Online store owners risk seriously lagging behind their competitors without attention to the new trends, contributing to the eCommerce business’s development.
There are many things that eCommerce market players should consider to thrive: strategies, trends, technologies, and consumers.
Here are a few significant trends that are shaping the e-commerce industry these days:
Global Ecommerce Overview
According to Statista, global retail online sales will reach 7.3 trillion dollars in 2025. Although online shopping is very popular worldwide, it varies significantly across regions. The same source says that 19% of all retail sales were made in China, whereas only 6% occurred in Japan.
The United States and the United Kingdom follow South Korea and China. Whether weak or strong, eCommerce potential is evident in nearly all regions.
E-commerce players rethink their strategies each year to discover the key pillars affecting their growth, success, and profit. They search for different ways to retain existing customers and attract new consumers.
Although many companies have managed to increase their online presence and geographic coverage, there are still a lot of growth opportunities. To seize those opportunities, business owners should consider all the drivers of their success.
5 Factors Affecting E-commerce Market Success
The development of eCommerce depends on a wide range of factors like national GDP, the bank services penetration rate, Internet penetration, logistics infrastructure development, reliability of delivery, and conditions of doing business. About these aspects, each country has its growth rate. However, the market size plays one of the most critical roles. It is known that the largest economies, such as the U.S. and China, generate more income from online sales than the smaller markets like New Zealand and Singapore.
Traditionally, the more significant markets turn to generate more revenue and be innovators in the industry.
Online shopping requires bank accounts. Countries that thrive in eCommerce tend to have high bank service penetration rates. States with weak popularity of bank services feature slower growth of online purchases.
Global Findex report states that 94% of people in advanced economies have bank accounts, whereas in developing economies, only 63% of citizens use bank services. This data proves that there is still a lot of space for innovation and improvements for banks, fintech, and eCommerce players.
Internet penetration is another driver affecting the success of online store business. To buy something online, a consumer needs access to the Internet. There is no other way.
During 6 years, the Internet penetration rate in Russia doubled, which resulted in online purchases growth from 3 billion dollars to 13 billion. That is an excellent example of a correlation between access to the Internet and eCommerce development.
With the growth of smartphone usage, eCommerce is rapidly evolving into m-commerce. Mobile shopping is much more convenient than buying through computers.
It tends to become the number one channel for purchasing. eCommerce players have done their best to provide consumers with an easy and intuitive shopping experience. Buy buttons in social media, one-click checkout, chatbots – all these contribute to the growth of mobile commerce.
As it rises, m-commerce will bring positive customer experience, interactive and convenient shopping, faster purchases, and higher consumer loyalty.
Improved and more profound analytics help businesses understand their customers better. Today, every company, from a startup to a big software development firm, tends to provide personalized offerings. Online stores also explore different data types to provide individual offerings and better UX, from customer behavior to sales data.
Economies where doing business is easy to show better eCommerce growth rates. Usually, these countries focus on such issues as simplified trading procedures, consumer protection, and simple taxation.
However, there is the other side of the coin. For example, consumer protection guidelines in India may lead to a compliance burden for online store owners and difficulties in doing business.
Top 5 Ecommerce Trends
Ecommerce Trend #1 – Customer Centricity
The customer-facing approach in commerce is not a new thing. It is the basis of any business. Each year the needs and wants of consumers change rapidly. The reason for that is a fast-changing technology environment that affects nearly every area of our lives. People want to get the required products and services faster.
They want to get responses to their inquiries instantly. They require excellent customer support, intuitive user experience, loyalty, and lots of other things that store owners are seeking to offer them.
Customer orientation depends on many factors. A client goes through a long lifecycle, which includes product development, marketing, sales, management, and customer service. In each of these stages, a customer is a central point. Each stage should be useful for understanding what your customers want and need.
Text Optimizer allows you to understand your customers’ expectations better when they are searching for relevant queries:
Personalization is another essential thing store owners should consider. They must shift from a broad audience to individual clients to thrive today. Retailers invest in advanced analytics to learn more about customer behavior, social activity, and previous shopping experience. They can provide consumers with tailored recommendations and offerings based on that data.
Ecommerce Trend #2 – Mobile Shopping
Today, most people buy products and services via their mobile phones. Since mobile traffic has significantly increased, retailers are seeking ways to reduce the gap between a consumer and a browser. Responsive design can bridge this gap.
However, a computer screen allows for displaying more information than a mobile one. Thus, companies provide only the most essential information for mobile versions of their stores. The purchase procedure is also simplified: fewer buttons or one-click checkouts, for example.
Ecommerce Trend #3 – Voice Commerce and Chatbots
Voice order has already been introduced by a few companies like Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza. Voice-powered devices engage people to try new and more convenient means of online shopping. Make purchases using your voice only. A few years ago, it would seem impossible. However, the evolution of voice assistants like Siri or Alexa made voice shopping a reality nowadays.
How does voice ordering work? All you need is to communicate with your voice assistant. Just provide your purchasing data and the information about the products you want. Your assistant will inform you of the products it managed to find, the brand, location, price, etc. You confirm the order, and that’s it.
Chatbots, another convenient way to shop online, continues to be one of the top eCommerce trends. If you don’t want to order products you need vocally, you can do it via simple messaging with a chatbot. Big retailers have already offered their online shopping assistants to consumers. Just answer a few questions in a quick chat with a bot and you’ve got what you need.
Ecommerce Trend #4 – Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence revolutionized the entire world. AI-powered solutions are used in nearly every industry. And eCommerce benefits from it, as well. Let’s see how online shopping businesses can utilize AI to succeed:
- Develop customer-centric search
- Retarget leads
- Generate new prospects
- Optimize and automate the sales process
- Ensure personalization for multiple channels
- Develop chatbots and voice assistants
- Provide consumers with IoT solutions
- Give personalized recommendations
- Solve issues with fake reviews
- Improve customer experience
These are not the only ways artificial intelligence can help the eCommerce market grow and thrive. Each year, this technology is evolving and bringing many new benefits for business owners and customers.
AI-driven technology empowers and diversifies marketing strategies. Using Artificial Intelligence, you can now define your branding (domain names, logo, and design) that will be memorable and likable. Smart technology powers your on-site SEO audit predicts your traffic, and reaches your customer where they are more likely to buy.
Ecommerce Trend #5 – Virtual Reality
Online sellers can use VR-fueled solutions to provide customers with real-world experience. And some companies already leverage the benefits of virtual reality:
- Improve conversion rates with a super memorable customer experience
- Offer a 360-degree product view for consumers
- Overcome language barriers
- Increase brand awareness
Virtual reality can help retailers gain a competitive edge faster. Using VR solutions, brands can tell their products’ stories, enhance customer service, allow people to test their products, etc.
Top Things to Consider for E-commerce Market Players
With top success factors and trends, companies selling their goods online should rethink their marketing strategies, find and introduce new business values, and focus on investing in emerging technologies.
Ecommerce, like nearly every other industry, undergoes digital transformation. Thus, online sellers should look for best practices and strategies to bring their business to a new level.
So, what are the top priorities for eCommerce market players for the upcoming years? Firstly, meet your clients where they are. Give multiple digital channels for your customers. Some of them love BOPIS (buy online, pick in-store) shopping, the others will love in-store digital tools like a price-checker or an interactive catalog. Research and use analytics proactively to find out what, where, and when your existing or potential customers like to buy.
Secondly, change your organizational culture. Indeed, culture may be defined and understood differently. However, the main idea behind it is shared values, which determine how people working in one organization communicate and function together. People buy from people. Start investing in loyalty building, influencer, and affiliate marketing.
Thirdly, use data to the fullest. Before implementing AI and ML technologies for processing your big data, explore what kind of data you have, where it comes from, why it is essential, and how you can use it. It will help you avoid using the wrong technology solutions.
To be prepared for high competition in the market, online sellers should also pay attention to choosing the right software. Ecommerce platforms allow managing websites, sales and marketing processes, and other related operations.
Many out-of-the-box platforms and custom solutions can simplify the entire sales and marketing lifecycle. Choose ready-made solutions if you need to optimize your processes quickly. If you have enough time and resources, invest in custom platforms as they fully meet customer expectations. You can choose what features end-users need and what are optional.
Following the trends and changing the organizational culture can improve sales and boost revenue. Use the data to the fullest, improve the customer journey, and establish long-term relations with customers.
Don’t lag behind your competitors. Today’s world gives millions of chances and ways for online sellers to enhance their business and bring it to a new level. Customers get what they want and need quicker and cheaper as they also have millions of chances to make a good deal.