According to Statista, in 2020, online sales amounted to $4.9 trillion worldwide. By 2025, this figure will almost double and it is expected that by 2040 more than 95% of all purchases will be made via the Internet. Let’s talk about ten current trends that determine the future of eCommerce.
Trend 1. The popularity of augmented reality.
Have you ever tried to place a perfect chest of drawers in your bedroom using the IKEA app? In this and similar cases, augmented reality (AR) is used. It helps buyers to take a closer look at a product to make a purchase decision in its favour.
This technology has completely changed the rules of the game in eCommerce. Deloitte predicts that by 2025, 4.3 billion consumers will buy products using AR. According to survey statistics, 35% of people would make online purchases more often if they could virtually “try on” a product before buying it, and 22% of customers would be less likely to visit a store.
The real experience of the Italian cosmetic brand WeMakeUp confirms the benefits of AR. The company created an AR filter that allows Facebook users to “try out” different shades of lipstick. In this way, girls can find their perfect lipstick and immediately buy it. This campaign was a huge success: its CTR increased by 53% and sales rose by 28 points.
Trend 2. The need for a voice assistant.
Ten years ago, an important technological event took place: the launch of Apple’s Siri, the first voice assistant for a smartphone. Today we are seeing immense growth in voice user interfaces (VUIs). In 2021, 32% of US residents were using smart speakers.
Active voice assistants are embedded in cars to open the windows, start the vehicle, and turn on the air conditioner (Kardome). Companies are already providing voice-controlled games (for example, The 3% Challenge by Doppio Games and Netflix). More and more people rely on such voice assistants as Amazon Alexa and Google Home to perform everyday tasks.
It is obvious that more consumers will use voice search to shop online, order food and arrange their lives. The rise in popularity of voice assistants opens up new opportunities for eCommerce in terms of keywords and content. According to a Moffett Nathanson survey, in two years, voice shopping and virtual commerce might be as popular as mobile shopping today. So far, less than 5% of consumers use voice shopping, but this number can reach 50% in the near future, the report says.
Trend 3. Personalized shopping experience.
Clients prefer to have their experience tailored to their unique needs. Personalization is aimed at creating long-term relationships with customers by recording data about them. For example, when was the last time the user made a purchase, what type of goods do they predominantly buy, and so on? This information is important to provide a client with recommendations for the next steps.
For example, the Enfamil online store requests the date of birth from pregnant women, offering them to subscribe to its newsletter. This information allows the company to offer expectant mothers products that are relevant for a certain period of a child’s development.
The introduction of a customized experience affects the income of retailers. A BCG study found that personalization increased their revenue by 25%. Soon, these sorts of decisions will become not only a way to win the retail sales race but a necessity.
In addition, one of the best ways to quickly personalize the shopping experience is using the right tools. For instance, eCommerce business owners can use personalization software to collect and analyze big data about customer behaviour, preferences, and interactions. This eCommerce data provides valuable insights into customer trends, purchasing patterns, and preferences, helping businesses make data-driven decisions to optimize their offerings and strategies.
By leveraging personalization software, businesses can upsell and cross-sell products based on customers’ previous purchases or browsing history. This approach can encourage customers to add more items to their shopping cart, increasing average order values and revenue.
Trend 4. The rise of mobile commerce.
The advent of smartphones has revolutionized the way modern people communicate, work, and entertain themselves. These powerful handheld devices have become an integral part of our daily lives, and their impact on commerce is undeniable.
Mobile commerce has surged in popularity, allowing consumers to shop anytime, anywhere, with just a few taps on their screens. The convenience factor has been a driving force behind the rise of eCommerce, enabling consumers to make purchases while on the go, during their lunch breaks, or even from the comfort of their couches.
Mobile apps allow customers to shop from anywhere, which is vital in today’s world. From 2013 to 2017, mobile commerce sales grew by 276% and are expected to double by 2025.
The growth of mobile commerce can be explained by the convenience of shopping. In fact, three out of four consumers say they shop using mobile devices because it saves time. Therefore, the easiest way for retailers to stay up-to-date is to create a mobile app for their website.
In addition, the integration of social media platforms with mobile commerce has been a game-changer. Social media giants have recognized the potential of mobile commerce and have introduced features like in-app shopping, live-streaming sales, and influencer collaborations, making it easier for consumers to purchase products.
Trend 5. A greater choice of payment methods.
Customers have individual needs when it comes to payment methods. If they cannot pay in a way that suits them, they are likely to cancel a potential deal. Currently, there are more than two hundred options to make a payment. For example, some APMs include bank transfers, e-bills, direct debits, digital currencies, digital wallets, and so on. And consumers are usually offered at least two preferred methods of payment.
For eCommerce companies, customer convenience should be a priority. If this happens, it allows you to improve the conversion rate. In fact, having the three most popular payment methods can increase sales by up to 71%. After all, making a payment should be the easiest part of the customer journey.
Trend 6: Headless eCommerce via API.
API-based solutions enable companies to streamline their processes, from content management to order fulfilment. Thus, retailers have access to the most complex, flexible and advanced front-end applications without having to create anything in the back end.
In headless eCommerce, the front-end and the back-end of an application are separated and work independently of each other.
When a buyer clicks on the “Order” button in an application, its interface sends a request to the order processing platform. At the same time, there may be another API call between the order processing platform and the order fulfilment system. At the end of the entire chain of actions, this system will send a response to the user about the status of the order.
This format of work provides a better customer experience on the Internet on a wide range of devices. You can introduce new interfaces without delay, update their design, and implement modern features while saving money and time.
Trend 7. Video content to increase sales.
Images are a powerful ally in marketing campaigns. Animoto research has proven that 73% of users are more likely to buy a product or a service after watching review videos. And 96% of survey participants note the usefulness of video content in making an online purchase decision.
In addition, another survey published by Wyzowl confirms this information: 79% of consumers prefer to watch a video to get to know a product, rather than read the text on a page.
While reviewing their purchases on sites, consumers are looking for video content. After all, viewing images and reading descriptions is not enough to make sure of the quality of certain goods and be confident in your order. Product videos allow visitors to see an item in motion from different angles and better understand how it works.
According to the TippingPoint Labs marketing agency, using video improves conversions by up to 85%, increases email CTR by 96%, and reduces product returns by a quarter.
Trend 8. The security of payments.
In 2021, there were over 2.14 billion digital shoppers worldwide. However, more than 30,000 websites are hacked daily. This means that retail data breaches will also increase as Point of Sale (POS) systems, eCommerce sites and other store servers are prime targets for hackers.
Above all, customers want a seamless and secure experience that allows them to shop without worrying about data security. For example, Mastercard allows clients to verify their identity with a face photo or a digital fingerprint. Purchase speed and authentication are immediate, giving sellers and buyers what they want. By implementing proper security measures, a business can protect consumers from online threats.
Trend 9. The popularity of green consumption.
Green consumption, also known as sustainable consumption or eco-friendly consumption, refers to the practice of making conscious and environmentally responsible choices when purchasing goods and services. This consumption concept is now a trend in eCommerce. It involves considering the environmental impact of products, such as their production, use, and disposal, and selecting options that minimize harm to the environment and promote sustainability.
Concern for the future of the planet and measures to combat the effects of global warming is intensifying. Yale Program on Climate Change found that between 2014 and 2019, the number of Americans concerned about global climate change nearly tripled. As of 2022, 6 out of 10 US residents are not indifferent to environmental issues.
More and more brands support the pursuit of ecological balance (sustainability). For example, Amazon is a co-founder of The Climate Pledge, a commitment to achieve zero carbon emissions in global business by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.
Other eCommerce brands are likely to follow suit as people look for ways to reduce waste and save the Earth for future generations. Consumers say they want products that combine purpose and sustainability. For example, 65% of shoppers said they are looking to buy from sustainable target brands. 50% of the Nosto survey participants would like to see more sustainability in the fashion industry, and 75% would like to see less packaging.
So, business owners should determine if their products are made using sustainable processes or sustainable materials. Another option is to unite with a charity foundation that cares about the environment.
Trend 10. Attractive subscriptions.
Subscription-based eCommerce means generating recurring revenue from customers who periodically use products and services for a fee. All kinds of subscriptions are becoming more convenient and attractive to consumers. Websites are trying to “lure” them from one-time purchases to recurring purchases by giving them constant access to the product or services they always need (toiletries, groceries, or e-books).
A great example of a retail subscription is Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” promotional campaign. It involves monthly automatic delivery of essential goods, from cosmetics to personal care products. Subscribers are offered a 15% discount on products with purchases of five units per month and free shipping. Buyers can cancel their subscriptions at any time.
Such a system helps brands increase the number of repeat purchases: there is no need to compete with other stores every time because you have loyal customers. This guarantees a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer versus a 5-20% chance of selling to a new one.
With the steady development of information technology, business owners must be prepared to anticipate customer needs. Tailor-made eCommerce solutions help people to keep up with all the latest trends. The most successful websites in the world (Google.com, Youtube.com, Tmall.com and the like) rely on their own software.
Creating a unique eCommerce system will become an asset for your company. It will provide it with greater longevity and better security. Therefore, if you want to draw attention to your brand, increase traffic and convert it into buyers, it is important to use software that is up-to-date with the latest trends.