- While generating organic traffic for an e-commerce store requires putting years of consistent efforts and an intensive content strategy, the online stores at the same time should grab the opportunities presented by online marketplaces such as Google Shopping.
- Someone buying a pair of glasses can actually see his face wearing that pair of glasses and evaluate the look and feel in real-time.
- Since product recommendations on the social media platforms and other digital platforms come as unconventional, casual and non-biased opinions about products and services, they are held as more credible for judging the product and service quality.
2020 has already taken its place in the annals of the worst disasters in recent years. One of the worst pandemics in human history that literally numbed the global population and their regular activities quite naturally have hit the economy under the belly. One of the few sectors in these trying times that actually achieved overwhelming growth and outreach is e-commerce.
As the pandemic tightened its grip and the lockdown measures completely brought life to a standstill, for months online purchases and doorstep deliveries continued to gain more importance than ever before. Still, at the time of writing this post in many parts of global e-commerce and mobile commerce are working as lifelines for most people.
As slowly the disastrous effect and the panic of the pandemic and lockdown started to subside, the e-commerce businesses are looking forward to seeing themselves in better shape. This is the right hour for any eCommerce development company to take note of the key trends that are going to dominate the e-commerce industry in the time to come and the ones that can play a decisive role in the success of e-commerce stores.
Let’s have a look at some of these already dominating and future trends that will boldly transform the eCommerce business of the future with enhanced shopping experience with innovative features.
AI Allowing Stores to Learn About Customers
One of the biggest drawbacks of those brick-and-mortar stores is now more visible to online shoppers. Yes, while traditional stores used to be clueless about customer preferences and choices, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI), modern data analytics, and Machine Learning (ML), e-commerce stores can learn about customer preferences, leanings, and choices more precisely and accurately.
Thanks to the AI-powered knowledge about customers, personalising the shopping experience has become easier than ever before. The intelligent product recommendations and guidance based upon shoppers’ purchase and browsing history can now push for more and frequent business conversions. Thanks to AI, a multitude of e-commerce tasks can also be easily automated making way for better shopping and customer experience.
The Emergence of Google As An Online Marketplace
Another big trend that is already in the making and which is already shaping the e-commerce shopping trends is the emergence of Google as the big marketplace accommodating almost every product and reaching out to almost every type of customer.
While generating organic traffic for an e-commerce store requires putting years of consistent efforts and an intensive content strategy, the online stores at the same time should grab the opportunities presented by online marketplaces such as Google Shopping.
In recent years, Google Shopping has emerged as one of the most powerful sales and marketing channels allowing a multitude of online stores to boost their online visibility and push for business conversion. Many e-commerce stores already observed that Google Shopping helped them with considerable gains in sales volume.
The best thing about Google shopping is that any online business can easily make a start by just signing in to the Google Merchant Center. Only by fulfilling some pretty simple requirements for the Google ads you can easily be able to market your products on the Google shopping platform.
AR Transforming Online Shopping Experience
Augmented Reality (AR) has become one of the key technologies to transform the online shopping experience in recent years. The biggest draw of online shopping is the ease of visualising the product remotely or using the online product specifications and visuals to evaluate in the offline context. For example, while buying furniture you can just upload your own room image and can see various furniture options in your own room settings to evaluate the look and feel.
Someone buying a pair of glasses can actually see his face wearing that pair of glasses and evaluate the look and feel in real-time. Similarly, when buying trousers, the shoppers can actually see his look with the trousers on right on his mobile screen and decide whether to buy it or not. Thanks to AR, the decision-making processes for every purchase became a lot easier and faster and business conversion is having its positive effect.
Bigger Role of Influencer Marketing
One big marketing method that almost single-handedly made digital platforms so impactful for brands is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is widely known for communicating customers in a non-promotional manner to achieve more traction and impact compared to the so called product promotions and traditional ads.
People are more influenced by the buying decisions of their peers and close ones and digital channels are opening up the possibilities of such peer sponsored reviews, recommendations and are allowing to spread the word about a product or service more easily. Recommendations from industry experts and specialists are now given more importance and value by the customers for their buying decisions.
Since product recommendations on the social media platforms and other digital platforms come as unconventional, casual and non-biased opinions about products and services, they are held as more credible for judging the product and service quality. No wonder, such influencer recommendations are increasingly becoming the most important method to promote e-commerce products.
As traditional big-name influencers from the industry fraternity are often viewed as celebrities promoting products with commercial interest, e-commerce stores and business websites are increasingly favouring personal recommendations of peers and regular folks for more credibility and trustworthiness. Well, this is why micro influencers have become so popular for digital marketers across the niches.
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Since smart speakers and intelligent voice assistants have brought automation right into our homes, workplaces, and all public and private places, carrying out voice search over the web has become hugely popular. Yes, the majority of the millennials already developed the habit of searching YouTube and Google using their voice and already more than 20% of Google searches are reported to be voice search. So, in the time to come in e-commerce stores also voice search will play a major role.
Commanding voice assistants to purchase items has already taken a leap thanks to smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. Voice commands are also getting more sophisticated with the help of the latest AI technologies such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and semantic understanding of the terms. In the years to come, these technologies will bring down the scope of misunderstanding voice commands and help more customers adopt voice search and voice interactions in e-commerce stores.
Personalised shopping Experience
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already made its presence felt in the e-commerce stores through personalised recommendations. AI is helping the e-commerce stores to collect information about the customers and provide them unique shopping experiences and product listing accordingly. This AI-driven personalised shopping experience has already been implemented across e-commerce stores and in the years to come it is likely to become a mainstay.
Since smartphone devices are more personal in nature, today’s shoppers expect brands to address their personal choices and preferences. This is why personalised shopping experiences are so popular. From helping customers with personalised product recommendations to helping customers with product listing based on individual browsing and shopping history to offering customers shopping and payment options based on earlier purchases, personalisation is continuing to make shopping smooth, effortless, and easier.
Chatbots for Enhanced Shopping Experience
Online stores don’t have the presence of salespersons and customers miss the warm guiding presence of store attendants and staff who help finding products and explaining the pros and cons. Well, online stores now have intelligent chatbots to deliver enhanced shopping experiences. Chatbots can incorporate the typical flavour of personal presence with warm greetings, personalised recommendations, customer specific suggestions, product information and shopping guidance.
An increasing number of buyers across online stores prefer having conversations with chatbots for easy and personalised shopping experience. Moreover, the chatbots are ready for voice interactions to help you ask and get information quickly while browsing products and make buying decisions. Faster response time for queries made chatbots so popular tools for enhanced shopping experience. According to experts, most online stores and business websites will use chatbots for customer communication in the years to come.
There are always new visitors and prospective customers visiting your online store for the first time and for them visual commerce plays a key role. Customers who have least idea about a product range will always prefer seeing them in some user generated videos showcasing the real life use cases. This visual presentation of the products will help more traction and business conversion.
Visual commerce is highly effective in making customers understand the benefits of products through interactive content, user created media and real life video content. Augmented Reality allowing customers to bring their real life perspective for evaluating online products can further broaden this boundary of visual commerce. For example, a customer can upload images of his apartment to evaluate how a new furniture range will look in the space. Visual commerce will continue to get popular for stores in the years to come.
Obviously, these trends mentioned above cannot draw conclusions about the future of e-commerce. There are actually more to come. One thing that looks certain is that the e-commerce of the future will be more tech-savvy than ever before.