Get ahead of the pack with these eCommerce insights.
eCommerce is in a state of constant change. As rewarding a business pursuit as it can be, keeping up with the changes is essential if you want to beat the competition.
While the fundamental eCommerce model is always likely to work (buying and selling online), typically, it’s the technology that creates the most seismic shifts in the landscape. Niche or sector aside, if you fail to embrace emerging technological trends and use them to your business’s advantage, it’s only a matter of time before you get left behind. And in our digital world, no one is exempt.
Innovation equals success
It happened to colossal brands like Sears and Blockbuster. A reluctance to innovate and migrate towards a fluid digital existence resulted in epic business failure for these two household names. It’s true that these particular brands’ roots lie in brick and mortar retail, but even if you run a solely online business, there’s still a great deal to learn here. To remain successful, you must embrace innovations, using these tools and concepts to your competitive advantage.
This may seem daunting, but never fear—we’re here to help you reach your full potential and hit 2020 running with our rundown of five essential eCommerce tech trends to watch out for in 2020.
“Longevity in this business is about being able to reinvent yourself or invent the future.”—Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corporation
Studies show that 55% of online shoppers have purchased a product directly through a brand’s social content.
We are living in a social media age, and as more platforms enter the arena, the potential for selling your products or services through the likes of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and dark social apps like WhatsApp will explode.
eCommerce brands that embrace social media sites as touchpoints for nurturing relationships and selling products typically enjoy a healthy return on investment (ROI). In fact, social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate compared to outbound marketing.
By taking a strategic approach to social selling and creating content that inspires or engages your target audience, you will boost brand awareness as well as your bottom line.
The likes of Graze Box and Dollar Shave Club are a testament to the success of the eCommerce subscription model. Moreover, the mass consumer migration from traditional TV to SVoD viewing services like Netflix means that, in our hyper-connected modern times, consumers crave rich customer experiences coupled with the convenience of mobile technology.
In just five years, the subscription-based eCommerce model has grown by more than 100%. The average Millennial consumer values the power of experiences. It seems that subscription services strike the perfect balance between tangible consumer goods and a level of brand interaction that extends beyond selling and buying alone.
Your eCommerce business may not lend itself to offering a large scale subscription service, but by tapping into this concept with exclusive weekly or monthly email content or mobile loyalty schemes, for instance, you stand to increase consumer engagement significantly.
Immersive technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are not exactly new, but they are becoming all the more commonplace.
By the end of next year, the global AR market alone is expected to be worth $29.5 billion. As immersive technologies become more accessible to consumers and people begin to integrate the likes of VR or AR into their everyday lives, a wealth of opportunity will open up for forward-thinking eCommerce business owners looking to expand their audience.
Immersive technologies make incredibly powerful marketing tools as they place the consumer at the heart of the brand narrative—superpowered storytelling at its best.
Take IBM, for example. A tech giant that has earned a great deal of success from its digital transformation efforts, IBM helped to lead the way regarding immersive VR-based brand marketing.
Understanding the growing potential of immersive technologies, the brand launched a cutting-edge VR app in conjunction with The New York Times.
Inspired by the NASA-inspired Fox movie “Hidden Figures,” the app takes the user on a fully immersive journey of a virtual museum, offering the tools to discover lesser-known characters from the world’s rich, varied history.
This sensory experience educates, inspires, and connects users with the brand on an entirely new level, forging meaningful bonds that provide positive commercial results.
As immersive tools continue to evolve in 2020 and beyond, eCommerce brands of all shapes and sizes will be able to take advantage of VR and AR, using these mediums to attract more customers while increasing revenue.
You’re undoubtedly aware that, in this day and age, we’re swimming in data. Consumer data offers a window into the preferences, desires, and behavior of a particular target audience, empowering eCommerce business owners across sectors to create strategies and content that connects with customers on a deep, meaningful level.
But, while data analytics is a well-trodden concept, what’s exciting is the emergence of predictive insights. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics is an emerging eCommerce tech trend for 2020 and beyond.
By crunching a business’s most relevant consumer data, AI-powered bots are now capable of returning invaluable predictive information, including the best times to send out particular types of content and trends based on future performance or projected customer habits.
By gaining access to this level of data, you will have the power to optimize your internal processes and marketing campaigns for success, attaining an all-important edge on the competition in the process. This is an area that’s definitely worth keeping your eye on in 2020.
“Torture the data and it will confess to anything.”—Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President, Gartner
Ethical shopping & customized products
As we gain more insights into our environment and what we can do as consumers to preserve it, there has been a significant rise in ethical shopping.
Not only are many of today’s shoppers (particularly those in the Millennial and Gen Z cohorts) more ethically conscious with their consumer choices, but they’re also more likely to invest in brands that demonstrate a commitment to the environment.
If you want to become more eco-friendly, attracting a wider audience in the process, our guide to making your business greener is here to help.
This green shopping trend has also led to another interesting development in the eCommerce world: the rise of customized or customizable products.
In recent years, personalization has become the order of the day. In today’s world, people want brands to reach out to them on a personal level. From personalized deals to content that responds to very specific consumer pain points and beyond, personalization has shown us that in the modern age of eCommerce, a one-size-fit-all strategy simply will not work.
In 2020, we’re likely to see a boost in customized and customizable product sales. Digital technology has reached a point where it’s possible for small eCommerce businesses to offer their consumers custom products by using third-party tools or platforms. It’s never been easier to sell personalized products to your audience—and in 2020, doing so is likely to boost your bottom line.
The likes of wellness sector brands such as Curology and Gainful are making waves by creating completely customized product lines based on individual health needs and goals. This coming year, we expect to see many more brands like this emerge from the virtual woodwork.
When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, it’s social proof.” – Andy Crestodina, web strategist
Over the next 12 months, these pivotal eCommerce tech trends will shape the industry as we know it. By taking the time to understand these tech-driven developments and using them to your advantage, you will enhance your business prospects while securing yourself the long term you deserve.
We wish you the very best of luck. If you’re looking to streamline your eCommerce store in 2020, explore our range of cutting-edge solutions or get in touch for more information about our services. We look forward to hearing from you.