Market research firm eMarketer estimates: “Global e-commerce sales will grow 27.6% in 2020 to a total of $4.28 trillion.” A recent McKinsey & Company study of U.S. trends shows that since the start of the new crown epidemic, 21% of Americans have Tried new ways to shop digitally, and 80% of them decided to keep the habit going.
These shifts do not signify the decline of traditional retail, but rather the rise of omnichannel experiences. The complementarity of digital and physical markets is the key to future development. Smart brands will focus on innovation and take a holistic approach to deliver a better customer experience.
In such an environment, every brand has to work harder than ever to stand out. Most consumers are savvy, they know how to shop online, they can shop online easily, and they are good at shopping around. In short, a simple online transaction is not enough for a brand to gain traction with consumers. To thrive in this competitive digital environment, brands not only need to adapt to the times, but they also need to be one step ahead.
We pinpoint 6 disruptive trends that will give your brand an edge in the age of e-commerce.
Taking control of e-commerce
home culture means that every part of our living space is connected every moment. As a result, brands need to focus more on mobile and desktop users. Consumers expect a coherent digital experience across all devices and platforms. They can do initial research, price comparisons, and product exploration on a computer before purchasing a mobile device; and vice versa. This requires a strong digital strategy that covers every aspect of the user experience.
Stick to personalization
The importance of personalization cannot be overstated. While highly personalized content is what Internet users expect, once deployed information is irrelevant or poorly targeted, there is a risk of alienating potential customers. To deal with this, brands need to master general and personal data, track the source of website traffic, and make extremely precise adjustments in monetary and language parameters. Data doesn’t lie: A study commissioned by Google and conducted by Boston Consulting Group found that consumers were 110% more likely to add additional items to their carts when they were offered a highly personalized shopping experience.
Alexa, Siri, and Google: Your shopping assistant
In recent years, the application of voice search among Internet users has been on the rise, showing great potential as another link in online shopping. This type of online shopping is generally the last step in the customer journey after the customer has completed visual research on desktop or mobile. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that 50% of U.S. respondents have used voice search to make a purchase, indicating a huge opportunity for voice search.
The combination of social media and e-commerce
Social media does play an integral role in a brand’s overall digital strategy, and now, the path from scrolling through subscriptions to clicking “buy now” is much shorter. In many cases, consumers can experience the full customer journey without leaving the app. For example, both Facebook and Instagram offer built-in stores where transactions can be done on a trusted and familiar interface. These social media influencers provide a central hub that can be integrated into a brand’s e-commerce platform as part of a strong omnichannel strategy.
Values that help close the deal
The power of choice is the main driver of e-commerce, and the modern digital environment offers countless options. In such a complex field, values can be the differentiating factor in building brand loyalty and solidifying preferences. Sustainability themes, for example, can give brands an edge, including promoting green initiatives, promoting fair trade sourcing, using environmentally friendly packaging and shipping, and more. At the same time, inclusivity is another way to win customers and build brand loyalty, something discussed earlier.
The current situation of future e-commerce
E-commerce activities have sprung up, driving the rapid development of e-commerce innovation. To remain competitive, brands must master cutting-edge technologies with disruptive potential. Augmented reality (AR) can create a better physical experience, allowing consumers to experience visual products through advanced interactive means. AI technology can reveal important insights about customers, while chatbots can help and increase conversions 24/7. And reliable and effective multimedia tools—videos, immersive experiences, online tutorials, and more—are constantly evolving, offering new avenues for the future of e-commerce.