Looking out for e-commerce trends is an act you need to imbibe if you want to increase your sales and stay on top of the competition. Sure you will not want to be left behind in the e-commerce trends as the 2018 year ends and 2019 commences.
As the year 2019 begins, you need these 30 e-commerce trends and what you can do to stay on top of the game.
- The adoption of Chatbot by e-commerce websites will increase
- Visual search will soar
- Voice search is the next big thing
- Better payment methods
- Native Social media selling will overtake sales on websites
- Augmented reality
- Mobile will continue to grow
- Better analytics will evolve
- User-generated content will become necessary
- Fast shipping and better logistics will be in high demand
- Multiple shopping channels are increasingly important voice search e-commerce
- Better customer experience with the aid of a Virtual Assistant in stores online will be on the increase
- Research online purchase offline (ROPO)
- Multi-channel messaging will be on the rise
- Subscription services will be on the increase
- Video content on the increase
- Website performance
- Automation will rise in e-commerce
- Contextual and Programmatic advertising is on the rise
- Post payment options will increase
- Influencer marketing will increase
- Manufacturers will engage directly with customers
- Increasing adoption of digital-first expansion strategies
- Content marketing - Brand storytelling will be on the rise
- On-site and in-app mobile commerce
- Better physical stores
- The integrated community of buyers will be rise
- Advanced product filtering
- Simple checkout page
1. The adoption of Chatbot by e-commerce websites will increase
More and more e-commerce websites are adopting the use of Chatbots to better serve their customers. Chatbots help to reduce the sales journey of customers by making it easy for you to sell and for buyers to choose and order products and services. Customers also love to use it. HubSpot reported that 48 percent of consumers will prefer to use Chatbot when contacting a company. Chatbot is also predicted to tackle 85% of customer service interactions by 2020.
Because of this demand, the global Chatbot market size is increasing. It is projected to hit $1.25 billion by 2025. If there is a time to implement Chatbot for your business, it is now.
Below is an example of an e-commerce store that implemented a Chatbot is MangoDB.
The company increased new leads by 70% in three months using Chatbot.
Skyrocketing your sales with AI and Chats: what you need to do.
- Invest in creating a Chatbot to help you drive engagements and better support your customer.
- Personalize inside the Chatbot
- Recommend products (upsells and cross-sells)
- Offer a product help guide.
2. Visual search will soar
Visual search is gaining ground in the world of e-commerce. When an internet user searches for related terms, it displays screenshots, images, and photographs as search results online. It is useful for e-commerce niches that use images such as fashion, electronics, home décor, and real estate.
Already, images are returned for 19% of search queries on Google. According to Gartner, by 2021, early adopter brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30%. The image recognition market is projected to grow to $25.65 billion by 2019.
Visual search saves consumers’ time, closes sales faster and it helps upsell. You can use the visual search on the social media, search engines, on your e-commerce website and in-store with mobile apps.
E-commerce stores such as ASOS, Ted Baker, Blippar, eBay, are already using visual search. Check out an example below.
Skyrocketing your sales with Visual search: what you need to do
- Use the visual search to upsell your products
- Use it to turn out of stock into opportunity by presenting them with similar options
- Maximize the scan-n-buy impulses
- Allow customers to “shop the look”
3. Voice search is the next big thing
Voice search is becoming popular online, and it is time you implement it on your website because customers are using it. Brightlocal study revealed that 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local businesses in the last year. Global web index also revealed that 1 in 5 adults uses mobile voice search at least once a month. It is also estimated that 50% of all searches will be accomplished by voice search in 2020.
Dominos, Walmart and Lyft are already using voice search services for their customers.
A good example of a brand that uses voice search is the North Face. It is an outdoor gear and apparel brand uses the voice-enabled search to deliver a 35 percent increase in search conversation rate and 24 percent increase in revenue.
Skyrocketing your sales with Voice search: what you need to do.
- Optimize for local voice search
- Create content that answers questions like how, where, how many, what, which, and when
- Use common languages and structure that depicts the way people speak.
4. Better payment methods
Not having enough payment options on your e-commerce websites can contribute to shopping cart abandonments. Therefore, you need different payment methods for your customers. Currently,there are different online payment methods such as PayPal and Credit cards. If you use Magento, payment extensions like Converge Elavon Realex payments, Elavon payment, Pagseguro, Ingenico e-payment, and ATOS Wordline gives you a variety of payment solutions to add to your website.
In addition, Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) will also gain more ground in the coming year. Digital wallets such as Apply Pay Google Pay and Samsung pay and Instant Layby such as Afterpay and Zippay are also on the increase. In fact, Digital wallets such accounts for 3x mobile cart conversion.
The use of mobile payments is also increasing. According to the Washington Post, 70% of people believe mobile payments will overtake cash and cards by the year 2030.
Check out an example from Zelle mobile payment app below.
Skyrocketing your sales with Payment options: what you need to do
- Add more payment options to your customers in 2019
5. Native Social media selling will overtake sales on websites
The buying process is changing rapidly and more marketers are searching for new ways to reach prospect and make sales. One of the trending ways they use is social selling. More and more people are on the social media all the time. It is difficult to expect them to leave the network to visit your website to buy.
This is where social selling comes in. Instagram and Pinterest now have shoppable posts. It makes it easier for people to buy on the social media network as the sales journey is shorter.
This is why 90% of top performing sales people opined that social media is part of their sales strategy and 64% of sales teams that invest in social media hit their team quota. Again over 105 social sales reps have closed 5 or more deals due to their activity on social media.
Below is a native social selling ad from Viking River Cruises.
Skyrocketing your sales with social selling: what you need to do.
- Search for your ideal prospects on the social media
- Be active on your social media channels
- Add buy buttons to your social media posts
Personalization is very important for customers. It is selling products that are customized for each buyer. Most e-commerce websites such as Amazon are already using it to thrill their customers. They use customers’ browser's history to recommend products for them.
According to Gartner, by 2020 there will be a 15% increase in e-commerce profits for brands that adopt personalization.
In 2019, personalization of products for customers will increase as brands use customers' data to create relevant content and products for them.
Skyrocketing your sales with personalization: what you need to do.
- Use different data points such as social behavior, location, search queries to deliver personalized product to your customers.
- Use personalization apps such as Beeketing’s personalized recommendation tool
- Offer product recommendations through the Chatbot
7. Augmented reality
Augmented reality is offering customers new ways of viewing their products beyond the physical store. It places a computer image on a user’s view in the real world. It is a great way to improve customers experience when they are making purchase decisions.
A study revealed that 71% of shoppers said they would shop at a retailer more often if they offered augmented reality.
The global market for augmented reality is also on the increase. It was valued at $3.33 billion in 2015 and it is expected to reach $133.78 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of about 85.2% between 2016 and 2021.
AR can increase your sales revenue tremendously as you show different features of your product to customers.
A good example of this is from Sephora Virtual Artist.
It shows customers how their make-up will look on them.
AR will be a game changer in 2019 for brands in niches such as Furniture, clothes, foods, and beverages. Footwears, cosmetics, jewelry, and toys.
Skyrocketing your sales with Augmented reality: what you need to do.
- Create more engaging shopping experiences for your customers
- Connect readers with printed content
8. Mobile will continue to grow
There are more people making purchases on their mobile phones than ever before. It is reported that smartphones have taken over computers as the top source of traffic for e-commerce sites.
Increase in the use of mobile phones is also likely to increase the usage of mobile wallets. There will also be an increase in the number of people who uses mobile digital assistants for shopping. In fact, Gartner predicts that digital mobile assistants will assist in $2 billion worth of purchases in 2019.
Check out Nordstrom’s mobile site below.
Skyrocketing your sales with mobile: what you need to do.
- Ensure the user experience on your mobile channels are top notch
- Ensure you integrate with mobile wallets
- Improve your SEO as a mobile digital assistant pulls result from search engines.
9. Better analytics will evolve
Analytics is one tool that power e-commerce business. There are so many of them available on the internet. However, the trend is moving towards analytics that shows real-time activities of your website users.
This helps you to better create strategies that work based on current data. Predictive and prescriptive analytics will be on the increase in the coming year. Brands such as Rare.io are already using predictive data to automate their email marketing to keep existing customers engage with specific offers and emails meant for them.
A good example of predictive analytics is the new Google Analytics 360.
Skyrocketing your sales with Better analytics: what you need to do.
- If you are still using Google Analytics for your business, it is time to upgrade
- Use predictive and prescriptive analytics along with real-time analytics for your e-commerce business.
- Integrate current tools such as Google Analytics 360 that gives you a more in-depth overview of your analytics.
10. User-generated content will become necessary
User-generated content is a great way to engage customers. It helps you to re-purpose your content easily. You can request customers to submit their photos with their reviews. User-generated content is good for your store as new prospects can see pictures of your product as it is on people who have bought and used it. It also a good thing for customers to get featured on your website.
A great example is the Coca-Cola brand, they implemented a User generated campaign that was a huge success.
They encouraged their consumer to look for bottles with their names on it and share the pictures of themselves with the personalized Coca-Cola bottles on the social media channel. The campaign was tagged “share a coke”
Skyrocketing your sales with user-generated content: what you need to do.
- Feature customer’s products and post on your website
- Retweet and share customers’ images and posts on your social media channels, such as Instagram and Facebook
- Host Q & A days on your social media channels.
11. Fast shipping and better logistics will be in high demand
In the time past, customers are satisfied with getting their products within 2-5 days after ordering. But today, things are changing. Nobody wants to wait for a week to get their products. They want fast and free shipping for products. According to a survey by Comscore, 58% of shoppers said they would add items to their cart to qualify for free shipping.
The younger generation is even much more impatient with shopping according to a report by Bizrate.
Speed and efficiency are the master keys to online purchases. In 2019, same-day delivery will be on the rise. For example, Amazon uses drones for delivery as seen below.
Skyrocketing your sales with fast shipping and better logistics: what you need to do.
- Provide faster shipping options for your customers
- If you can afford it, make your shipping free
- Make it easy for customers to return items
12. Multiple shopping channels are increasingly important
Most internet users use over one device to research before making their purchase decisions. For example, they can start their research on a desktop computer at home and end up buying it on their smartphones or even on the social media messenger bots. This makes it very important to optimize your store for different channels. Most brands use an average of nine marketing channels for their business.
Examples of brands already involved multi-channel marketing are Apple, Uniqlo, and Burberry.
Skyrocketing your sales with multiple channels: what you need to do
- Implement multiple channels for your marketing
13. Better customer experience with the aid of a Virtual assistant in stores online will be on the increase
Customer experience is a major contributor to your online and offline sales. The new move that is rising very fast in the e-commerce sector is the use of a virtual assistant to enhance customer experience. In the brick and mortar store, you have assistants who are ready to show you products based on your interest.
With e-commerce now, brands are implementing virtual assistants in their online stores. It assists and makes recommendations of products to customers by asking them different questions.
Find an example below from Concierge.
Skyrocketing your sales with virtual assistants in stores: what you need to do.
- Provide answers to your customers’ popular questions
- Make it available for both desktop and mobile users
- Use the customer’s natural language
14. Research online purchase offline (ROPO)
The way people make purchases are changing. Most of them carry out research on products online before buying from the brick and mortar store around them. A research report revealed that 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles.
Skyrocketing your sales with Multiple channels: what you need to do.
- Use click and collect. It is a process where you allow customers to buy online and pick up in stores close them.
15. Multi-channel messaging will be on the rise
More people are using different messaging channels in recent time and you must reach them on those channels. Unfortunately, most brands use only one messaging channel. A recent research revealed that customers who receive outreach in two or more channels had levels of engagement 166% higher than the single-channel rate.
Multiple channels you could use for your customers includes email, push notifications, text messages (SMS), in-app messages and Chatbots.
Multi-channel messaging increases conversions. Use the multi-channel messaging to stand out from your competitors in 2019.
Skyrocketing your sales with multi-channels: what you need to do.
- Personalize users messages based on analytic data
- Tailor your messages for each channel
- Use a uniform voice and visual on all your channels
16. Subscription services will be on the increase
Many e-commerce businesses have started adopting the subscription model to differentiate their offerings. It is convenient for customers as they will know when they have to make payments for their product supplies. As an e-commerce store, you can predict your sales revenue, and scale up as you get more leads. Amazon made over $1.4 billion in subscription services.
A good example is Atkins that sells refillable meal kits to customers.
Skyrocketing your sales with subscription services: what you need to do.
- Give customers a super experience of your product or services
- Offer products that are popular and in high demand
17. Video content on the increase
More and more people are preferring to view content on videos rather than to read them. Studies showed that the average person spends 45 minutes every day watching mobile videos online and it is predicted that the internet will catch up with television in terms of hours watched in 2019.
Videos help you to keep your customers engaged and also make them more receptive to your message. E-commerce brands that utilize video content for marketing increase their conversions and reduce product return rates. This is because it is easier for customers to view what they want to buy before marketing the purchase decision.
Many companies are showing interest in video marketing. In fact, the number rose from 63% in 2017 to 81% in 2018. Also, 76% of marketers reported that video has helped to increase their company sales.
Checkout Zenreach video campaign on Facebook below.
Skyrocketing your sales with Video content: what you need to do.
- Tailor your video content to your audience, so it will resonate and engage them.
- Utilize live videos to connect with your fans in real time
18. Website performance
Website performance is important to enhance customers’ experience on your website. According to research,customers who are not satisfied with your website performance may not buy from you again. The website speed is very important to customers. A 1-second delay in page loading could lead to a 7% reduction in conversion rate. Therefore, you need to increase your website performance in 2019 to enhance your site SEO and your customer experience.
Skyrocketing your sales with website performance: what you need to do.
- Increase the speed of your website
- Ensure your website works well on different browser and devices.
19. Automation will rise in e-commerce
Automation is the use of technology that makes it easy to streamline processes such as marketing, sales, production, and delivery. Automation is key to e-commerce websites as there are lots of processes involved. Using automation will improve customer experiences, reduce staffing cost and produce higher conversion rate.
A good example of an e-commerce brand that uses automation marketing for a repeat campaign is Pinkberry.
Skyrocketing your sales with automation: what you need to do.
- Use personalized emails for customers
- Show new products according to each visitor’s history
- Retarget customers with related products
20. Contextual and Programmatic advertising is on the rise
Programmatic ads use datasets to choose your target audience. The ads are them shown to the audience according to how they consume content. You can retarget them after a while, to increase conversion. It helps you to reach more audience.
A good example is Facebook pixel. It allows you to choose your audience and show them targeted ads. If your e-commerce website platform is Magento, you can add a Facebook pixel extension to your e-commerce store.
Below is an example of a programmatic ad from Lacoste.
Skyrocketing your sales with Contextual and Programmatic: what you need to do
- Search for more effective channels for your campaign
- Use your customer data to create personalized messages for your audience
- Always test your campaigns
21. Post payment options will increase
Cart abandonment is one of the major menace facing e-commerce businesses.
In a study carried out by Barilliance, it was discovered that the average cart abandonment rate for 2016 was 77.24%. The number increased to 78.65% in 2017.
Some of the reasons for cart abandonment is trust issues, lack of confidence in payment processors and product quality. One way you can minimize cart abandonment on your website is to adopt post payment options. This is where you allow customers to take delivery of their products before they make payment. It will help to reduce the loss of revenue in cart abandonment.
Skyrocketing your sales with Post payment options: what you need to do.
- Use bespoke design on your checkout page
- Make it easy for users to fix corrections
22. Influencer marketing will increase
Influencer marketing is on the rise and it will continue to increase even more in 2019. The truth is, people are influenced by influencer’s recommendations. A survey conducted by Collective Bias revealed that 30% of customers buy products recommended by non-celebrity influencers. They have a real audience that is eager to hear from them. It is time to put influencers to use in 2019.
A good example is Sony. They used 30 influencers to promote their campaign. It generated 17 million potential contacts.
Skyrocketing your sales with Influencer marketing: what you need to do.
- Use influencers to promote your products especially during the holiday season.
- Work with influencers that have a dedicated audience
23. Manufacturers will engage directly with customers
Brands are figuring out how to remove the middleman from purchase processes. The supply chain will likely be no more as manufacturers find ways to engage directly with customers thereby improving their profit margins and also getting to know their customers more.
Skyrocketing your sales: what you need to do.
- If you operate a middleman business, it is time to re-strategise.
24. Increasing adoption of digital-first expansion strategies
There will be an increase in digital-first strategies in 2019. Major brands will use digital channels to open new markets for their product and drive customers to their offline shops.
Panera implemented a digital-first strategy to grow the business from a single 400-square foot store in Boston to 2,200 locations nationwide.
Skyrocketing your sales by investing in digital first: what you need to do.
- Invest in digital marketing in 2019
25. Content marketing - Brand storytelling will be on the rise
Content marketing has come a long way in the past decade. It is far from being over, it is going to rule in 2019. This is where brand storytelling comes in. Create high-quality content that will keep bringing your audience coming back again and again to your website and to buy from you. It helps you to grow your brand awareness and increase word of mouth referrals.
Find an example below from Harrys.
Skyrocketing your sales with Brand storytelling: what you need to do.
- Engage your audience continuously with high-quality content
- Sell the benefits of your products
26. On-site and in-app mobile commerce
Mobile apps are on the rise and the market is increasing tremendously. A research revealed that the Mobile application industry will bring in $189 billion by 2020 and the e-commerce brands are riding on the tide. Buyers are more focused to make purchases on mobile. The mobile app will win the raise come 2019 because users are browsing 286% more products on mobile apps than mobile web.
Find an example below from Starbucks.
Skyrocketing your sales with Mobile apps: what you need to do.
- Create a useful app with engaging and memorable content
- Use your app to grow brand awareness and loyalty
- Continuously promote your app
27. Better physical stores
Physical stores are far from dead. They still have a lot to offer and they are not going anywhere soon. Many physical stores have online platforms.
Physical stores are great for product exchanges, product trials and in-store experiences. Physical stores are engaging technology to get their online customers to see their products offline. Such technologies include In real life (IRL), Amazon Go and Kanuk.
The physical store is the future of retail.
Check out the Amazon Go (physical store) below.
28. The integrated community of buyers will be rise
Brands should look into creating an integrated community of buyers. This means building a group, fans and followers and integrating the community in a way that will make them trust you enough to buy from you. Creating a community of fans will help you to create engaging content and increase your social activity in order to sell your products or services. 49% of businesses with online communities report cost savings of 10% to 25%.
Lego created a community of fans around their Lego Ideas. Fans of Lego can vote on their favorites, leave feedback and also submit their ideas.
Skyrocketing your sales with an integrated community of buyers: what you need to do.
- Create personalized social media content and videos
- Be active on relevant forums in your niche
- Use influencers in your niche to help you build a community of fans.
29. Advanced product filtering
Although some e-commerce brands are using advanced product filtering, it will be more common in the coming year. It goes beyond the search function on your e-commerce website. With advanced product filtering, you can include features such as the size, color, material, price, availability, new in stock, etc. it helps your customers to quickly find the product they need on your website. This helps you to keep them coming back to buy from you.
Below is a good example of Macy’s.
Skyrocketing your sales with Advanced product filtering: what you need to do.
- Create filters for a product category
- Promote popular filters on top of the product list
30. Simple checkout page
Simplifying your checkout page will give your customers a good experience. Cumbersome checkout page can be complicated and it can lead to cart abandonment. 2019 is a year you should simplify your checkout page to increase your sales revenue.
Check out a single page checkout page of Sephora.
Skyrocketing your sales with a simple checkout page: what you need to do.
- Use a one-page checkout to increase conversion
- Auto-fill your form fields
- Don’t force customers to register.
Above are the 30 ecommerce trends you need to watch out for in the coming 2019.