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Are you wondering what the future of eCommerce looks like? Do you want to look into what trends will shape the success of your online store? Here are the top 10 eCommerce trends for 2020 that you need to look out for.

Online Sales Growth is Unstoppable

Ecommerce sales have been growing constantly and for good reason. Online shopping is one of the most popular online activities. The sales are projected to increase from 1.3 trillion in 2014 to 4.5 trillion in 2021 (Statista, 2019). That’s a massive figure. It would mean a threefold growth over a 7-year span.

Even though online shopping is one of the most popular online activities, the usage varies by region. With the increasing popularity of eCommerce stores, a rising number of people are turning to online shopping. This increase in online shopping can be attributed to a number of factors. One of the main ones is arguably the level of comfort that is provided to online shoppers. There is also an increase in trust that online buyers have when they are purchasing online, as well as improved website experience. At one point, people used to be hesitant to buy things online, but that’s no longer the case. Websites have been made more customer-friendly. With all the comfort that is provided, there’s no surprise that online sales growth is becoming unstoppable.

The Future of Ecommerce After COVID-19

The Future of Ecommerce After COVID-19Undeniably, one of the biggest impacts—if not the biggest—on eCommerce trends in 2020 will be COVID-19.

With governments worldwide shutting stores and implementing lockdowns to restrict social movement for months on end in a bid to combat the coronavirus, more and more people are resorting to online shopping to purchase items.

Already, eCommerce giant Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has seen his fortune grow by nearly $24 billion thanks to increased customer demand for Amazon’s products and services.

And experts predict that the impact of the coronavirus will not just be a short-term boost to eCommerce but one that’s here to stay, even after COVID-19. This is because people will get comfortable with the comfort and convenience it offers and the benefits of contactless payments, both of which are likely to cause a permanent behavioral shift towards digital purchases.

In fact, market analysts say that the eCommerce industry will be the biggest beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic. Penetration rates, which are currently at 15 percent, are expected to increase to 25 percent by 2025 (MarketWatch, 2020). That marks a 67 percent increase in five years.

The positive COVID-19 impact on eCommerce, unfortunately, spells a heavy loss for brick-and-mortar stores. As many as 100,000 are forecast to shut over the next five years.

At an estimated 24,000 closures, apparel retailers will be the most affected, followed by 12,000 consumer electronics stores, and 11,000 home furnishings and grocery stores each.

Mobile Shopping is Growing

The growth of mobile commerce has been noteworthy. Since 2016, sales made via mobile devices increased by 15%. By the end of 2021, 73% of eCommerce sales will take place on a mobile device (Statista, 2019). These figures can’t be ignored. Improving the eCommerce experience for mobile customers can be a huge opportunity for businesses to tap into.

Ecommerce growth has been driven in part by the increase in usage of mobile devices. People don’t just shop online, they also use their mobile devices to browse or research before making their minds up about their purchase. As trust in online shopping is increasing, consumers feel more comfortable shopping on mobile devices than ever before. Especially when it comes to Millenials and Gen Z who have grown up surrounded by computers and the internet. These generations are also more likely to be shopping online using their mobile devices, in comparison to older generations. As a result, more and more sites are now optimized for mobile use. Make sure that not only your website but your online store is optimized for mobile devices as well. By doing this, you’re making eCommerce simpler and more accessible for a larger audience.

Rise of Voice Commerce

Voice shopping is growing among Internet users. 13% of U.S. smart speaker owners say that they were making purchases by voice at the end of 2017. That number is predicted to grow to 55% by 2022 (OC&C Strategy Consultants, 2018). The total spends on voice shopping has also gone up in the UK. This eCommerce trend has grown in popularity mainly since 2014 when Amazon launched its smart speaker – Echo. While voice shopping is still in its early stages, this statistic shows us that it will become increasingly popular in the coming years.

Voice shopping is a non-visual experience, which means that customers have to select their products by providing a verbal description of what they are looking for. This restricts the scope of browsing for a product before actually selecting it. To dig a little deeper, voice shopping is mainly used by customers as a sales channel. This means that instead of using voice search as a browsing experience to research what they have to buy, they use voice search once they have already decided on their purchase. Purchased products via voice search are usually low-value products and include categories such as food items, or low-cost electronics and homeware products. The rise of interest in voice shopping means that businesses will have to take note and provide customers with the comfort that they are looking for when buying products.

Evolving Role of Social Media in Ecommerce

The number of social shoppers is also rapidly increasing. With the introduction of the “Buy” button on Facebook and Instagram Checkout, social media is playing a significant role in the world of eCommerce.

Social media has changed the way we live our daily lives, including the way we buy things. This is a great opportunity for brands to start thinking about how to improve their position on social media, which is a great platform for brands to get discovered. With consumers spending more time on different types of social media, eCommerce businesses can get help from Instagram influencers to increase their chances of getting discovered by their target audience.

Additionally, with platforms like Shopify, businesses can easily link their online stores with social media sites so that people can buy from them directly through social media. Instagram and Facebook, for example, are constantly updating their features to meet the comfort needs of online buyers.

And who can forget TikTok – the latest and rising rave within the world of social media that has not only made its way into the hearts of teens but also around Hollywood?

The video-sharing app has been working on incorporating eCommerce elements and its latest efforts include testing a new feature that will allow users to include shoppable links in their profiles or videos. This means that users who click on the link will be taken to the URL within TikTok itself without having to leave the app to access the site.

These social media platforms act as channels for inspiration and allow brands an opportunity to be discovered while people scroll through their feeds. As social media continues to become a regular part of our daily lives, its power to influence eCommerce trends will only increase. That’s why brands need to adopt a shopping-focused approach to their social media strategy.

Environmental Topics Influence Buyers

Green consumerism is on the rise, and brands need to take action. Half of the digital consumers say that environmental concerns impact their purchasing decisions. Ecommerce businesses should strive for creating more sustainable practices. People are now becoming more conscious of the environment than ever before and for the right reasons. Online businesses need to step in and make sure that their practices are environmentally friendly. This includes practices of sourcing products from fair-trade organizations to help create a greener eCommerce environment.

Millennials are paving the way forward to greener consumerism habits. Whether it’s free-range meat or vegan skincare products, there is an increasing demand for taking care of our environment. Consumers feel more responsible for the planet, which in turn increases the responsibility for brands to cater to the eco-friendly needs of customers.

Role of Artificial Intelligence

Global retailer spending on Artificial Intelligence (AI) will reach $7.3 billion per annum by 2022, up from an estimated $2 billion in 2018 (BusinessWire, 2018). This happens as retailers target new avenues to increase the personalization of the customer experience. This research shows us that retailers are willing to heavily invest in tools that will help them to improve their services to customers and give them a competitive advantage. These AI tools range from automated marketing platforms that are equipped to generate timely offers, to chatbots that respond to customer queries instantly. Other areas where AI will be helpful for retailers include AI-optimized pricing and discounting, as well as demand forecasting.

The role of AI will become stronger in the coming years, as retailers invest in improving areas such as customer service where AI can be useful to understand the reactions of customers to the product or service purchased. This will play a big role in solving how retailers can improve customer experience. In order to stay competitive, it’s important that retailers invest in this eCommerce trend.

Augmented Reality Transforms How We Shop
Augmented Reality Transform the way we shop By 2022 over 120,000 stores will be using Augmented Reality (AR) technologies, offering a much richer buying experience (Prnewswire, 2018). AR uptake in the sector will be driven by the retail workforce and online shoppers. One of the main concerns that people have when shopping online is the inability to see the product firsthand. AR technology helps bridge this gap and enable online shoppers to better visualize the products that they are interested in.

For online customers, this could be a game-changer. AR experiences can change the way that online customers perceive the products that they intend to buy. With the use of AR, customers will be able to better understand their needs and if the products that they intend to purchase meet their demands. Some eCommerce brands have already started to experiment with AR, which will help them stand out from the competition. Delivering more personalized experiences to consumers will allow for better online shopping. Companies are using AR not only to enhance the customer experience but also to allow shoppers the ability to test and explore products in the way that they would do during an in-person shopping experience.

Personalization is the Future
The personalized online experience is important more than 50% of shoppers say that a personalized online experience is important (Bazaarvoice, 2018). Adding to that, 74% of marketers believe personalization has a “strong” or “extreme” impact on advancing customer relationships (Evergage, 2018).

Personalizing the online shopping experience is the key to keeping customers satisfied. People shopping online want help to find the products that they need, and they value a more personalized experience. As a result of poor product recommendations, online shoppers might avoid certain stores altogether.

Ecommerce sites are onboard with this trend and are investing in personalization tactics to make the online shopping experience a better one. This could include the personalization of messages that go out via email, or by providing the right information to the interested consumer group. By offering personalized customer communications, providing relevant discounts, and engaging with customers through, for instance, video content, will help deliver a better shopping experience and strengthen the bond with your customers.

Visual Commerce Is on the Rise

One of the many difficulties of running an e-commerce store is having to sell your product to consumers who have no chance of physical interaction with your product. That’s where visual commerce comes into play.

In short, visual commerce is the next generation of normal static visuals. It takes marketing to a whole other level as instead of simply using product photos to market your business, visual commerce takes it one step further by incorporating other types of visuals such as consumer-generated media, interactive content, engaging videos, and as previously mentioned, augmented reality.