Early 2021 surely taught us something, that uncertain times call for quick pivots to sales and marketing plans.
E-commerce technology trends have a significant impact on online shopping. It will continue to have the influence of new technology, new consumer demands, and the constant shift from desktop to mobile devices.
Businesses evolved quickly.
Trade shows, events, and in-person sales meetings have been cancelled, throwing a wrench in many sales and marketing strategies.
This led small businesses to turn to technology to survive the pandemic which eventually resulted in forcing them to embrace technology to move online. Resulting in decreased virtual businesses.
There are some key e-commerce trends that can help shape 2021.
Every other person uses Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Hello Google, etc.
Isn’t it ?
Look at yourself. Don’t you use it?
Imagine at an office , everybody using voice search just so that they could save their time involved in typing and reduce the chance of mistakes.
Voice search is a technology which you can use as a voice command to search on the Internet, a website or an application. As a result of advances in speech recognition, this feature first appeared on smartphones which made it easier to replace the search bar.
Today, voice search is becoming a new way of asking queries on the Internet with the use of new products such as voice assistants. Eg: Alexa with Amazon Echo, Google Voice Search, Cortana, Siri with iphones, etc.
With time, voice search will be one of the remarkable innovations for e-commerce. Google has noticed that more than 20% of mobile device queries are based on voice. Besides, more than 40% of millennials use voice assistants for clearing their doubts.
ROPO/ROBO will rise
ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) or ROBO (Research Online, Buy Offline) has been a noteworthy trend for the last few years. However, it can’t be taken as the evolution of the e-commerce business world. It can be viewed as the pinnacle of the online shopping technologies of the last decade.
With ROBO or ROPO, customers find it more convenient to search for products/services at the best probable prices. On the other hand, ROPO helps e-commerce business owners to track their offline conversions.
As a business owner, you need to strengthen your digital marketing strategies around the trend of ROBO. Backed by several metrics and techniques such as CRM, consumer shopping history, mobile payment, and social integration, you can individually fulfill the needs of ROBO shoppers.
Influencers will become brand partners
Do you know that many influencers wish to become brand partners?
It works both ways. It benefits the influencers as well as the brands. Let’s talk about the top instagram influencer in 2020, Ariana Grande. She has an authentic engagement with 6.4 million followers at the rate of 3.82%.
So why would any brand not want her to be their brand partner. Of Course, Brands will benefit from her followers and she will get paid for it. So why not?
Most eCommerce brands have tapped into influencers over the years to leverage their vast audiences. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the influencer marketing industry is expected to grow to approximately $13.8 Billion in 2021.
“Many eCommerce brands have a content problem - in that they are unable to create enough content at scale to support their marketing efforts. In 2021, a trend we will see is brands looking to influencers as content creators to support the content creation process in lieu of a content agency. We'll also see brands add paid media spend to this content so that they can control the reach and audience”, as quoted by Jordie Black of ZINE.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will become less artificial and more beneficial
Accounting for an impressive 35% of its overall revenues, product upselling and cross-selling on the Amazon E-commerce platform is among this retailer’s major success stories.
Which technology is driving this mode of conversion?
Amazon’s product recommendation technology that is primarily enabled by artificial intelligence or AI.
In fact, it was found that 1 in every 5 consumers are willing to purchase goods or services from a chatbot, while 40% of the online shoppers are looking for great offers and shopping deals from chatbots.
Gartner confirmed that around 80% of all customer interactions were managed by AI technologies (without any human agent) in the year 2020.While the global E-commerce sales are projected to touch $4.8 billion by the end of 2021.
Artificial intelligence benefits the economy by helping the evolution of work. AI can become smarter over time with deep learning and machine learning. It has increased business' efficiency. AI will eventually reduce the probability of human error and study historical data to cut costs.
AI and machine learning in Ecommerce is deriving important user insights from the generated customer data. These insights enable Ecommerce retailers to make suitable product recommendations and provide a consistent user experience across all devices.
Personalisation will go beyond making a purchase to making a bond
How would you feel if your favourite brand, let’s say Gucci, personalizes the products according to your interest? You will love it obviously. Gucci products with your own personalisation will make you so much more than happy.
Personalization is pervasive in the loyalty space to develop profound and relevant relationships with their customers which some marketers are still struggling to get right.
Customers themselves are tired of brands mining a wealth of information about them but not using it to create the experiences they want. They often feel anonymous to a company that they have committed to.
It’s time to move personalization from the purchase to the person. Brands should start looking beyond the next transaction and focus on the overall relationship they are establishing with their customers.
Analytics will flourish
Having access to statistical information from all areas of your online marketing and sales activities gives you an advantage over competitors that do not have this information.
Understanding trends and which marketing channels are no longer profitable allows you to maneuver as a business before damage is done to your bottom line. And, understanding shifts in consumer behavior gives you insights into the demands of your market.
Knowing these things enables you to drop certain products or make strategic changes in your pricing that will result in big gains or, at the very least, limit damage to your profits.
In the world of e-Commerce, customer data will continue to gain value. Though vital metrics are provided to many brands yet they focus on the basics such as click-through-rate on specific campaigns and conversion metrics. These indicate where the bulk of traffic and sales are coming from. However, as we roll into 2021, many will display data proficiency and get even more granular.
Vanhishikha Bhargava of Contensify explains, "Segmentation is going to go beyond just one-time sales and loyal customers. It's going to be a lot about how they interact with your eCommerce business. Knowing who your price-sensitive customers are. Knowing which one of your customers would rather buy full-price and who are more likely to abandon carts, and so on."
Augmented and virtual reality are making online shopping interactive
How about you get to experience and see the products that you want in a particular place without even buying it ? isn’t it amazing?
Of Course, it is.
You can even decide the colour, size, placing of the product without taking it home.
Suppose you want to re-decorate your garden. You can just wear the gadget and place the decorative items, decide their colour combinations, designs, sizes and their shapes. And then finalize the products that you want.
It will save your time and money. And who doesn’t want that? Well, we all do.
Augmented reality can help online retailers significantly reduce returns by providing an engaging 'try-before-you-buy' digital experience. Innovative AR solutions allow customers to visualise products in real time by sitting in their homes.
With AR and VR, customers can virtually try on products, place furniture within rooms of their homes, and more.
This customized and virtual online shopping experience has led to greater adoption of this technology. The augmented reality market is projected to have 2.4 billion users by 2023.
E-commerce subscription services will gain traction
Do you know about amazon ? It has amazon market, amazon prime and amazon prime video.
Amazon provides these services to their customers. It gives benefits to its subscribers. They get an option for fast delivery, latest movies and episodes to watch as soon as it’s released and they even get discount offers on their orders and subscription plans.
In simple words, it is a business model that allows customers to subscribe to products or services they need on a recurring basis. This model can increase your customer's lifetime value significantly.
The ecommerce subscription market is forecasted to grow by 68%, reaching $478.2 billion USD in revenue by 2025, and the Subscription Economy Index reports a 403% growth in subscription services in the past eight years.
Social media is a driving force behind mobile sales
Suppose you are scrolling through instagram and see an advertisement of cosmetics/electronic gadget or let’s say your favourite item that you have been planning to buy for a long time. You see an offer as well as the link attached to it. Will you not open it?
Of course, you will. You click on the link, directly go to the website, go through the items and order what you want. Isn’t it simple? Yes , it is.
It happens like this many times, and this is the way how social media gets more traction and increases the sales of the products as well.
The driving force of social media is interaction. It takes place between a user and a site or service in the foundation (one to many). The communication between users (many to many) gives social media the momentum. The trick for those services and content owners who want to take advantage of social media is how to stimulate enough user engagement so that there's a reason for the users to interact. One of the best ways to do so is to get discussions going.
Platforms enabling eCommerce stores to sell directly through their social pages are increasingly driving sales. With a simple click on a product link within a social post, consumers are immediately taken to a product page where they can make a purchase.
As a result of this shift, social commerce sales are expected to reach upwards of 80 billion USD in revenue by 2024.
Be ready for future
In the future, many more advanced technologies are yet to come. Mobile platforms have become a part of e-commerce business. The subscription of services will have high importance in the digital market.
You need to ensure that e-commerce websites are ready for future technological trends to come. You have to adapt to the latest technologies to cope up with the world.
You should get professional support to integrate the latest technologies for e-commerce business.
The year 2020 was a massive one for eCommerce given the effects of COVID. The pandemic sped up changes across several verticals, and that acceleration is expected to continue in some capacity as we move into 2021 and beyond.