Since early 2020, we have undergone a major shift in the way we lead our lives and conduct business. Those who accepted reality and pivoted in time just had their best year in the industry. Those who didn’t go bankrupt trying to keep a failing business afloat.
As for e-commerce, the world population stands at nearly 8 billion, and it is estimated that there will be around 2.14 billion global digital buyers in 2021. And that’s a huge opportunity. With this in mind, for you to attract more business to your e-commerce brand, adapting to the present trends is non-negotiable. But first, we need to identify the trends that are accelerating this process.
E-Commerce Trends Shaping The Future
Here are 6 e-commerce technological trends that are shaping the future of the industry as we know it:
1. Voice Search
Virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant have revolutionized how we went about our online searches. While it’s still a small market, these AI chatbots support their own search engines and help users find the most accurate and best-matching information using their voice. As the field evolves, it will also be used to target specific e-commerce players that best suit the search requests.
Again, since the way people use voice search is different from text input, it can also help them find solutions to their queries related to your products and services if you have a solid knowledge base live on your site. AI is smart enough and yet evolving to better comprehend search queries, and if you have the answers to the frequently asked and common queries at the very least, it will help you retain your customers.
2. Product Customization
Product customization is one of the emerging trends in the e-commerce spectrum and will continue to grow for businesses that offer truly personalized products and services. Its very idea is bound to reduce (and eventually eliminate) the troubles associated with online purchases where customers would hunt for hours and days looking for the perfect commodity.
All the while, it meets the demands of clients of the present generation. Leveraging this trend will demonstrate the lengths you’ll go to satisfy your customers, which, again, will improve CLV and word of mouth.
3. Mobile is Leading
While it’s difficult to pinpoint what the future looks like for e-commerce, we can surely confirm what it looks like presently, and it is mobile. The number of global smartphone users is rising gradually, and so is the e-commerce traffic. In 2020 alone, 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase using their mobile device.
Primarily, various customers still prefer and feel comfortable with shopping via desktop sites, but it shouldn’t last too long. The trends in the e-commerce sector need research and mobile-based user data to improve the industry.
More than ease of use, having a site optimized for mobile is also a prominent factor while ranking on search engines. In short, smartphone users will be at the epicenter of a global e-commerce revolution, and optimizing your site will directly influence your angle in the same.
Adding to this, you can also venture into other mobile marketing methods.
4. Product Visualization, AR, and VR
The system has already evolved from displaying a single blurry image to multiple high-resolution images from different angles. But even with that, the technological advancements of the recent past, especially in 3D, AR and VR, are poised to completely change the way e-commerce products are imagined and visualized before they are purchased.
Product visualization, hence, will be one of the biggest trends that we’ll see in e-commerce. Both Augmented reality and Virtual reality help customers get a better idea of what the product is and what it looks like in a manner that is as close as it can get to the real thing.
5. Data Science-Based Personal Interaction
Consumer data, like in any other industry, will take over e-commerce (if it hasn’t already) and will play a pivotal role in writing its course. If you’re only starting out, before long, you’ll need to know about your price-sensitive customers — the ones who abandon carts, and the ones who don’t wait for sales and pay the full price.
Revisit the data you currently possess about your e-commerce business and consumers and see whether you can collect any actionable insights from it. If not, you can leverage any of the various analytics tools to quantify and demarcate information, such as:
- Channels leading your customers to you.
- Consumer geographical location, spending habits, demographics, etc.
- Content that leads to conversions.
You can also integrate the collected data with your CRM software and get a bigger picture of your entire e-commerce business. Moreover, since 72% of your customers will only engage with personalized messaging, you should be able to use the insights to meet customer expectations and improve on personalization.
6. Shoppable Video Ads on Social Media
Social media usage has been rapidly and consistently growing since more than a decade ago, and there’s no reason to expect it to slow down any time soon. While it used to be about an under-utilized platform people used to share memes and stay in touch, social media has grown to become a go-to hub for advertising. And it’s time to go beyond traditional adverts too.
Today, more than ever before, short and catchy videos are trending and easily go viral, whether it’s on YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, or TikTok. The present generation spends substantial hours daily on these platforms. And video is the perfect channel for any business to engage users, especially e-commerce merchants.
What you can do here is create catchy videos of your top-performing products and post them regularly on platforms that you know your customers to use. Instagram is mostly the top choice, but depending upon your target audience, it can be TikTok or LinkedIn too. Videos can vary from user-generated unboxing, reviews, or product descriptions.
Get Ready For The Future
The future looks exciting for e-commerce since every technology in one way or another is revolutionizing the industry. Mobile platforms are the present and the future, and so are AR and VR, personalization, social media video ads, and voice search optimization. The best course of action here for your business is to double-check your armory and verify if you’ve adapted to changing times and optimized your e-commerce strategy according to the changing times.