The end of pandemic lockdown and economic turmoil with the war in Ukraine have presented a challenge to the ecommerce industry. To stay ahead of the curve, it becomes necessary to identify and adopt emerging trends in the ecommerce industry. As the year begins, we provide you with the latest trends that will define ecommerce in 2023 and later.
Personalized Customer Relationships
Better results are achieved when the customers receive customized experiences tailored to their wants and needs. 66% customers expect the stores to know their preferences and 49% will become repeat customers with personalized experiences. Leveraging product recommendations with big data and advanced tracking tools is trending as stores can analyze precisely what customers care about. This also involves personalizing emails or messages to customers and providing the information they want so that online users will feel that you are communicating specifically to them. However, the consumers are concerned about the way their private information is being used and so techniques are used to preserve data privacy while offering personalized experiences. Zero-party data is being leveraged by which the consumers voluntarily share data pertaining to their preference that can be used to offer personalization.
Personalization is also being used in loyalty programs to ensure customer retention. Surveys show that 68% of US adults relish personalized loyalty programs based on purchase history. Loyalty programs like cash-back, discounts, future-purchase coupons, freebies, etc. are designed to reward regular consumers for repeat purchases and help the seller with improved customer retention, increased sales, improved overall customer experience, promotion of word-of-mouth sales while providing valuable data about consumer behavior. Another trend that encourages customer loyalty is subscription models as customers may end up being subscribers for years. This provides a decisive opportunity for personalized experiences to upscale future-purchases.
Mobile Commerce (Mcommerce)
By 2025, mcommerce is predicted to account for 44% of US ecommerce sales providing online sellers with a huge opportunity. Especially with the younger segment of consumers conducting research before purchasing, building trust becomes important since mobile based purchasing is more comfortable for the buyers. Ecommerce can be made simpler and more accessible by optimizing not only the websites, but also the online stores. Mcommerce solutions provide the customers with the ease of purchasing from anywhere, using multiple payment methods, exploring with visual search, etc. while sellers get the advantage of larger customer reach, attracting new customers who prefer mobile phones, enabling location-based personalization and encouraging repeated purchases with notifications, sms marketing, etc.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered commerce
AI helps Ecommerce brands interact with customers with tailored experiences, personalized shopping experiences and time saved. Advanced technology of AI allows hyper-personalization of huge customer databases. Big data is used by AI to provide next-level personalization. AI chatbots reduce the load of customer support while machine learning constantly adapts the AI to different situations providing timely and relevant help 24×7. Another chatbot benefit is that they can be used throughout the customer journey: prospects questioning products, buyers tracking orders and existing customers repurchasing. AI also helps with providing personalized product recommendations based on customers’ profiles, interests, preferences purchase history, etc.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
AR and VR are being used in Ecommerce to mimic the experience that customers can have in a brick-and-mortar store. Experts say that the ability of online stores to personalize the shopping experience for the consumer in real time would be the biggest AI trend in e-commerce. A few examples are Lenskart virtual try-on for glasses and frames, Amazon’s AR View app that allows buyers to view products in their homes before purchasing, IKEA’s Studio app where customers can visualize 3D room plans with furniture and adjust aspects of the product and Instagram’s Spark AR which helps users try on products promoted by brands on Instagram.
Video and Live Selling
A key trend in leveraging and showcasing visual content, video marketing now encompasses more than just product explainer videos and video testimonials. Shoppable videos now enable viewers to buy the product right from within the video. Customers click on buttons popping from the video and are redirected to the product page where they can complete purchasing. Videos allow dynamic engagement, opportunity to display authentic customer reviews and proofs, and also reduces possibilities of costly returns. Furthermore short-form videos like reels and shorts are used to produce fast and easy-to-consume video content.
Another recent trend, Live Stream Commerce is where brands or brand influencers live stream commercial products and customers can purchase those products directly. Brands live stream on television, social media, websites or mobile apps. Amazon Live, Walmart-TikTok and Facebook Live Shopping Fridays are some of the well known ones.
Visual Commerce allows ecommerce stores to sell products to consumers who have no chance of physical interaction with the product. Apart from product photos or catalogs, visuals such as consumer-generated media, interactive content, engaging videos and augmented reality provides purchase-prior information that draws the customer’s attention
Beyond basic reverse-image-search products, Visual Search enables customers to locate stores that sell such products. A revolutionary idea, Google’s Multitask Unified Model algorithm allows a shopper to upload an image of a product they want to purchase and the search engine will present them with a host of similar items for sale.
Social media is playing a significant role in the world of ecommerce. In the US alone social commerce was responsible for $30 billion in sales. Direct purchasing options like the buy button on Facebook and Instagram checkout along with indirect methods like short videos, paid advertisements and influencer marketing help drive purchase decisions on social media platforms. Social proof from influencers can boost sales. Brands gain followers from social media to expand their reach and social commerce improves brand-to-consumer communication and customer engagement.
We hope that these insights on ecommerce trends will help you improve ecommerce strategies and help find techniques to leverage advanced technology as fast as possible with the aim of improving the best shopping experience for your customers and building a long-lasting relationship with them.