2020 has been an unusual year for eCommerce. The pandemic has put the eCommerce industry on a rapid growth trajectory with +22% growth. Convenience and safety seem to be the two main factors influencing purchase decisions and merchants are reconfiguring their businesses to cater to these new demands. They are investing in new technologies that will improve the customer experience, reduce operating costs, and open up new order fulfillment mechanisms. New marketing initiatives are all targeted at personalizing messages and making customized offers. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of these new trends driving the eCommerce industry today.
The pandemic and its impact on eCommerce
During the pandemic, we are witnessing a complete shift in consumer behavior. The latest “Deloitte Global State of the Consumer Tracker” done in July states that 50% of customers interviewed still feel unsafe going to a store and 40% of them are delaying large purchases. Ease, convenience, and shopping experience have taken precedence over price and retailers are devising unique strategies and action plans to capitalize on these trends and drive sales.
New technology trends
Augmented Reality is the latest technology that is revolutionizing the eCommerce world. The biggest complaint about online shopping has been that it is impersonal. It doesn’t allow you to touch and feel the product and purchase decisions had to be made based on images and videos. Now we have a technology that lets you replicate the shopping experience online. Augmented Reality lets you view the products in real size, from various angles and see all the details that are missing in 2D images. You can try on the dress, wear the shoe and even place that painting on your wall to make sure it gels well with your interior design. AR is going to be the way people shop in the future. Retailers are implementing AR in-shop to provide contactless shopping and eCommerce sites are adopting this new technology to offer that almost perfect customer experience.
BOPIS or Click & Collect – The expectation for same-day delivery is on the rise. A recent survey showed that over 46% of shoppers abandoned a shopping cart because the shipping time was too long. This is where BOPIS steps in. BOPIS has become an essential part of doing business today. This service allows customers to Buy Online and Pickup in Store of their choice. It is convenient, safe, and above all this feature allows you to save on shipping costs. You can fix a date and time for pick up and do it from the curbside without entering the store. This service also allows you to return the products you bought online at a nearby store. In these tough times, this is a perfect tool to drive loyalty and enhance customer satisfaction.
Voice Search – Studies show that 50% of digital commerce will happen through mobile in 2020. This growth is being enabled by the adoption of digital voice assistants. There are approximately 1.5 billion devices in use today and this is expected to grow to nearly 8 billion by 2023. This technology is going to be the future of retail and eCommerce sites are busy optimizing the content on their site for voice search. The benefits of voice search are that it is more conversational, consumers don’t have to spend time typing their searches and it makes reordering easy. That’s not all. Voice Search also promises faster checkouts.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)
Having the available stock information on hand is critical to the success of an eCommerce business. It allows you to effectively plan the reordering of products and avoid stock-outs. The latest RFID technology allows all the relevant product information to be stored in a microchip. The microchip is attached to the product or its packaging and the data is used to identify and track the product at the warehouse or during transit. With the help of an RFID scanner, the data can be transferred to the online store allowing for better tracking. The result is fewer stock-outs, missed deliveries, and enhanced customer service.
What’s new in Marketing
Social commerce – The new big revolution in eCommerce
Today over 3.6 billion people are estimated to be active on social media and this number is projected to increase to 4.4 billion by 2025. People spend an average of 2.5 hours daily on social media interacting with friends, discovering new products, and window shopping on eCommerce sites. What is interesting is that 30% of online shoppers say that they are likely to make a purchase on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram – converting Social Media platforms into highly lucrative sales channels.
To cater to this market Social Media platforms have reinvented themselves and added an array of features making it easy for businesses to sell on them. The ‘Buy Button’ on posts and Social Media Ads and the shoppable posts that allow brands to tag their products within the design are all new marketing tactics to attract the active social media users to check out the various products and offers. So make sure to integrate Social Commerce into your marketing strategy.
Unique Customer Experience – The way forward
Technology now allows us to convert the rich consumer data available into actionable customer insights. Customers’ demographics, browsing behavior, and purchase history allow the eCommerce site to serve personalized content and offers that will trigger a purchase. Personalization and targeting the customer as he browses across platforms will be one of the key objectives in the marketing efforts pursued by eCommerce sites in the coming years.
The Big Events lined up in 2020
The pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for the eCommerce sector. With convenience continuing to rule the current shopping behaviors, online shopping will only go up in the coming months. eCommerce businesses are betting big on the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in November. According to Adobe Analytics, 2019 saw over 20% uplift in online traffic. Yet another big sale which has been a raging success in the previous years is the Amazon Prime Day. Now rescheduled to happen sometime in November, this sale is expected to add to the excitement of the Christmas shopping season. A perfect opportunity for both eCommerce sites and participating brands to boost their revenues big time.
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