re only 3 months in, but we’ve seen plenty of developments with regards to how e-commerce is changing, and it is important that your business keeps up with the times. We pride ourselves on our industry insights and our market research, which enables us to provide useful advice across industries, all in an effort to help you stay on top of the constantly changing landscape of e-commerce. We don’t just stop there though – we specialise in marketing fulfilment solutions, meaning we know how to implement the advice we give you, turning them into tangible solutions for your business. Head on over to our promotional marketing page for more info.

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