Through Covid, online shopping has enjoyed meteoric success. Forced to do their shopping from home, people tried it, liked it and now use it without thinking about it twice.
This opens up a huge opportunity, especially with new technological advances, for brands looking to extend their reach across borders and in other countries where growth might otherwise have been slow.
So, let’s take at some of the biggest trends.
In the context of future ecommerce that means Artificial Intelligence (AI) and chatbots.
If you’re a shop-in-person real-world-shopper, chances are you’re not a fan of the humble chatbot. And you won’t be alone. Right now just 19% of businesses use them. But a Business Insider Intelligence report predicts that global retail consumer spending via chatbots will reach $142 billion by 2024. It’s well worth noting that chatbots can increase sales conversions in some industries by 70%,2 though this still requires substantiation as monitoring them across industries is difficult.
Over a third of all shopping in the UK is done on a mobile phone and 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase in the last six months.
The figures are rising every year. As well as a fully responsive site – that works on computer, tablet and especially their phone - offering more ways to pay is a sure fire way to increase conversion rates. Statistics show that if your site isn’t up to scratch on mobile, 40% of users will go to your competitor. 84% of shoppers have experienced difficulty completing a mobile transaction. So if your site isn’t optimised for mobile, now’s the time to sort it out.
Subscription services are a great way to create a steady income stream, and plan for inventory and sales that are already locked in.
Video and more video
Video has proven to be a great way to engage customers in the last few years, and it’s set to continue. According to Gartner, whether you embed them on landing pages, websites, social media, or emails, they can generate much higher user engagement than text-based content.
The good news is, gritty videos that are authentic, helpful and relevant to buyers can have just as much impact as professionally produced polished videos. So, if you have a decent phone camera there’s no reason why you can’t product short video clips yourself. And by short we mean from five seconds to two minutes have the highest engagement rate on social media.
As ever they need to be aligned with your marketing strategy and buyer journey, but here are a few ideas:
- Videos on industry trends and thought leadership
- Educational video blogs work really well as they reach a wide audience
- Product overview or unboxing videos work for buyers who are exploring their options
- Customer testimonial/influencer videos can build action triggers for purchase as well as helping buyers at every stage of the buying journey.
Gartner research found that customers who think that information received from suppliers is helpful are three times more likely to make a bigger purchase with less regret.
Given recent heat waves and flash fires in Europe and elsewhere, it’s hardly surprising that the environment has risen to the top of people’s agendas, particularly the young.
35% of female shoppers also say they intend to buy fewer, higher quality garments in the future, with sustainability in mind.5 And they’re right to be concerned, as almost 60% of all clothing ends up in incinerators or landfills within a few years.6
75% of shoppers also want to see less packaging. Showing that you’re doing your bit to protect the environment is not just a nice-to-have, it’s a major point of difference. So, if you can, it’s worth publishing your eco-friendly credentials – going paperless, using biodegradable packaging, and using recyclable supplies etcetera…
We live in an age of high visibility. Every company, large and small, needs to show it cares, not just about the customer but the customer’s world.
Happily, ecommerce and the social platforms associated with it – twitter, Facebook, instagram, tik tok – gives us ample opportunity to do just that.
3 https://www.bigcommerce.co.uk/articles/ecommerce/ecommerce-trends/#14-ecommerce-trends-leading-the-way (under point 1 on Augmented reality)
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