Regardless of your projects concerning E-Commerce, you’re going to have to follow these trends this new year is bringing. Investors, managers handling multiple websites or future Internet entrepreneurs should be concerned by E-Commerce’s trends in 2019. They have to analyze and apply these new strategies to their own websites. Here are the 7 biggest trends in 2019 to follow.
What will you find in this article ?
Trend #1: Chatbots and Messenger Marketing
Chatbots have gained a lot of strength in e-commerce over the last few years. Although they still have a long way to go, they can already offer a lot to the online stores that integrate them in their strategy.
With a low cost and a relatively simple implementation, these tools are very useful to enhance the conversion of your e-commerce.
And we could not talk about chatbots without talking about a trend that is very united: Messenger Marketing. Although email is still the preferred contact channel in e-commerce, it is already more than proven that Messenger Marketing multiplies the conversion. Online stores are taking advantage of platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Telegram to reach their customers. And it seems to work.
Some facts about chatbots in e-commerce
- Interest in chatbots has grown exponentially over the past few years. And, if not, let them tell it to the Google Trends figures during the past five years:
- Facebook Messenger is the channel par excellence for chatbots: Today, there are more than 100,000 bots serving customers through this platform.
- A survey concluded that the main reason why customers like chatbots is because of the « speed » they offer to solve their problems.
- Chatbots tend to be 3 times more engaged than email marketing.
How are chatbots changing e-commerce?
- Humans can serve a limited number of customers per day. The chatbots do not have that limit, so no customer will stay « in line », waiting for someone to resolve their doubts.
- They allow you to give service at any time, and not only during office hours. 24/7 Customer Service.
- Chatbots based on Artificial Intelligence are very useful in order to hyper-personalize the relationship with the customer. They can offer the perfect product for each user, as well as help manage the preferred shipping option or help them track their order.
Companies to consider
- ManyChat: This tool allows you to create bots through Facebook Messenger, in a very simple way. It has a free version quite competent, and another Premium if you want to go further.
- Chatchamp: A great chatbot option for e-commerce. It allows you to remarket through Facebook Messenger, confirm orders, report on the status of a shipment and many other things.
Trend #2: IA / Machine learning
Although AI and Machine Learning operate in the same digital ecosystem, they are different concepts: while the former comprises a series of algorithms that do not need to understand why they correct and improve themselves, because they are programmed to do so, Machine Learning, postulated by Arthur Samuel in 1959, is capable of building its own algorithms, adapting them according to external data and using statistical analysis to predict new data.
There are many applications of these technologies to retail environments. From performing intelligent searches and offering purchase predictions, to detecting online fraud (false valuations, for example) or using automatic learning to dynamically adjust prices.
Some facts about AI and Machine Learning
- Both the IA and Machine Learning have experienced a boom in the last 5 years, as evidenced by Google Trends figures collected from Internet search traffic:
- The consulting firm Gartner predicts that, by 2020, more than 80% of all e-commerce interactions with customers will be managed by IA systems.
- 2 out of 10 online consumers would have no objection to buying products through a conversational bot (IA), while 40% of them already use these systems to search for offers, according to a report from Ubisend.
- Big Data will multiply the efficiency of AI in retail environments. According to an IBM report, the most valuable data for AI (amounting to 80%) remain hidden: today less than 1% is analyzed.
- Up to 20% of customer interactions will take place in the future without the presence of humans, according to a Business Insider study.
How are IA and Machine Learning changing e-commerce?
- The detection of fraud reviews, product recommendations and other processes are already being streamlined and perfected with the help of AI systems on Rakuten, Amazon or eBay.
- Using Machine Leaning, e-commerce can offer smarter searches, using browsing history, preferences and other elements that help customers find the ideal product and predict future purchases and needs.
- Dynamically optimizing prices is one of Machine Leaning’s challenges, as this automatic learning technology allows rates to be adjusted more precisely based on demand, time of day and customer type, across hundreds of parameters.
Companies to consider
- Proudly Presents Amazon’s virtual assistant uses advanced artificial intelligence to predict which products will be most in demand and provide personalized recommendations based on customer searches.
- AImotive: This company helps e-commerce use artificial intelligence to better communicate, understand and satisfy their customers.
- DeepMind: Acquired by Google in 2010, this Machine Learning company works on the creation of artificial neural networks, capable of learning complex games and imitating the short-term memory of a human being.
Trend #3 – New payment methods
One of the biggest sources of friction between the consumer and e-commerce? Payment methods available. Millions of online shopping carts are abandoned every year, which has prompted several companies to launch new and innovative payment methods in retail environments, such as Ingenico, which offers secure transactions through its apps and payment processing devices.
This trend has not gone unnoticed by Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce giant, which launched Amazon Pay in 2007 to streamline online shopping. On the other hand, Trustly landed in Spain last year with the purpose of ensuring more secure transfers for consumers and profitable for merchants.
Some facts about new payment methods
- The abandonment rate of the shopping cart is 68% in retail environments, according to a study by Baymard, which highlights the frictions arising from the limitation of forms of payment.
- Electronic payment methods (PayPal, Amazon Pay, etc.) should improve their acceptance among consumers, since only 39% of buyers use them, while the rest corresponds to credit and debit card issues, according to Statista.
- 37% of SME owners are considering introducing new mobile payment options in 2018, according to PCWorld. This demonstrates the growing interest of businesses in new payment methods.
How are new payment methods changing e-commerce?
● Frictions in checkout processes have been reduced with the introduction of electronic payment methods, due to their greater convenience and speed.
● The conversion rate is therefore optimized by the lower number of abandoned shopping carts and the greater agility of the checkouts.
● The security of online transactions has improved with the arrival of ePayments, as they eliminate the risks associated with cash, offering greater security measures than credit/debit cards.
Businesses to watch out for
- Trustly: Launched in 2008, this Swedish company has positioned itself as the first Internet payment method that allows online banking transactions.
- Stripe: Founded in 2011, Stripe is a software provider that allows customers and merchants to receive payments over the Internet, securely and with fraud prevention.
Trend #4: Logistics
E-commerce and logistics have a strong link of dependence, which is why the growth of one cannot be understood without the evolution of the other. In the ‘race’ to satisfy the 2.0 consumer, logistics companies have had to reinvent themselves, with proposals as crazy as dropshipping (online sale through intermediation between supplier and final customer) and others of great interest, such as 24-hour deliveries or last mile delivery (optimization of shipments considering delivery times and other possible friction with the customer).
In the coming years, these and other trends will open the way to e-commerce, which has been experiencing unstoppable growth year after year, with record turnover volumes and increased logistical demands.
Some data on new logistics trends
- The interest in the final link of the shipments (Last Mile) and the dropshipping show a more or less constant increase, while there is an uneven growth (deliveries 24 hours), by the boom of same-day delivery in major metropolises, according to Google Trends:
- Global ecommerce sales volumes will reach $4.5 billion by 2021, according to a Shopify report. Presumably this increase will drive logistics needs in all sectors.
- Is intermediation between retailers and suppliers an isolated case? Statistics show that approx. 23% of online sales in 2017 were through dropshipping.
- B2C companies are the main drivers of last-mile deliveries, a key factor in the success of the last mile.
- B2C companies are the main drivers of last mile deliveries, a service whose demand has increased 50% in the last year, according to a Localz report published in FreightWaves.
How are new logistics trends changing e-commerce?
- Synchronization between vendors, carriers and ecommerce departments is being improved with logistics 2.0, as orders are processed and notified to the relevant professionals simultaneously, maximizing continuity of operations.
- The shopping experience and consumer satisfaction is improved with the integration of ecommerce and logistics, as it allows offering a greater number of shipping and packaging options to customers.
Companies to consider
- Prime Now (Amazon): This service, launched by the multinational Jeff Bezos in 2014, allows ‘ultra-fast’ deliveries, in 2 hours.
- Citibox: This new application facilitates the reception of orders at home without the need to be at home, thanks to its lockers or intelligent mailboxes.
- Stuart: This company and its ‘green’ fleet offers urgent shipments from Monday to Sunday, reducing the impact of delivery on traffic jams and the environment.
- Postmates: This home delivery service provider allows any ecommerce to make global shipments, using local logistics, with a delivery fleet of 20 thousand operators.
Trend #5: Marketplaces
Since eBay, Zappos and Amazon uncorked the history of marketplaces in the digital world, these platforms have become an essential part of e-commerce, providing an accessible, secure and effective meeting point for suppliers and consumers.
In the last decade, marketplaces have grown at dizzying rates, due to the many associated benefits: providing greater transparency, offering more competitive prices or eliminating linguistic and geographical barriers. However, these platforms still have challenges to overcome, such as increased cybercrime, review fraud and other threats.
Some facts about marketplaces
- Interest in Internet marketplaces experienced a boom in 2011, with sustained growth since then, with an interesting upturn in related searches in 2017, according to data provided by Google Trends:
- Confidence in digital marketplaces has improved significantly. 65% of consumers say they feel comfortable buying products from online stores they’ve never heard of before, according to Digital Commerce 360.
- Retailers’ fear of Amazon or Alibaba is justified: by 2020 these and other global marketplaces will own 40% of the retail market, according to the ‘Rise of the Global Marketplaces’ report published on eCommerceNews.
How are marketplaces changing e-commerce?
- The immediacy of these digital platforms has had a positive impact on the price adjustment of e-commerce, making it possible to update information immediately.
- Although its first steps were difficult, today consumers of Amazon, AliExpress and other marketplaces show a high level of confidence in these platforms, to which they subscribe (Amazon Prime has reached 100 million subscribers in 2018).
- Compared to traditional sales channels, the costs of marketing and administration of marketplaces are lower, facilitating the penetration of new markets due to the lesser influence of language, time or geography.
Companies to take into account
- Izberg: This new start-up offers back-end solutions adapted to the needs of e-commerce, both for B2B and B2C environments.
- Rakuten: Amazon’s Japanese rival has stepped strongly in recent years, being Japan’s largest marketplace and one of the sector’s references at an international level.
- Mirakl: This French company offers diverse solutions to marketplaces, such as increasing their conversions, learning about their customers and improving the effectiveness of their stock.
- Alibaba: Jack Ma’s Chinese multinational leads the expansion of Eastern ecommerce, with 12 billion turnover per quarter (Q2, 2018).
- Etsy: This marketplace launched in 2005 has specialized in the niche of handicrafts and handmade products in general.
Trend #6: Customer-centric and customization
How many companies claim that the customer is first, second and third? The rise of customer-centric, however, has made it a reality. Only the best e-commerce companies have understood the importance of offering a service of the highest quality with the greatest possible adjustment (personalization) to the consumer and his interests.
But a customer-centric company is not limited to ‘keeping customers happy’. The customer-centric not only seeks to provide a perfect service during the first purchase, but also actively seeks a positive experience before, during and after the purchase, thus favoring the repetition of purchases and the consequent loyalty of the consumer. To achieve this, this methodology relies on the feedback of its consumers, able to feedback and strengthen the results of the customer-centric.
Some facts about customer-centric
- Interest in customer-centric has shown moderate growth in recent years, according to data provided by Google Trends from search traffic:
- The level of personalization of the customer experience and the good quarterly results are closely related, according to the consulting firm Deloitte: analyzing 250 million consumers, determined that the customer centric offers an increase of 25% of sales, as well as an improvement of 300% in the useful life of the customer.
- According to Econsultancy, a group of companies surveyed said that their customers’ shopping experience was the most interesting opportunity for 2019 because of its influence on conversion rates and consumer loyalty.
- Are price competitiveness and product quality the major brand differentiators? A Walker study found that customer-centric and other user experience strategies would outperform price and product in this regard.
How is customer-centric changing e-commerce?
- The customer-centric allows, in the first place, to increase the satisfaction of the client, discovering which aspect they are most enthusiastic about a certain product/service, with the purpose of maximizing them.
- The customer is the one who takes the floor in the customer-centric, in a certain way, which brings the benefit of recognizing and taking advantage of new growth opportunities, such as the optimization of the product/services in certain aspects or its expansion into unsuspected niches.
- It is not always possible to compete in terms of quality or excellence (think of a new bottler trying to outperform Coca-Cola or Pepsi). The customer-centric, on the other hand, opens the door to an added value: to be the best at offering a unique customer experience.
Companies to take into account
- 5one: The ShopperCentre application, owned by London-based 5one, has been developed to provide customer-centric business solutions through marketing, merchandising and other areas.
- Qualtrics: Founded in 2002, the Seattle-based company offers customer experience-focused services designed to enhance the customer experience throughout its lifecycle.
Trend #7: Social Commerce
The boom in mobile traffic has found a perfect ally for the growth of e-commerce: Social Commerce. This trend is the meeting point between social networks and ecommerce, a marriage with multiple benefits for brands and consumers, initially proposed by Yahoo! in 2005.
The shopping experience, added to the discussions, recommendations and comments of the social environment, makes it possible to speed up conversions and increase the effectiveness of ads on Facebook, Instagram and other platforms.
Some facts about Social Commerce
- Due to its short run, Social Commerce still shows a timid growth in Google Trends data, based on search traffic collected by its parent search engine, Google.com:
- Social network users surpassed 3.196 billion in 2018 (more than half the world’s population), according to a We Are Social report.
- According to Wordstream, the social network Facebook was a determining factor in 52% of online and offline purchases made in 2015.
- Almost 9 out of 10 users (86%) actively use social networks before making a purchase on the Internet, according to a study by Alist Daily.
- Indirectly, 7 out of 10 consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social networks would recommend it to third parties, demonstrating the power of these channels in customer service.
How is Social Commerce changing online shopping?
- Streamline online conversions. Facebook boasts that it is the most popular Social Commerce platform at the moment, being a pioneer in introducing the « Buy » button, as well as offering companies and brands the possibility of opening a store on its platform.
- Improves consumer confidence and loyalty to the brand thanks to the presence of reviews. Once again, Facebook is a paradigm in this sense, as its reviews and comments have a direct influence on the purchase decision. The statistics, moreover, are categorical. 4 out of 10 people follow their favorite brands on social networks.
- Social Commerce has stimulated mobile shopping. 93% of users use social channels through their smartphone, which added to the opening of Facebook, Instagram and other networks to online shopping, translates into a direct increase in conversions via mobile.
Companies to take into account
- Wallapop: For more than 40 million users, this social network of buying and selling does not need a cover letter. Its interface is reminiscent of platforms like Pinterest, but Wallapop is focused on shopping.
- Amazon Spark: This curious social network powered by Amazon allows users to share images of their purchases, working in a similar way to Pinterest and Instagram.
Trend #8: B2B e-commerce
E-commerce has not only revolutionized the B2C market, but also the business-to-business has been able to benefit from it. This modality of electronic commerce, based on the commercialization of services and products between companies in digital environments, has embraced new technologies in order to optimize their purchasing processes, reduce their operating and sales costs or improve their integration between CRM and ERP systems.
Some facts about B2B e-commerce
- Global interest in B2B e-commerce has grown significantly over the past 5 years, according to data collected by Google Trends from search traffic:
- 74% of B2B consumers say they have researched half of their online orders before placing them, proving that the digital environment has been a breath of fresh air for vultures-to-buisiness, according to Forrester.
- Although physical catalogues continue to be accepted by B2B consumers, the trend is towards digital, as suggested by an Avionos report published on BizReport. It states that 89% of customers in buisiness-to-buisiness environments are making more purchases online compared to 2017.
- B2B business transactions will reach $1.2 trillion in 2021, according to a report by Forrester Research, while Frost & Sullivan predicts higher growth of $6.6 trillion by 2020.
How has e-commerce changed traditional B2B?
- The growing acceptance of ecommerce by B2B companies is explained, in part, by the reduction in operating costs it provides. Increasing revenues and minimizing expenses in a proportional and sustainable way is easier in e-commerce.
- B2B has seen increased sales opportunities in e-commerce. Companies can help strengthen their presence in any sector by making use of digital channels and thus communicating with greater immediacy and closeness to their customers.
- Increasing sales and profit margins is the ultimate goal of all business management, and ecommerce provides this benefit to both B2B and B2B companies. For the former, the use of digital platforms and channels allows access to a growing audience in all markets, with potential customers more likely to make a purchase.
Companies to take into account
- Pepperi: This software allows business-to-businesses to place orders directly from their platform, create catalogues and manage their sales efficiently.
- InsiteCommerce: This suite of tools for B2B e-commerce helps to unify the management of processes related to direct sales, customer service representatives and consumers themselves.
- Unilever Food Solutions: This B2B platform from Unilever, a UK company founded in 1930, provides catering services for chefs and niche professionals.
Trend #9: Augmented Reality
Augmented reality (AR) is a new technology that allows information and multimedia content to be incorporated into the real world through smartphones, tablets and other devices.
Amazon, Ikea, eBay, Alibaba and a long list of other companies are flirting with augmented reality, for its countless benefits in the online shopping experience. And it is that this technology adapts like a glove to the needs of the e-commerce, offering a more attractive, effective and satisfactory contact with its products.
Some facts about augmented reality
- Interest in augmented reality has remained constant over the past 5 years, according to data provided by Google Trends – the July 2016 rebound reflects the impact of Pokémon Go in Spain:
- 40% of consumers would be willing to spend more on a product if it offered some kind of augmented reality experience, according to Retail Perceptions, demonstrating the competitive advantage associated with the introduction of this technology in e-commerce.
- Investment in augmented reality will reach $60 trillion by 2020, according to the Harvard Business Review.
- 63% of customers believe augmented reality would improve their shopping experience, while 22% say they would recommend less traditional business (offline) if this technology were implemented in more marketplaces, according to ThinkMobiles.
How are e-commerce changing augmented reality?
- Visualizing products before acquiring them is of great help in certain cases (clothes, furniture, makeup, etc.). Augmented reality is able to show, in situ, how the product would look after its application.
- The e-commerce and their marketing teams can also benefit from augmented reality. This summer, Michael Kors teamed up with Facebook to launch his first AR ads, showing consumers what they would look like with their glasses in real time.
- Augmented reality can reduce some of the insurmountable obstacles to online shopping. Although visiting the physical shoe store, for example, is still the best way to buy a pair of moccasins, augmented reality is already able to show what they would look like on the consumer’s feet.
Companies to consider
- This application driven by the Swedish multinational makes use of ARKit’s technology to allow its customers to see their furniture in real scale in their home, thanks to augmented reality.
- Dulux Visualiser: This app developed by the Dulux brand allows you to visualize how a wall or other surface would look with the shades available in your stock.
- Sephora Virtual Artist: The cosmetic firm Sephora is the driving force behind this app aimed at showing how its consumers would look with lipsticks, eye shadows and other products in its catalogue.
Trend #10: Voice Assistant
Innovations in voice recognition and search engines have come together in voice assistants, a pioneering technology with multiple applications in ecommerces, whose growing popularity is surprising own and strangers.
Will the keyboard die in 2022? The emergence of voice assistants in e-commerce and their acceptance among the giants of the sector (Google Assistant in Walmart, Alexa in Amazon, etc.) has led experts from Lenovo and other brands to make this statement (The Sun, 2018). It seems clear that voice searches will comfortably beat conventional searches.
Some facts about voice assistants
- In the last 5 years, interest in voice assistants has experienced sustainable growth, with a notable upturn in the last year, according to data provided by Google Trends:
- 58% of consumers have used voice search systems to find information about local businesses by 2018, and up to 46% of consumers search daily, according to a BrightLocal study.
- But voice assistants are not the exclusive territory of mobile devices: up to 22% of smart speaker owners have made online purchases using this search mode, according to an Edison Research study published in Voicebot.
- 50% of all searches will use voice by 2020 Feeding the Beast is a statistical search analysis by ComScore that predicts that 50% of all searches will be performed using voice search in 2020.
- Up to 20% of adult users will perform voice searches once a month. This data provided by Global Web Index demonstrates the rapid acceptance of this form of Internet search.
How are voice assistants changing e-commerce?
- The main players in e-commerce are improving the shopping experience with the help of voice assistants, such as Alexa or Google Assistant, as they streamline and simplify the processes of search and selection of products in stock.
- Keyboards will gradually disappear in the coming years as a result of the boom in voice assistants, whose impact will also be noticeable in search engine algorithms (Google, Bing, etc.), which must be reinvented to satisfy users.
Companies to take into account
- Voysis: This start-up improves the efficiency, speed and naturalness of searches and voice transactions in retail environments.
- Alexa: This voice assistant, developed by Amazon in 2014, is complemented with devices such as Echo to offer a better voice shopping experience.
- DIVA AppTek: This application developed by AppTek is an intelligent voice wizard adapted to the needs of online shopping. It is programmed to remember and learn from the user’s preferences.
E-commerce market is doing just fine ! Online transactions are now democratized, which allow to realize more and more online purchase. Year after year new trends are flourishing and digital makes it possible to conceive crazier things. Some are going to stay in everyone’s mind while some are not going to last long. According to you, which one of those 2017 top e-commerce trends is going to stay in everyone’s mind ?
And you, what do you think is going to the next e-commerce trend? Tell us below or Tweet us!