The ecommerce industry has been experiencing steady growth over the past few years.
According to Statista, the global retail e-commerce revenue will amount to $4.88 trillion by 2021.
Therefore, in the coming years, we should expect to see continuing growth with more businesses joining the online market.
This, however, implies more competition. And for ecommerce merchants, these means be very cautious to get ahead.
You need to be well-versed in the latest ecommerce trends, which are often a result of advancements in technology and changes in consumer preferences and behavior.
Latest Trends in Ecommerce 2019
Let’s discuss the top emerging ecommerce trends that will see a rise in 2019:
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product.
The biggest difference between dropshipping and the standard retail model is that the selling merchant doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the merchant purchases inventory as needed from a third party – usually a wholesaler or manufacturer – to fulfill orders.
This business model is easy to start, involves less risk and has many advantages which are as follows:
- You’re only going to buy the product after a customer places an order
- You don’t have to spend money on storing inventory
- You’ll have lower overhead costs
The 2018 State of the Merchant eCommerce Report found that out of 450 online stores, 16.4% were using dropshipping. [Click here to read the ultimate guide Dropshipping 101: What It Is and How It Can Make You a Successful Online Retailer]
2. Multi-Channel Selling
Customers aren’t using just one channel to make their purchases online.
According to The 2018 Omnichannel Buying Report, 87% of consumers in the US shop offline. 78% of the survey respondents reported making a purchase on Amazon, 45% in a branded store online, 65% in a brick-and-mortar store, 34% on eBay, and 11% on Facebook.
According to the same report, consumers spend 69% of their discretionary income to shop in-store. Also, 56% of Gen Z makes purchases from brick-and-mortar stores.
To grow your business as an ecommerce merchant, you need to make your business is available across all of the channels that your customers use. Apart from your website, this could be on social media and brick-and-mortar stores as well as other online stores.
Consider using popular channels like eBay, Amazon, Flipkart and Google Shopping. And don’t forget about popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, which also support direct sales.
One of the main reasons why ecommerce merchants don’t use multi-channel selling is that they have difficulty managing all of these channels.
But ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce can provide a highly effective solution to this.
You can use it to sync your inventory with the popular channels that your customers frequently uses, and process every order from a single location.
3. Smart Payment Processing
The payment process is the final step in the customer journey, and it is a vital stage that could make or break a conversion.
The customer has gone through multiple stages, including awareness and consideration, and has finally made the decision to buy your product.
But if the experience at this stage isn’t smooth, you could still end up losing your potential customer.
According to the Baymard Institute, almost 70% of shoppers abandon their carts. This suggests that even after researching and considering products thoroughly and adding them to their cart, a majority of shoppers still don’t complete the payment process.
The same report found that 28% of cart abandonment occurs because of a long or complicated checkout process.
If you’re planning to get ahead of the competition, this is one vital aspect that you must deal with in 2019. You will need to offer a smoother checkout process with an easy payment option that will ensure quick conversions.
Additionally, 13% of shoppers will abandon their purchases if there’s no local payment option available.
So if you’re planning to expand your business globally, you will need to offer a better payment solution for customers in other countries.
Integrating your payments into a single platform can be an excellent solution to these two problems. This makes it easier for you to manage all your payments regardless of currency and platform.
However, compliance and regulatory challenges could make it difficult for you to create a single payment platform. That’s why 84% of European retailers are considering the use of third-party service providers.
4. Omnichannel Personalization
We previously mentioned that omnichannel selling will become more popular in 2019.
However, it’s not enough to just be available on multiple channels.
You will also need to provide a consistent brand experience by personalizing your interactions for each customer across all of those channels. In other words, you need to recognize the customer as the very same person across all your channels.
Otherwise, you would end up offering irrelevant experiences, which can be too annoying. And it’s a well-known fact that personalization is crucial for the success of businesses today.
In fact, 80% of respondents in an Epsilon study said that personalized experiences make them more likely to do business with a company. And 90% find personalization appealing.
Additionally, an Evergage study found that personalization has advanced customer relationships for 98% of marketers. 88% believe that their customers and prospects expect to get a personalized experience.
However, there is still a huge challenge when it comes to offering a seamless personalized experience across all channels:
- Only 27% of marketers in the study are syncing half or more of their channels.
- 46% have managed to connect only a few channels.
- And 27% don’t have any of their channels connected.
Therefore, we should expect to see more marketers focusing on omnichannel personalization in the coming years.
There’s a huge opportunity for you to get ahead of your competitors by personalizing customer experiences across all channels.
A great way to do this is using AI-driven targeting. Predictive targeting can help you identify a visitor and then match the right experience for them. This optimizes the customer experience on various channels.
Wigzo lets you easily personalize customer interactions in real-time. You can combine omnichannel personalization, product recommendations, and segmentation to deliver exceptional customer experience. [Click here to check out the best eCommerce Personalization Tools in 2019]
5. Chatbot Marketing
Chatbots are changing the e-commerce consumer experience for the better, and that will only continue in 2019. They remove a lot of friction from the average customer journey, which is why 48% of the consumers would rather connect with a company via live chat than any other mean of contact according to Hubspot, and 35 percent of consumers want to see more companies using chatbots according to Ubisend.
If you haven’t already, now is a good time to invest in a chatbot builder or an agency that can help you built your own chatbot to drive engagement, sales, and better customer support.
The ecommerce industry is transforming dynamically every year.
With the emergence of AI, it’s further moving towards personalization and creating new experiences for customers.
Through omnichannel marketing and integration of payments, you can manage your ecommerce business more effectively while reaching more people.