Considering how fast the ecommerce industry is growing, it should not be surprising to see more and more people trying to start a business themselves.
Of course, just because one has an idea, it does not guarantee that the venture can become successful.
No, certain obstacles prevent many aspiring entrepreneurs from launching a business and turning in a profit.
One of the reasons behind these struggles is the failure to keep up with the latest ecommerce trends. Brands that adapt to innovations are ahead of those who fail to do that.
Below, you will find prominent ecommerce trends that should not be ignored. If you own an ecommerce business or plan to start one soon, an in-depth look into these trends should come in quite handy.
Freedom to Customize Products
When you look at some of the most successful ecommerce businesses, it is visible that the freedom to make customizations according to one’s needs is quite common.
Take merchandise, for instance. If an online store is selling print on demand socks, t-shirts, mugs, hoodies, face masks, and other products, a store should not limit available customization. If anything, in addition to already available goods, there should be a mockup generator or another tool that lets shoppers add their own designs to the merchandise.
Modern consumers appreciate the freedom to customize products. Adding restrictions is a negative in terms of customer retention and lead conversion. Whenever possible, an online business should offer the freedom to customize.
Some consumers have a strict stance on ignoring companies that lack green policies. In other words, if a brand does not put effort into preserving our environment, a certain consumer demographic will avoid such a brand.
There are a lot of concerns surrounding Earth, and even small businesses make an impact. Companies should look for ways to introduce more green policies. Be it reusable packaging, environmentally-friendly product delivery, or support of environmental charities; every little bit helps in appearing eco-friendly to the consumer.
Chatbots and Data Processing
Given how much artificial intelligence has improved in recent years, it should be pretty clear why so many brands are looking to invest in the technology.
AI is great for those who want to automate processes. As an investment for the future, artificial intelligence is arguably the best choice these days.
Take chatbots, for instance. It is only a matter of time before AI chatbots completely replace real people in customer support. An instant and automated response, 24/7 availability, and learning and improving on the job are notable chatbot advantages.
Processing data is another example of AI making things easier for businesses. Brands have to process vast amounts of data to figure out customer behavior and other aspects. It is much easier to rely on smart computers to do the work for you instead of having someone crunch the numbers manually.
Voice search would not be possible without artificial intelligence. The comfort of ordering goods online via your voice is no longer just a fantasy. The idea was only a matter of time ever since the growth of digital voice assistants, such as Alexa.
Consumers realize how much easier it is to carry out everyday tasks when you can order smart devices around with your voice. It just so happens that voice shopping is also part of that task list.
Of course, the gimmick is still relatively new and expensive to implement, but the trend clearly indicates that the situation is in favor of voice shopping becoming more common.
Similar to voice search and shopping, virtual reality is also a trend that is relatively expensive to implement. However, you can already see the likes of Amazon investing in virtual and augmented realities.
The reason behind this particular trend is pretty clear. The downside of shopping online is that you cannot try the goods in person. If you were to shop in a physical store, you could check the furniture or try the clothes before you spend money. However, shopping online does not allow for such an option.
If you want to purchase shoes but cannot wear them beforehand, who knows whether the model fits even if the shoes come in the size you usually wear.
Putting virtual reality goggles on allows you to enter a virtual environment and visit a store as if you were there in person. You can then try the goods and make a more educated decision as to whether you should make the purchase or not.
Of course, virtual reality is not the same as actually going to a physical store, but it still works as a safety net. And while we still have a long way to go before VR becomes accessible for most people, the question is WHEN rather than IF at this point.
Running an ecommerce business comes with a variety of challenges. However, it would not be a stretch to suggest that attracting new customers is arguably one of the most difficult things to accomplish.
Brands are doing their best to come up with new marketing strategies, and following the latest trends is necessary. Otherwise, you only end up wasting resources on marketing campaigns that produce lackluster results at best.
Right now, video content seems to be the go-to option to win not just new customers but retain your previous clients.
One thing to note, though, is that long videos do not cut it. An average consumer has a poor attention span. While videos are still easier to process than text, thanks to visuals and audio, videos often miss the mark if they are not straight to the point.
Some brands like to utilize the opportunities to educate their audience via videos. Other businesses emphasize highlighting product features via short reviews. It is also common to see short animations that do not take a lot of time to watch.
The variety in payment gateways is another example of an ecommerce trend that one should not underestimate.
Imagine a customer who proceeds to the checkout only to find out that there is no good payment option for them. The shopping cart gets abandoned, and the transaction fails in the final step.
Besides credit cards and services like PayPal and Payoneer, it is recommended to explore other payment options and figure out whether it is possible to implement them.
Cryptocurrency is also worth considering, though most businesses remain skeptical about crypto as a currency and stay away from it.
Influencer marketing is one of those trends that will likely remain for years to come. These days, people tend to trust the worth of celebrities that they follow on social media. A sponsored post from a YouTuber or an Instagram personality can produce great results so long as the influencer has the right audience.
Keep in mind, though, that if you cannot afford to work with A-listers, do not shy away from micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers do not have as many followers, but they are easier to work with due to fewer requirements on their end (most notably, pay). Moreover, micro-influencers tend to excel in engagement rate on their content, which is arguably the most important metric to consider when looking for an influencer.
A brand will gain more from an influencer with 10 thousand followers and a 10 percent engagement rate than from an influencer with 100 thousand followers and a 0.5 percent engagement rate.