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07/04/2020 Luke Hilton

Staying on top of eCommerce trends

Consumers have come to expect excellent experiences across every channel, and this is driving the eCommerce industry to the cutting edge of innovation. Now more than ever as the rate of change increases, it is essential to stay in front to remain competitive and profitable in the retail sector.

Ecommerce is comfortably outpacing overall retail growth, currently at 14.1% per annum compared to 4%, according to Adobe Digital Insights (ADI). While we can expect some downturn due to the coronavirus, this is a force majeure aberration and shouldn’t distract from the unprecedented underlying growth seen across the holiday period at the end of last year, where online sales topped US$138 billion – a 12.7% year-on-year increase. But to get your share of the pie, you need to be ready.

Emerging eCommerce trends can be divided into three categories: customer driven, technology driven and industry driven.

Customer Driven

– Ethical eCommerce

Consumers have realised that they can temper, or even change, company behaviour with their purchasing power. Over the past year, in particular, there have been a number of campaigns targeting companies with a poor record on the environment.

– Seamless Omnichannel Experiences

Most consumers will pay more for a great retail experience. A core way to achieve this is through consistent and complementary product experiences across all channels. Getting the customer’s journey right will position your business to thrive.

– Personalisation

Consumers want more than basic personalisation. Instead, you should be utilising advances in artificial intelligence (AI) to learn from customer interactions to know not only who the customer is,  but also when, where and how to engage with them.

– Delivery Transformation

Same-day delivery almost seems quaint. With a move to autonomous vehicles in the long term, we can expect deliveries to become increasingly fast and flexible. In the short term, improvements to logistics will still see retail continue its shift online.

Technology Driven

– Headless eCommerce

Headless architecture decouples the frontend and backend, allowing your platform to be agile and to rapidly change to evolving trends. This will set free your marketing creatives, allowing them to quickly and cheaply experiment with changes, gain insights and boost conversions.

– Mobile Progressive Web Apps

The majority of web traffic has now shifted to mobile devices. PWAs bridge the gap between native app functionality and traditional webpages, expanding customer interaction and keeping pace with expectations of lightning-fast, app-like browsing experiences

– Micro Animations to Boost Conversions

AniGIFs aren’t new, but they’re now being pushed to new limits thanks to the ubiquity of cameras, editing and animations software, and fast internet. These animations are an effective way to emphasise your brand, improve the customer experience, and boost sales.

– Visual Search in eCommerce

Visual searches and image recognition will be vital in the future and will require a rethink and redesign of existing websites, which often place visual elements as supplementary rather than at the core.

– Voice as an eCommerce Channel

Consumers are becoming used to shopping with the use of voice commands, and this trend will only increase in the next 12 months. We’re still in the early days of voice as a mode of input, but early-adopting companies will see the benefits of its integration.

Industry Driven

– NextGen B2B eCommerce

Traditional B2B companies and expanding their direct-to-customer channels. Not only does this drive further sales, and potentially at better margins, but it also enables the company to capture customer data to better target growth. Expect to see the product-centric to customer-centric shift all but complete this year.

– Marketplaces

The top 100 online market places currently sell US$1.8 each year, and within five years could account for over 30% of global corporate revenues. These marketplaces are not just for B2C companies but are increasingly being utilised by B2B merchants to grow their sales.

Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any other other eCommerce questions you may have.