E-commerce is constantly changing, with new trends and technologies popping up all the time. Savvy businesses need to tap into the latest e-commerce trends in order to create the best possible personalised shopping experience for their customers. By tailoring the online buying process for individual shoppers, companies can create an engaging and convenient customer journey that will keep them coming back. In this article, we'll explore some of the most important e-commerce trends and how you can use them to improve your customer's shopping experience. Stay ahead of the competition by giving customers what they want.
The significance of personalisation on your e-commerce site is easiest to grasp when you think of your own experience as a consumer. Customers feel frustrated when they are not able to find what they are looking for. However, when shoppers are able to access goods relevant to their needs or desires, it facilitates a smooth, efficient and personalised customer journey.
The digital age has heightened consumer expectations for relevant and convenient experiences. Most consumers feel entitled to a personalised shopping experience online and lean towards e-commerce companies who acknowledge their individuality at every part of the journey. Fulfilling those expectations by leveraging new e-commerce trends will be the key to engaging customers and customer retention.
Excluding mobile e-commerce which focuses on supporting purchases to be made via mobile devices, notable trends utilised by brands to construct personalised shopping experiences are the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, chatbots and augmented reality. The next section will delve into how these three trends can positively impact a customer’s digital experience on an e-commerce website.
Through the introduction of AI into digital sites, it is possible for consumers to enjoy personalised shopping experiences. Due to the continual collection of data on customer shopping habits such as the typical time they purchase items and what they're looking for a service, the technology enables e-commerce brands to learn more about their customer base. In turn, this empowers companies to present personalised product recommendations to consumers. This process of data collection to predict what other products shoppers may like and provide tailor-made customer service is known as hyper-personalisation.
Increasingly, leading e-commerce companies have begun to employ hyper-personalisation to offer a customised customer journey for consumers. For example, Amazon’s homepages are personalised for each customer with recommended items based on each individual’s search or purchase tendencies. Also, when shoppers often search for certain goods, Amazon’s interface recognises the pattern and shows related products in a ‘frequently bought together’ section along with the search results. Stitch Fix takes it one step further by using AI to choose clothes for its 2.2 million subscribers. Its customers are sent three items selected for their personal taste. They can then choose the items they want to keep in the ultimate personalised shopping experience.
Similar to a physical, real-life customer service associate in a store, chatbots are created to offer online shoppers a personalised shopping experience on e-commerce sites. Modern-day consumers want efficiency in finding and buying a product in just a few clicks. In instances when they are unable to, they get frustrated and may even want to leave the site. But this is where a chatbot can step in and salvage the situation. A chatbot never sleeps, is never too preoccupied to engage a customer and is able to provide website visitors with 24/7 customer support.
These traits mean that they are always on hand to answer questions that shoppers may have or clarify any of their doubts or misconceptions. From the perspective of the customer, their needs are being met promptly by what seems like a person without any delay or waiting time. When this happens, individual shoppers feel valued as they were afforded great, personalised service in their customer journey on digital platforms, making it more likely that they will return as repeat customers.
A revolutionary game changer for e-commerce, Augmented reality (AR) is taking personalised shopping experiences to the next level. AR uses technology to enhance versions of the physical world to stimulate our senses. With AR, shoppers can not just see the product they intend to buy, but can even see how it looks on them. For example, Sephora has introduced AR filters to let consumers ‘try on’ their makeup and sunglasses before purchasing, giving them both a unique and informed outlook in their customer journey.
In real-time, individual shoppers can assess the products’ suitability before checking out. With the ability to fully experience and try on goods, AR enables consumers to be exposed to a personalised level of shopping incomparable to any other on digital platforms. An added benefit is allowing buyers to be more assured of their purchases, and lowering the chances of product returns.
Meet and exceed your customer’s expectations when you offer personalised shopping experiences on your e-commerce website. Harness e-commerce trends to do so and build your business to the next level. For more ways to scale your business, take a look at our tips to grow your e-commerce orders in 2022 and our B2B e-commerce guide.