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The year 2020 was a rollercoaster ride for all the companies. We saw the retail business companies turning to online sales and getting help from e-Commerce websites to reach an enlarged customer base trapped in their houses. Social media can be seen as a big factor in reviving the retail sales business with the help of online sales, along with helping them interact virtually with their audience to gain feedback on the products with latest E-commerce trends.
When it comes to E-Commerce trends, online retail needs to employ the best techniques in order to attract the potential market. With amazing innovations every second and with the unfortunate global pandemic situation, it is very much essential to give more importance to strategizing and moving according to the upcoming E-Commerce trends. Today, businesses have the responsibility to adopt these emerging trends, so that they don’t fade away.
The pandemic revolutionized the way the market works, by turning in-store consumers into online consumers. While giving credit to COVID we should not forget the various technological innovation and digital marketing campaigns that took place to bring this revolution.
According to an industry survey from Euromonitor International fielded in November, 72% of retail professionals said the crisis accelerated their digitalization plans by at least one or two years with 21% saying it fast-forwarded plans by at least three years.
You can refer to the Google Trends for the past 5 years rise in the E-commerce sales.
We are now stepping into a new year, with excitement and anticipation to reach our targets. Amidst this, we came up with carefully selected E-Commerce trends for your business to follow in order to improve your online performance.
1. Social E-commerce trends: social media & influencer marketing
Social media has successfully taken the role of influence on our mindsets, along with our way of living and our everyday jobs.
People rely on social media to follow the current trends and stay updated with every kind of information and style. So why not use it in a way to promote your business with them?
Recently the most popular term to come out has been Social E-commerce, which means using Social Media to enhance e-Commerce.
The users of E-Commerce and social media platforms are growing exponentially each year. But the Social E- commerce trends are mostly being noticed in the Asian Markets but the Western culture yet has to adapt to it. The concept of Social commerce is simple, as it means that the brands rely upon them, and make use of various social media platforms to sell their products rather than relying on retail sales.
What is Social Commerce?
- Social commerce is regarded as an extremely powerful tool for online sales because it uses the influence and reach of the social interactions available on messenger services and networking platforms for B2C retail.
- Social Commerce is changing faces every moment with new E-commerce trends while boosting the existing ones.
- With Social media taking over, it seems logical to use this platform to sell products online. This is a reason why e-commerce business giants are using it to engage their existing and potential audience.
How can Social Commerce help your business?
- Social commerce helps you achieve a greater amount of sales and views directed to your e-commerce website.
- This way, you can give your consumers the right to shop and purchase products or services inside a social media channel without having to leave the platform
- The most famous platforms of S-commerce trending right now are Facebook and Pinterest with Instagram leading the race and TikTok is all set to step up.
- Along with Social media come the trends that can boost your sales and introduce your business to a wider range of customers.
TikTok steps in the world of Social Commerce with Shopify
Talking about the latest E-commerce trends, the first one to notice would be the involvement of TikTok as a platform used for Social Commerce. With Gen Z engaging the most on platforms like TikTok, this social media can prove to be an asset for all the E-Commerce websites to market their product to reach a wider set of audience.
What’s new with TikTok?
TikTok is also on the run to roll out some new features to invest in Social Commerce. They recently announced a global partnership with Shopify, giving 1 million merchants access to TikTok’s features, allowing them to target a younger audience and drive more sales.
Recently, merchants tried to create, run and optimize their TikTok marketing campaigns. It can be done directly from the Shopify dashboard by installing the new TikTok channel app from the Shopify App Store. Through this app, merchants gain access to the key features from the TikTok For Business Ads Manager. This allows merchants to have In-Feed videos of their products, similar to the ones on TikTok. At the same time they will be able to target audiences with specific age, location, behavior and then track the performance of their marketing campaign over time.
Tik Tok for non Shopify Merchants
Even if you are not a Shopify merchant, TikTok has recently allowed users to add links to e-commerce sites to their profile biography, as well as offer creators the ability to easily send their viewers to shopping websites. This is a very powerful e-commerce trend as it gives the opportunity to various e-commerce merchants to establish content for their product and market it across the platform. Apart from that, the famous influencers of TikTok can also add the website’s URL in their profile bio to direct their fans to merchandise stores.
Pinterest and Twitter become Hotspots for E-commerce trends
The most common form of Social Media Advertising is through Newsfeed-ads. This is a platform where specific advertisements are displayed to potential customers. You can enjoy this with the help of features such as Instagram Swipe-ups on Stories and Highlights, which can be directed to your e-commerce website for the purchase.
Facebook and Instagram Ads’ objective has always been to generate:
The first step to choose any social media platform to display your Advertisements would be identifying your target audience and their favorite social media platforms. If your Target audience is Gen Y, you should choose Facebook Advertising. If you want to focus on GenZ, your desired social media platforms should be Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. This depends on your industry you are active in, and the target you’d like to reach. Thus, you need to analyze your social media community, and your posts’ reach to see who is interested in your communication and your products.
Instagram Ads have a variety of options like
- Photo Ads
- Video Ads
- Carousel Ads
- Collection Ads
These options need to be chosen wisely and relevant to the latest e-commerce trends to see results. Among the competition of social media platforms for grabbing user attention, Pinterest is in the race too, along with Twitter.
You have a variety of options of social media platforms to display your ads on like Twitter, Instagram , Pinterest, Facebook etc
Pinterest and their Promoted Pins
- Pinterest Ads help you gain awareness, drive traffic to your website and specific products, along with creating video impressions. Pinterest ads are called Promoted Pins.
- The benefit of using Promoted Pins is that you pay to reach a wider audience, and get more views. Besides basic photo Pins, you can create Promoted Pins with video or a carousel containing up to five images.
- Promoted Pins are identified as ads with a “Promoted” tag.
- However, if users save your ads to their Pinterest board, that promoted label disappears. These saved Pins earn you bonus organic exposure.
- Before creating any Promoted Pin, you need to pay attention to the latest e-commerce trends getting optimal attention.
Twitter has been expanding its network of users for a long time. Twitter has reached over 336 million active monthly users – but tweets reach 1.6 billion people on third-party platforms. With an increase in the number of engagements on Twitter the cost per engagement has declined by 54% year-over-year. This has resulted in decreasing the cost of businesses to get results on the platform.
Total ad engagements on Twitter increased by 99% year-over-year. Even though Twitter is seen as a strong channel for B2B Marketers, B2C professionals can still benefit from it. The reason is that 92% of the people who are active on twitter come from the background of industry leaders, journalists and experts.
2. e-commerce trends of Product Promotion through Influencer Marketing
One of the important parts of Social commerce and E-commerce trends is Influencer Marketing. Social Media Influencers, especially Instagram Influencers, have been playing a very important role. The Social Media influencers use their Social media handles with features like Instagram Swipe-ups on Stories and Highlights to market your product among their followers. Apart from promoting your brand, social media Influencers also provide user-generated feedback on your products. This represents a very important way to build a customer-oriented brand image of your business.
According to the recent study by Collective Bias, 70% of millennials are influenced by their peers’ recommendations when making a purchase. If you want your brand to be followed, follow these steps:
- Start with small but wide reached Instagram Influencers who can help your brand reach global scales.
- Influencers also act like real users of your product. They also share real insights and reviews about your products – building awareness and trust for your brand.
You can have specific promos and contests, made to enhance views on your social media pages and to get more attention.
3. Latest AI,VR, AR E-commerce trends
The year 2020 made us realize the importance of technology, as it has been the reason we could socialize, work, order groceries, … during the lockdown.
This made us understand the importance and the loopholes of technology, which could be improved in the next years with more innovations and improvements. Tech has become an important part of our lives by making it much easier. In terms of commerce, making it much more profitable and smooth at the same time.
There have been a lot of tech variations, which helped create an enhanced user experience. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence technologies have been the ones to stand out the most. These technologies’ visual mechanisms are increasingly being adopted to improve the opportunity for sales, upselling, and cross-selling for everything, from furniture to clothing. You can observe the trend of Artificial Intelligence booming with the help of the Chart given below.
By integrating immersive technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) to existing e-commerce stores, retailers are looking to make shopping experiences more intuitive, user-friendly, and satisfying. These technologies are bringing about a breakthrough in the e-commerce industry and changing the way businesses function.
AI technology is successful in providing a more efficient sales approach for the business as the algorithm tools specifically designed what the customer wants (the type of products), how he wants it (budget) and when he wants it (repeated CTA through various means for him to not forget his purchase). The main goal of Artificial Intelligence technology is to provide maximum customer satisfaction, as it helps creating loyalty from customers and gaining the attention of potential customers with an enhanced brand image.
Product Video grabs Customer Attention
As per the study led by Wyzowl, 84% of consumers said that they have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. Even the businessmen are confirmed to have gained more online customers when they started posting videos of their products on their websites. While offering customers a reason to rely more on the brand, doing videos also enhances the brand’s image of your e-commerce website, while showing the creative side of your brand.
4. Voice search is the new search engine among E-commerce trends
Voice commerce refers to the ability to speak to order products online. Doing so is possible by using your phone’s smart assistant, or your smart speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home Assistant. Voice search has been able to get a lot of attention since the past year, which can be noticed in the following chart by Google Trends.
Benefits of following Voice search E-commerce trends
- With the help using specific shopping assistant tools, you can optimize the search of the user by offering him a variety of aspects with which he can examine the product before purchasing it.
- Also if your company has AI tools like voice inputs and natural language change it would be easier for the customer and thus it would enhance the customer shopping experience.
- Moreover, it will track the consumer’s behavior and the types of products liked by the customer. Also it will monitor the consumer habits and this result can be used to send a recommendation of some products tailor-made according to the likes and buying strategy of a particular consumer.
The sales for Voice Assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Home to order products online has had a great impact on the e-commerce business in comparison to the brick and mortar retail businesses. It wouldn’t be correct to say that Voice Commerce has benefited everyone but it still has a long way to go with more technological development and more support languages with different accents.
5. e-commerce Trends of providing Payment Alternatives
When your customer adds his desired goods to the basket, he expects a very smooth and trustworthy experience, while validating it. Enhance your payment step by having a variety of options and ways to pay. Your website’s payment panel can influence the decision to finalize the purchase or not. Consumers are increasingly using digital wallets, as it provides a seamless payment experience. According to a recent finding by Mordor Intelligence, the use of digital wallets is forecasted to have an annual growth rate of 26.93% between the year 2020–2025.
- Apart from allowing payments with credit or debit cards, you can allow payments with PayPal. This helps solving payment transfer apps problems, like the ones existing on solutions like Western Union and TransferWise.
- Since most of the customers use their smartphone online (M-Commerce), it is much easier for them to make use of applications like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Samsung Pay, etc to make their transactions secure and easy.
- Even the option to pay by crypto currencies like Bitcoin is also available for the customers as it has lesser transaction fees as compared to other Digital Wallet options.
The easier the payment step is, the fewer cart abandonments you’ll face.
6. QR code marketing trends
QR Codes are re-entering the world of E-commerce through various ways and helping your business get attention along with feedback from your customers. E-commerce trends using Shopcodes created by Shopify are actually helping the customers find their desired product easily by just scanning the QR code. While for the merchants it is able to drive more traffic to their ecommerce website.
Uses of QR codes
- Apart from driving traffic, QR Codes are also used to track products’ delivery and online/in-store payments. Like Google and Apple, Amazon also launched QR Code-based payment systems for retail stores and online stores.
- Many e-commerce websites have started offering special QR codes discounts and cashback offers to their customers to promote purchases through QR codes. This has in-turn motivated customers for repeated purchases.
- Social Media Ads done with QR Codes prints are actually able to drive more downloads or visits to their websites, as it is easier for the customer to scan the QR to just land on their product. For instance, Instagram doesn’t allow the publishing of direct links on organic posts which may result in loss of some potential customers. But, when you post a QR code, users can access your information via the QR Code directly, instead of having to search around for the link.
- You can use the space on product packaging to encourage upselling and communication with customers and this would encourage feedback and loyal customers.
- You can display a variety of QR codes like Facebook, Instagram or all Social Media Channels’ QR code in order to display the list of your social media platforms in use which would help your customer track your recent work as well.
- You can also use Rating QR Code if you’re testing new products and want to understand which ones customers like the best.
7. Meeting the customers’ needs: personalize the E-Commerce experience
Personalization is a key strategy to attract new customers and maintain the existing ones by offering a Planned Personalized Retail Strategy for each client. Through recent studies, it has been revealed that 79% of consumers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if it has been personalized to reflect previous interactions the consumer has had with the brand. So it can be said that the use of Personalized Email marketing and even other Digital marketing strategies would yield you much more results than normal as the customer feels much more connected to the brand and its propositions.
80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized experiences. This makes “Personalization” a key important E-commerce trend for you to follow. With the help of recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence, product recommendations have become much more transparent and appealing to the customers.
For example, by informing your customer that the item is in their size or it has a similar color to a previous purchase, this could actually motivate the customer for purchase or drive traffic to your website.
In order to provide your customer a hassle-free shopping experience and comfortable after-sales service, AI has come up with the use of Chatbots to solve and cater to the maximum problems of your customers.
With further advancements in technology, chatbots are predicted to move from simple user-based queries to more advanced predictive analytics based real time conversations. They are on the path of transforming the way businesses communicate with their customers & prospects. The demand for Chatbots is on a rise as seen by the chart below.
Statistics of Chat Commerce
According to Business Insider “ The chatbot market size is projected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2021 to $9.4 billion by 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.7%”. Also as per Global Market Insights, “The overall market size for chatbots worldwide would be over $1.3 billion by 2024.” This means that Chat commerce and Chatbots would become an important part of e-commerce business. Chatbots are becoming more human-like to provide better customer service. They have also reduced chances of misunderstanding requests and inaccurate execution of demands. Also with the AI technological advancements, Chatbots have deeper customer insights in order to know the customer behaviour and understand their sentiments which would help the customers have a better shopping experience.
Why should you use Chatbots?
According to Chatbots Magazine, “Businesses can reduce customer service costs by up to 30% by deploying a conversational chatbot”.
- Bots are smarter at analyzing human behavior. Plus, working 24*7, they can help reduce tremendous costs of businesses.
- With the increase in the use of messengers , more and more brands will adopt messaging apps to boost customer engagement and increase customer loyalty. These platforms will have strong bot capabilities along with an integrated approach with various business functions.
8. The alternatives to B2C E-Commerce: C2C & B2B are new E-commerce trends
With the onset of 2021, we noticed some new E-commerce trends on C2C and B2B platforms that are gaining popularity
The World of Recommerce
The new form of C2C commerce, called Recommerce, has emerged with time. It has emerged as the platform for second-hand selling between consumers. There are special e-commerce websites dedicated to this channel, which allow customers to trade, buy, and sell items in exchange for a small commission paid to the site.
C2C commerce has a very positive response from both sellers and buyers because it is affordable for the customers, offering a wide variety of choices to them. This E-Commerce business model is heavily based on the community created around the Customer marketplace, and the word of mouth, usually spread through social media.
Since some social media platforms (such as Facebook) are facilitating in-house C2C marketplaces, marketing and advertising of a product can be much easier, utilizing the existing user base. This business model has become a great opportunity, not only for the buyers and the sellers, but also the platform owners because of the following reasons:
- they have the responsibility to make transactions more secure
- introduce background checks for sellers
- reduce the potential of the platform being used for scams
- enhance the customer experience from the admin point of view
- attract new customers.
B2B e-commerce platform
B2B e-commerce has been reaching heights too with an estimate of 25% rise expected increase in its sales which is being planned to be invested in technological and marketing advancements in order to establish a wider network. With the times of pandemic, B2B companies have experienced a surge in their sales as they became more strategic and dependent on their digital marketing strategies, but with long term prospects.
According to 2020 research by McKinsey & Company, more than 75% of B2B buyers and sellers have said that they prefer purchasing online and prefer remote interactions in comparison to the traditional in-person sales interactions. This feeling has only been strengthened after the first lockdown was lifted. Only 20% of B2B buyers say they want traditional in-person sales to return.
The good news is that, according to research by McKinsey & Company, B2B buyers are willing to spend more when shopping online. Along with that, the online marketplace for B2B business has also been one important e-commerce trend.
9. The rise of M-commerce in e-commerce trends
Mobile Commerce is still on rise and according to the recent study by Statista it is estimated that by the end of 2021, 73% of ecommerce sales will take place on a mobile device. Also, 30% of online shoppers are likely to abandon their carts in the middle of shopping if they find out that your website is not mobile-friendly. This is a strong reason to make your website responsive for the upcoming users and for their ease of use. Mobile devices are not just limited to shopping, as they are also here to browse desired products.
We are able to notice the upcoming e-commerce trend of use of PWA (Progressive Web Application) by the e-commerce websites.
- PWA (Progressive Web Application) is a type of web application that combines the power of traditional web pages with native apps’ features.
- In simple words, PWA is an application which can be used to eliminate the production of a separate application and a website for your ecommerce business
- PWAs can be accessed via URLs and offline at the same time which can solve the problem of website abandonments by the customers due to slow loading time.
- The use of PWA will provide you extreme optimal usability of your website across various devices.
- Easy navigation and user-friendly features have become one of the top priorities for many online businesses, willing to provide a better customer experience.
For instance, Alibaba has recently said that their e-commerce sales have grown 3 times faster because of the use of PWA and giving their users a great mobile-shopping experience.
10. Eco-responsibility to follow with E-commerce trends-
Sustainability is not just a concept deployed by grand corporations anymore. Instead it has become an important part to establish the Brand image of your E-commerce Website. As they call it, green Consumerism is on a steep rise and your brand should resonate with some kind of social welfare value that would motivate your consumers to trust your brand. This is a situation where customers are looking for certain products which have a sustainable or eco-friendly brand image attached to them. You can find many major brands starting to resonate parts of sustainability in their brand image like Amazon has pledged to bring their carbon emissions to zero by 2040.
Recent studies show that younger generations, like Gen Z, is 1.5X more likely to mention a brand on social media after learning about its values, and 87% of consumers will buy from a brand with an environmental or social benefit.
Also, 65% of consumers say they want to buy products from purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability. For instance Amazon has pledged to bring its carbon emissions to zero by 2040. But retailors should always remember not to greenwash their brand by making false promises and claims in order to look more motivated to protect the environment. If your brand doesn’t have any kind of sustainability value attached to it there is always an option to leave it to your customers like,
- You can offer the choice of greener shipping by electric vehicles to your customers
- avoid the use of plastic to pack your products and instead the use of reusable cardboard boxes can motivate the customers to buy from your brand.
- You can offer consolidated packing to one particular customer will help you save the cost of packing as well as informing your customers about your sustainability efforts.
With the above E-commerce trends we made an effort to paint a visionable picture for your ecommerce business to follow for the year 2021. Although most of the enterprises were not prepared for the pandemic of 2020 and its repercussions, e-commerce proved to be standing still and even soaring high during this tough situation. This gives us hopes for a brighter future of e-commerce with various technological advancements
The statistics from the E-commerce trends of Artificial Technology, Social commerce, Voice Search and Mobile Commerce boost us to implement these trends in our business to reach a wider audience and market growth. Which of the above e-commerce trends did you find the most prone to a 360 degree advancement?
According to Statista, it has been recently estimated that the E-commerce Penetration rates are supposed to increase from 15% in 2021 to 25% by 2025. And with the increasing demand for online shopping during a pandemic the customers are supposed to be inclined to a more hassle free shopping experience giving ecommerce websites with a variety of options for payment, navigation (mobile apps or website), promos and discounts and all attached with a strong brand value.
Innovation is the key to success but how would you innovate keeping up with the competition? Make E-commerce trends and insights to the e-commerce industry your friends and this way keeping up with the E-commerce trends would be much easier.