The world is shifting into the digital realm, and this is especially true for eCommerce companies. In today’s convenience-focused society, more and more people prefer to shop using the internet. According to Statista, there were over 2 billion digital buyers in 2021, a figure only expected to grow in the coming years.
eCommerce trends are constantly changing because they are based on the needs and wants of the consumers. Since consumers drive a business’s success, you have to keep your products, services and branding aligned with your audience’s interests.
One trend projected to shake the eCommerce industry is the announcement of the Facebook Metaverse. This virtual location will allow internet users to play games, hang out with friends and shop without leaving their homes. It is predicted that the metaverse will create an entirely new digital economy and eCommerce companies should start developing marketing strategies that revolve around this new technology to secure eCommerce success.
A company’s growth heavily hinges on its ability to adapt to new developments, specifically, developing custom eCommerce solutions around shifting trends and user behaviors.
In this article, we showcase the seven major trends in online shopping so you can create effective eCommerce growth strategies for your business.
1. Omnichannel eCommerce
One of the most popular trends in online shopping is omnichannel eCommerce, combining multiple marketing channels to provide customers with a seamless online shopping experience. Omnichannel eCommerce allows you to nurture your potential customers through the sales funnel effectively no matter how they come in contact with your business.
For instance, a customer places an order on your website. Later on, they decide to check the order status and shipping details on their phone through your business’s mobile app. Suppose they find an issue when the item arrives. They can quickly contact your customer service representatives through your social media channels.
Omnichannel eCommerce ensures your eCommerce customer experience flows from one channel to the next without interruption. This eCommerce marketing strategy requires you to update your business tech so you can manage your channels through a singular system.
If this trend is entirely new to you and you’re unsure where and how to begin, you can contact eCommerce experts to assist you in developing eCommerce growth strategies suited to your business. Optimize your omnichannel strategy by partnering with an eCommerce digital marketing agency to drive your eCommerce success.
2. Prioritizing Customer Retention Over Customer Acquisition
The COVID-19 pandemic fueled the growth of the eCommerce industry. This led to a surge in online competition, resulting in more digital ad spending. Consequently, online businesses must spend more on ad campaigns to stand out amidst the highly competitive marketplace and attract new customers. According to The Drum, digital ad spend rose to 49 percent in the first half of 2021 versus ad spend in the first half of 2019.
To prepare for the future of eCommerce, companies are focusing their marketing efforts on customer retention strategies instead of the acquisition of new customers through paid advertising. Keep in mind the following best practices in customer retention:
• Open numerous channels of communication: Through customer feedback, you gain insights into what your customers like or dislike about your offerings enabling you to make the necessary changes.
• Implement loyalty and reward programs: Rewards and loyalty programs build emotional connection and encourage repeat spending.
• Hire eCommerce experts: Safeguard the success of your customer retention strategies by partnering with a reputable eCommerce digital marketing agency.
When customers are loyal to a business, price or availability does not influence their buying decision. Instead, they would rather wait and pay more for the products and services they are already familiar with. For this reason, customer retention optimization is an eCommerce marketing strategy we will see more of.
3. Utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality To Enhance Shopping Experience
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an umbrella term for intelligent technologies. eCommerce companies use this technology in numerous ways, including shopping patterns predictions, sales automation and personalized product recommendations. On the other hand, augmented reality (AR) refers to the technology of superimposed digital content, such as images or sound, over a real-world environment.
Retailers enhance customers’ user experience (UX) by integrating AI and AR in their eCommerce growth strategies. Here are some numbers proving their potential:
• Forty-seven percent of consumers would buy items from a chatbot, a form of AI technology (HubSpot, 2017).
• The increase in AI usage across businesses generates a business value of $2.9 trillion (Semrush, 2021).
• Seventy-one percent of consumers say they would shop more often if they used AR (ThinkMobiles, 2021).
• AR ads have conversion rates in the 20-80 percent range (AdWeek, 2018).
AI and AR are transforming the future of the eCommerce industry. Your eCommerce success relies on how well you can integrate the latest technological advancements into your eCommerce growth strategies.
4. Multiple Payment Methods
Online payment has been around since the first half of the 90s, but the recent growth of the eCommerce industry resulted in more flexible and accessible payment options. Debit and credit card payments remain the most popular payment methods, but digital wallets such as PayPal, Venmo and Apple Pay are rapidly gaining popularity (Sale Cycle).
Offering more payment options to your customers and maximizing channels for transactions reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment. By incorporating various payment options into your Shopify marketing strategy, you can significantly improve your conversion rates and increase your sales.
5. Mobile Shopping
Over 1.2 billion people worldwide access the internet via their smartphones, and more than half use their mobile phones to purchase products online (Oberloo). For this reason, many eCommerce UX experts believe that mobile shopping is the future of ecommerce.
Businesses should invest in optimizing their website for mobile. The following are mobile web page design best practices, according to eCommerce website designers:
• Responsive design: Using a responsive web design enables your website to automatically adjust its layout based on the user’s screen size, providing a seamless browsing experience.
• Eliminate pop-ups: Pop-ups are damaging to mobile eCommerce customer experience. Since mobile screens are smaller, the pop-up close button tends to be very small and, therefore, harder to close. Users are more likely to leave your website entirely than attempt to close the pop-up.
• Optimize page speed: According to Search Engine Journal, 53 percent of mobile users abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. In addition, slow loading speeds are harmful to search engine optimization (SEO) and negatively affect your search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Resolve slow loading speeds by simplifying your design, compressing your images and avoiding unnecessary flashy features.
Mobile use is intertwined in our everyday life, and online shoppers expect websites to keep up with their expectations. Therefore, businesses should incorporate the best practices for mobile shopping to improve eCommerce customer experience.
An eCommerce SEO agency can help you make responsive web pages that are optimized for mobile and conversions. These eCommerce UX specialists will craft custom eCommerce solutions guaranteed to help your business thrive.
6. Fast And Free Delivery
Amazon and Shopify have popularized free and fast shipping. Sixty percent of shoppers expect free shipping from retailers (NRF). In addition, 84 percent of online customers have specifically purchased because shipping was free (Forbes).
It seems that online shoppers also want to get their hands on their orders as soon as possible. According to a survey conducted by Flexe Omnichannel Consumer in 2020, 85 percent of consumers search elsewhere for better options when delivery speeds are too slow. In fact, an extra day in delivery estimates can significantly lower your conversion rates.
Free and fast shipping is one of the trends in online shopping that businesses should look out for in the coming years. Competition is tight in the eCommerce industry, and failing to adapt to consumer demands will lead to missed leads and sales.
7. Dynamic Pricing
Dynamic pricing is an eCommerce marketing strategy that continuously adjusts the price of products in response to real-time supply and demand. Bots control the adjustments by gathering data and using algorithms to modify the pricing based on the customer’s location, demand level and even your competitors’ pricing.
Many businesses see a significant benefit from this trend because it allows greater control over their pricing strategies. Of course, dynamic pricing is not error-free, but it can be managed easily using the right software. In addition, advancements in AI, the technology used in bots, have made the price adjustments more accurate.
Businesses need to stay ahead of the current trends to serve customers better and stay relevant in the highly competitive online shopping industry. All eCommerce trends, both present and future, have the same denominator: providing greater user experience.
When you push for a better user experience, you can provide more positive experiences for your customers and keep orders and sales coming in.
If you are looking for an eCommerce SEO agency to help you implement custom eCommerce solutions for business growth, consider Thrive. Our highly experienced eCommerce UX experts and eCommerce website designers will upgrade your business so you can keep up with the latest eCommerce trends.