In the highly competitive e-commerce world, businesses need to make up out-of-the-box strategies to stay the course. Shoppers become more exacting: they hate wasting their time waiting for a page to load, they want checkout to be intuitive, they expect to have preferred payment methods within easy reach, they anticipate to be getting the perfect UX.
While there are a plethora of articles about how people like to shop online on the web, we want to dig deeper into the innovations and trends in the constantly changing world of e-commerce.
1. Progressive Web Applications
Keeping watch over e-commerce, you’ve probably noticed that at the beginning of 2020, a lot of online retailers began to migrate their stores to PWAs. This new trend began with the uprise of React.js, a JS library used to build interactive elements on websites. As for now, such famous e-commerce companies as Lancome, Agent Provocateur, Oliver Bonas, END Clothing, Adidas abandon their standard sites in favor of progressive analogs.
A Progressive Web Application is a curious hybrid of a responsive website and a native app. The technology gifts e-commerce businesses with outstanding performance, excellent UX, app-like appearance, intuitive navigation, and offline functionality. Besides, PWA can be installed on the users’ mobile devices just like native apps. However, building a PWA on top of a store is not the easiest task so that to turn your site into one that customers love you need to hire experienced front-end developers.
PWAs are yielding some dividends. A lot of famous brands improved their main KPIs after the implementation of this technology. For instance, Jumia, a Nigerian retailer, managed to increase its conversion on previously abandoned carts by 900%.
2. Augmented Reality And Product Visualization
Real-time face masks for Instagram have won the hearts of millions of users around the globe. But how is AR can be combined with e-commerce and online sales?
Providing customers with the opportunity to virtually try on the products by using their device’s camera has been taking many e-commerce stores by storm. For instance, some companies as Sephora or L’Oreal use Augmented Reality to make it possible for the customers to see how, say, a mascara will look on their face.
Furthermore, some retailers that sell clothes, apparel, and accessories take advantage of the AR technology by giving shoppers the chance to try on the product to decide whether it suits them. For instance, GUCCI has already built its own AR-app for iOS and Android.
3. Snap and Shop
Another trend of image shopping bit-by-bit is capturing shoppers’ minds. Let’s assume that you are sauntering through the town and suddenly have noticed your dream bag that is carried by a strange woman. Instead of grilling the woman about the bag and where she has bought it, you can point your camera toward the item to see its detailed description and order it from an online store.
This technology seems unbelievable but it is already a reality. For instance, Pinterest has already launched its photo camera that can recognize and interpret images to provide the users with an accurate product description.
4. Mobile Shopping Is Still On The Move
The ability to shop from anywhere is one of the clear advantages of mobile shopping. According to the Statista report, by the end of 2021, 73% of e-commerce retailers will take place on mobile devices. Taking that into account, your website must provide a smooth user experience with the advanced functionality involved so that your customers are able to shop on smartphones as easily as they can on desktops.
5. Personalized Shopping Experience
Every savvy entrepreneur knows “if you don’t upsell on your e-commerce store, you are losing money”. However, creating a personalized shopping experience takes up-selling a step further than just adding “Other customers also bought” or similar section on the product page.
Online retailers can offer products and combos to their customers’ tastes by analyzing which items “go well” with the product selected, as well as by defining the previous buys made by each client. Once you obtained such knowledge, you can provide your clients with personalized product sections based on their preferences. For example, it can be a section with the brands, styles, and colors that a shopper might like. Let’s take a look at the personalized up-selling blocks on the ASOS website.
6. Evolving Role of Social Media in E-commerce
The number of people who are shopping via social media is rapidly increasing. With the release of the “buy” button on Facebook, as well as Instagram checkouts, social media has changed the way we buy things. These channels allow brands to be discovered by their target audience while people scroll through their feeds.
With platforms like Magento and Shopify, e-commerce businesses can easily integrate their stores with popular social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter to make it possible for customers to buy directly from social media and meet the comfort needs of online shoppers.
We can’t help but mention TikTok, a popular platform that won teenagers’ hearts around the globe. TikTok is expanding its e-commerce footprint by testing a new feature that allows users to add a shoppable URL to their videos and bios. In other words, this feature will help create a full-scale online store where shoppers can buy without leaving the app.
7. Post Payment
One of the major challenges e-commerce entrepreneurs face is high losses due to cart abandonment. If your customers abandon the cart on the ground of the lack of confidence in your product’s quality, post payment will be an effective solution to overcome this issue. The strategy that links customers’ payment to the delivery of their parcels has been implemented by numerous e-commerce brands to cut down the loss of revenue.
8. Enhanced Shipping Options
In the last 5 years, shipping and logistics remained one of the stagnated areas in e-commerce. The improvements came with the idea of same-day delivery. As for now, Amazon launched to start testing drone deliveries in the USA. The drones can discover the shortest route to the destination thanks to the integration with Google Maps.
Even though Amazon has complained that the US regulatory system is very slow to adapt and drone delivery is still prohibited in some states, this trend is expected to grow as the technology improves. Believe it or not, but this trend will soon become a valuable e-commerce business asset.
9. Chatbot Shopping Assistants
According to the latest research, 40% of shoppers make no difference in whether a computer or a human-being helps them given that they get the needed help. People’s tolerance to chatbots as shopping assistants makes numerous companies use them to answer customers’ questions. A chatbot can help find the preferred product from a broad range of goods, advise the right payment method, tip off about the prices, or apprise of sales.
Why do people love chatbots? They are fast, responsive, and are always there when you need them. Besides, they provide better customer experience and can save a customer service agent’s time.
10. Voice Recognition Assistants And Artificial Intelligence
Cutting-edge technologies in e-commerce can’t be left unmentioned. For instance, thanks to machine learning, the products that a person sees on the category page vary depending on personal preferences. As such, different people will see different products when browsing the same catalog category.
The impact of AI on the e-commerce industry is mostly noticeable in customer service. The technology helps better understand what the customer wants and assist the person to find what they are looking for much faster. As far as search is concerned, enabling voice recognition systems for shopping is a brand new trend. Online stores can keep in touch with their clients verbally to increase the chances of the sale.
Case in point, the Amazon Echo, a smart speaker system, can be connected with Alexa and accept voice commands. Besides, it can find the required product based on the description that a person says and can order the product for them.
E-commerce doesn’t stand still and constantly changing to meet increasing customers’ demands. To move with the times and create a business that will be competitive, new technologies and innovations have to be implemented. We hope you’ve found this article on the recent e-commerce trends.
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