According to Statista, global e-commerce sales are likely to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021 from 1.3 trillion in 2014, registering a growth of 246.15 percent.
How many other industries are eyeing towards such a bright future? Not many! It makes one curious about the disruptive trends that are helping e-commerce shape up towards these growth figures.
The e-commerce industry is booming. And, with rapid growth comes frequent changes. Today, you can’t expect your e-commerce website to get enough visitors by just posting product images and details. You need to adopt some revolutionary steps to kickstart your growth.
Let’s find out the top seven trends that are being adopted by major online retailers and start-ups alike to transform the way people buy from them.
#1 Asia Positions Firmly in the International Arena
The idea that Asia has a few truly global brands is a thing of the past. Today, Asia represents a strong passion for gadgets and growing technologies. With China becoming an economic powerhouse, and recent changes happening in trade structures and free trade agreements, Asia has positioned itself firmly in the international arena.
At the same time, Asian consumers are spending big time on lifestyle products, gadgets, and apparels as an expression of their new lifestyle.
In the luxury goods segment, Chinese consumers account for 75 percent of all sales.
Asian consumers are no longer being side-lined by international brands. The ecommerce explosion has put Asia in a position where it’s driving international brands to up their investment game in this part of the world.
Consequently, Amazon is eyeing India as one of the fastest booming countries for ecommerce. It has reportedly invested $2 billion in the Indian market recently.
#2 Mobile Commerce Is Expanding
According to Shopify, Black Friday ’17 witnessed sales of $1.1 million per minute, which is almost double of the last year’s figure of $555,716.
Mobile is not just revolutionizing e-commerce but commerce as a whole. People are increasingly relying on smartphones as their shopping assistant. Not just when they are shopping online but also in retail stores, customers use their smartphones to choose, compare and buy anything under the sun. At the same time, it an essential tool for retailers to increase conversions and my customer data for targeted marketing.
The ease of e-transactions along with the increased bandwidth has made smartphones the major internet access channel.
#3 Digital Realities are Steaming Up
Recently, in March 2018, Loreal acquired the make-up AR company ModiFace to reinvent the beauty experience of its customers with 3D virtual make-up features.
Augmented realities (AR) and virtual realities (VR) have emerged over the years and are creating big waves now. Not just popular fashion and beauty brands, but even the e-commerce giant, Alibaba is inviting its customers to shop using VR technology.
Now, think of what the Danish toy-making company LEGO did. It allowed the customers to scan through unassembled kits and get a picture of the fully assembled kit. And then, they came up with the LEGO AR Studio app where you can play with digital versions of LEGO sets in a real-world scenario.
These immersive technologies are enhancing the shopping experience manifold and are bound to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming days!
#4 Conversational AI is the New Norm
Andy Budd, CEO of Clearleft, recently said to a magazine that the conversational e-commerce is going to be one of the biggest trends for the industry in 2018. Shopping-related assistant chatbots are helping businesses manage billions of daily customer conversations every day. Chatbots and voice assistants have changed the way customers shop for products.
These technologies act as personal style assistants and make customized recommendations to boost sales and nurture customer relationships. Automated one-on-one conversations are a reality now, strengthening the communication and branding strategy of e-commerce players.
#5 Making the Most of Big Data
Predictive analysis is already practiced at retail stores for forecasting demand and the number of visits. However, when you are competing with thriving e-commerce brands like Amazon, this isn’t enough. You can optimize profit margins only when you know your customers well – Their buying behaviour and personas.
With big data analytics becoming smarter than ever, now it’s possible to turn every action of a visitor on the website into data. This is enabling e-commerce sites to have an in-depth understanding of its target base and offer an outstanding customer experience.
#6 Messaging Apps are Here to Dominate
Did you know, messaging apps have 20 percent more monthly users than social media apps. Messaging apps are no longer confined to conversations in informal settings. It has emerged into a multimedia platform that can be tailored to every customer’s needs. Today’s text-savvy customers prefer texting for service and spend most of their time on messaging apps. In fact, 80 percent of adults are on messaging apps every day.
The key takeaway for marketers and retailers is that they get to spend more time with customers through messaging apps. And those who don’t want to lose the battlefield to competitors are making the most of messaging apps in 2018.
Based on messaging technologies provided by Google, Amazon, and Facebook, many e-commerce brands like H & M, and Sephora are achieving personalized interactions with customers.
The end goal for any marketer should be to foster a positive relationship with customers. By keeping these e-commerce trends in mind, their brand is likely to evolve in the competitive e-commerce world.