With a plethora of e-commerce websites running all over the internet, consumers today have plenty of options to shop from. The growth of e-commerce has been mind-blowing in recent years and the digital marketing landscape too has witnessed a tremendous shift. The emergence of data analytics and innovative technologies has given a solid ground to the e-commerce industry to enhance the overall customer experience.
According to a report published by Statista, global e-commerce retail sales are expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021. The stats show the growing e-commerce industry will be witnessing in the coming years and to be a successful e-commerce retailer in a highly competitive industry, it is important to focus on the latest trends:
1. Rise in Voice Assistants: Voice search technology has been happily embraced by the people globally. Siri, Alexa, Amazon Echo, Ok Google, Crotona have been used widely by people to get answers to their queries and it is expected that by the year 2020, 50% of the searches will be made via voice.
Technological advancements have enabled a few skills in these voice assistants that help the customers to do online shopping. In the near future, it is expected that voice assistants will be live into the e-commerce business, and make the shopping experience seamless for the customers eliminating the reasons to not incorporate voice search into your marketing strategy.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI): From e-learning to smartphones, artificial intelligence is everywhere at the present time and is becoming a part of every aspect of our lives. AI’s presence is felt in a profound manner in every industry, may it be healthcare, e-commerce or finance. In the e-commerce sector even, AI can be of great help to the businesses. AI tools can be helpful to marketers in measuring website traffic, conversion rate, engagement rate, bounce rate, and also in making data-driven decisions. These tools enable marketers to gather real-time information and track the way potential customers interact with the website.
3. Faster Shipping: To stay ahead of the growing competition, faster and timely delivery of the products is the dominant factor. Shipping is considered to be a key differentiator among online retailers. Customers these days don’t want free delivery of the products rather they are more interested in timely delivery. Customers are even demanding same-day delivery of the products from e-commerce retailers.
With the shoppers growing demands, e-commerce companies like Amazon have started testing drones for package delivery in countries like Australia and England. Speed and efficiency of the delivery are going to be the hallmarks of e-commerce business in the future. And, looking at this trend, Amazon is even forefront with its in-home delivery option. The concept behind this is that when a delivery person reaches at the address of the customer, a notification will be sent to the customer and then, he/ she will remotely unlock their smart locks and allow the delivery person to access.
4. Marketplaces: In recent years, online shopping has gained the trust of the consumers and has taken over a good command over the retail marketplace. With the help of online shopping, customers get to view the products of several brands at one site. They can easily compare the prices on different online websites and order the products from the website that suits them the best. With every passing year, the online purchase market is growing at a faster pace as compared to the retail marketplace.
To mark their space in the marketplace, retailers should also think about selling their goods through the biggest online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Myntra, etc. Online marketplace can benefit the retailers to a great extent. Thus, the need of the hour for the e-commerce industry is to invest in the online marketplace to avoid lagging behind in terms of business. Retailers will be able to save the expenses paid to the vendor every month if the goods are sold in the retail market.
5. Interactive Visualization of the Products: Visualization of the products while presenting them to the customers is the best strategy in e-commerce business at the present. As online shopping is intangible as compared to physical shopping, it requires a lot of guesswork on the part of the customers. Enabling the customers to view every detail of the product before making the purchase is a great way to stay ahead of the competitors. The Zoom option on various e-commerce sites have been a great help to both retailers and consumers to make purchases. It allowed the customers to make the final decision by looking at the different images of the product instead of regretting to buy the product without visualizing it beforehand.
Product demo videos are also another great way to allow the users to view the products in detail. E-commerce industry can also bring 3-D visualization of the products for the potential customers. This will enhance the viewing of the products and provide better details to the customers. An interactive 3-D presentation will not only increase customer engagement but will also improve the conversion rate.
6. Product Filtering: In this fast-paced life, everyone wants things to be short and precise even if it is a shopping experience online. People do not want to waste hours looking for a particular product before buying it. The advanced filter functionality helps the consumers to filter the products as per their requirements such as price, size, brand, availability, etc. This filtering methodology can help them view the products of their choice and then, select the best product from a wide range.
Customers want to save time and if they do not find a product they are looking for at a particular website, they are more likely to bounce from that site. Putting as many specific product attributes as possible is a good way to enhance the customer experience and to remind them that these contributions are crucial to their selection process.
With the evolving landscape of e-commerce, technological advancements are expected to make the whole process of online shopping more seamless. To survive in this competitive time and as an owner of growing e-commerce business, it is imperative to keep a track of these technologies and make the best use of these suiting your business needs.