eCommerce or electronic commerce is the practice of selling and purchasing goods or services through the internet. It is an essential channel for businesses to showcase their products and enhance their sales considerably. According to Insider Intelligence, by the end of 2022, sales made through eCommerce channels will reach $5 trillion. To keep up with the fast-paced world of eCommerce, businesses need to understand and accommodate the ever-changing eCommerce trends.
How To Define eCommerce Trends?
- eCommerce trends can be defined as patterns, preferences, likes, and dislikes of customers who purchase goods or services online. eCommerce trends are dynamic and are influenced by technological advancements and the demographic profile of a specific area. While the early trends were limited to more straightforward features such as 360 degrees views of the product, customers now prefer using more sophisticated technology such as Augmented Reality, Chatbots, Virtual Reality, etc.
Customers also demand reliable and uniform engagement on all of the gadgets that they use to access a brand’s online presence. Businesses that offer modern features, seamless shopping experiences, hassle-free shipping, and 24/7 support will dominate the eCommerce industry in the coming years.
- To maintain their competitive edge, successful businesses keep a keen eye on the changing eCommerce trends, and accommodate them while designing their content and products. As we pass through the second half of 2022, let us look at the important trends that will dominate the eCommerce industry in 2023. Then, tailor your products and services accordingly to stay competitive in the business.
Customer Service and Post-Purchase Experience Matter
- If you want to earn the loyalty of your customers, offer them excellent customer service and a seamless post-purchase experience. This trend will remain constant in the eCommerce industry. While most businesses tend to focus on making a successful sale, customers are more concerned with the after-sale experience.
Delivery time, the ability to monitor an order, seamless online transaction, the availability of different payment channels, and the standard of the purchased item or service determines the quality of the post-purchase experience.
- According to Metapack, 69% of online customers prefer a brand that allows monitoring an order, whereas 57% of consumers have shown an inclination towards brands that accommodate returns of faulty or unwanted items.
Hence, customer service and post-purchase experience matter for improving your online sales.
Incorporate Social Media in Your eCommerce Strategy
- Social media is a multifaceted tool. Its primary role is to connect people. However, brands also use it as an effective marketing channel to promote their products and services. Research indicates that most users spend an average of 147 minutes on social media daily. As a result, businesses are tapping into the potential of social media, and connecting with their customers through social media posts, paid ads, videos, and influencers.
The latest development in social media allows consumers to purchase items directly through social media platforms instead of being redirected to the seller’s website. Instagram Checkout is a popular example of this. This smoothens the shopping experience for the customers, and increases the potential for a successful sale.
Hassle-Free Payment Procedure
Payment processing is usually the last step of a successful online purchase. This process should be as smooth and hassle-free as possible; otherwise, you will face a lot of missed opportunities, and cart abandonment rates will increase. To simplify payment and checkout processes, keep in mind the following:
- The checkout process should have as few steps as possible.
- Creating an account should not be mandatory for customers.
- Remove any ambiguity from the costs and policies.
- Incorporate various payment options in the payment process.
It is a big turn-off for customers when they encounter payment processing errors, such as payment gateway rejections or delayed transactions. This drives potential customers away from your business. If you want real growth for your business, focus on simplifying the checkout process and increasing the processing speed of the orders. In addition, to stay ahead of your competition, incorporate the latest technological developments in your online transaction process.
Use Artificial Intelligence To Personalize Shopping Experience
Artificial Intelligence opens up multiple avenues of business development for online companies. eCommerce businesses can incorporate AI to customize each customer's shopping experience based on to their choices, personal likes, and dislikes.
AI can reduce human workload and improve business efficiency by automating different tasks, such as product recommendations, customer service, processing of orders, etc. Listed below are the latest and most popular uses of AI for businesses:
- Fraud detection
- Shipping and logistics
- Upkeep of inventory
Use of Voice Search Technology
- Internet users first became familiar with voice search technology in 2012. Initially, it did not gain much popularity. However, for the past few years, more and more people have been realizing its benefits and using it for daily internet searches. By 2023, 50% of internet queries will be carried out via voice commands. The introduction of smart speakers and virtual assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Home has increased the popularity of voice search commands.
The shift to the use of voice search technology impacts the functioning of search engines and eCommerce websites. It has implications for the SEO and UX design of eCommerce websites. Voice search commands have proven to be more effective in showing more relevant results which are closer to the search query. This is because voice search queries are usually wordier and convey the intended meaning more clearly.
- For example, if you want to search the recipe for marble cake, the typed query may comprise the phrase ‘marble cake recipes. On the other hand, during a voice command, the customer is more likely to say, ‘show me recipes for marble cake.’ It is understandable that search engines will display more accurate searches with the latter.
In 2023, more and more users will use voice search technology for carrying out different commands. As a result, businesses are now devising their content, navigation structures, and flowcharts to accommodate voice search technology.
Incorporating Omnichannel Approach
- Omnichannel is a multichannel approach to sales. It can be defined as unifying and connecting the physical and digital arenas to create a hassle-free and smooth shopping experience for your customers. Whether your customers are shopping in-store or accessing your products through a mobile phone, they will receive an excellent customer service experience.
In recent years, omnichannel selling has become quite popular. As a result, more and more eCommerce businesses are now focusing on omnichannel selling. Statistics reveal that by 2023, the sales from omnichannel will reach approximately $1.8 trillion.
- For the success of omnichannel sales, it is vital to understand your customers’ expectations and tailor your strategy and services accordingly. To attract more customers, you can offer different incentives. For example, if a customer buys a product from your website, he will get a discount on your store and vice versa.
Omnichannel selling will gain massive popularity in the years to come. As a shrewd business owner, you should make it a focus of your marketing strategy.
Use of Augmented Reality Technology
- Augmented Reality (AR) is the latest technological development that combines or superimposes digital elements such as images, texts, and sounds over the user’s real-time environment. Through AR, virtual connects with the real world. The intelligent use of AR opens multiple avenues and opportunities for businesses to interact with customers. For example, shoppers can view the products in three dimensions, presenting a more accurate and tangible picture.
Wayfair is an online store company that sells furniture and home goods. Since their products are displayed in the digital realm, they have introduced a feature called “View in Room,” which allows customers to virtually view the furniture in their homes and see how it would appear if it were placed in their homes. Using this feature, customers can better choose which piece of furniture to buy.
- The use of AR will be on the rise in 2023 and beyond. This eCommerce trend will become more popular in the years to come.
Live Streaming for A More Personalized Experience
Businesses and retailers always look for innovative ways to connect them to their customers. For eCommerce businesses, live streaming presents a unique opportunity to showcase their products to customers in real-time. During live streaming sessions, customers can interact with the seller and ask questions about the product.
- This creates an experience similar to visiting a brick-and-mortar store and physically examining a product. Social media provides an excellent avenue to hold live streaming sessions and interact with customers one-to-one. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are suitable for holding live streaming sessions and answering the queries of potential customers. By 2030, the live streaming industry will have a worth of $330.5 billion.
Round The Clock Customer Support Through Chatbots
A chatbot is a computer program that uses conversational Artificial Intelligence to stimulate conversation with human users. Chatbots can imitate the human ability to formulate a conversation and answer queries. Unlike humans, chatbots are not limited by time and space constraints and can offer services 24/7.
Businesses are now using chatbots to provide round-the-clock support to their customers. Chatbots can help your business in the following ways:
- Chatbots can answer queries about the status of the order that is out for shipping.
- Chatbots can provide satisfactory answers about the different aspects of your business’ products and services.
- Chatbots can keep track of orders. They can verify the information provided by the customer and look out for potential errors in address inputting etc. This will prevent potential delays in orders.
Include A Variety of Traditional and Non Traditional Ways to Pay
- Most customers use debit or credit cards to pay for goods online. Technological advancements have introduced us to several nontraditional payment methods, such as digital wallets, cryptocurrency, biometrics, etc. There has been an increase in the use of digital wallets and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Customers choose to shop with businesses that offer a variety of traditional and nontraditional ways to pay for goods and services online. These nontraditional ways provide ease of payment and faster, more secure transactions. Therefore, if you want your business to expand, offer a variety of traditional and nontraditional ways to pay online.
Optimization of Mobile Commerce
- Mobile commerce can be defined as the practice of buying and selling products through the use of handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets. Cell phones are the most commonly used devices. According to statistics, a person spends 3 hours and 15 minutes on cell phones daily. Cell phones provides the ease and mobility of shopping online and on the go.
By 2023, mobile commerce will capture a huge chunk of the eCommerce market. Approximately 72.9% of sales will be generated through cell phones. This number will soar in future years if forecasts are to be believed.
- Therefore, it is essential for businesses to offer a seamless mobile shopping experience to their customers. Businesses should prioritize optimizing those most popular applications for their customers to offer the best quality services.
It is challenging to predict eCommerce trends with absolute certainty. However, we believe that the listed trends will most likely dominate the eCommerce market in 2023 and beyond. Businesses that adapt to the ever-evolving trends will remain successful in the competitive market of eCommerce.