E-commerce has been at the forefront of online shopping for some time, with many brick and mortar stores relocating online or expanding their e-commerce platform alongside physical stores. Whether you want to shop for products or services, you will find a virtual outlet for it. With this in mind, many business experts have got their eyes firmly fixed on the future of e-commerce marketing.
One problem that brands often wrestle with when it comes to building their own e-commerce store is how to stand out from the crowd. With a whole worldwide web of companies vying for consumer attention, plus the growth of headless retailers, it can be a battle to find your place. Another subject that retail experts are particularly interested in is how e-commerce trends will develop and what this will do to the customer experience when shopping online.
Here are the top 5 e-commerce trends that industry experts have their sights on.
1. Mobile shopping
With more people buying smartphones, the convenience of mobile shopping has caught on. There are also more options in terms of mobile banking and mobile wallets now, which has also added to this trend. In previous years, mobile shopping has been something of a slow starter in the ecommerce world. While smartphones have been widely used for things like instant messaging, email, and streaming, so far, mobile shopping lagged behind. Many consumer reports put this down to wariness when it comes to making transactions on their mobile phones.
In the past, there has been a widespread perception that mobile shopping is less secure than purchasing or storing card details on PCs or on laptop computers. Increased mobile security and the rise in e-wallets are believed to be a couple of the driving factors that are inspiring people to make more mobile purchases. However, it also likely comes down to good old-fashioned convenience. After all, why go to the trouble of switching on your computer when you can scroll through sites on your phone and fill up your virtual basket from your bed? With this in mind, many business experts have got their eyes firmly fixed on the future of e-commerce marketing.
2. Sustainability is key
Consumer trends across the boarding point to the fact that modern customers value sustainable products. Sustainability is becoming more and more of a talking point, both among e-commerce brands and among sales industries generally. One thing is absolutely clear, consumers care about the environment and are taking an increasing interest in the footprint that their favorite brands create. This increasing environmental awareness will also influence e-commerce and e-commerce marketing trends.
Conversations about ethical shopping are on the rise, especially among younger consumers, and there is a general migration towards brands who build environmentalism into their ethos. Some of the key areas of environmental impact for online retailers are postage and packaging. If you’re running an online store, consider researching sustainable packaging or finding ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your postage. This creates a responsible image for your brand and genuinely decreases the environmental impact of your business practices.
Consumers respond well to businesses that offer to send items in as few packages as possible to save on transportation and packaging. This can also work out as more cost-effective for the brand as there is only a single postage price to pay. Meanwhile, biodegradable packaging is something that more and more brands are starting to become interested in. On top of this, plenty of retailers are using recycled or sustainable fabrics and plastics in their products. Environmental awareness will be a definite draw for customers going into the future.
3. Personalized consumer experience
Despite all the great things about shopping and selling online, the e-commerce experience also comes with some potential drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is the absence of a shopping experience that comes with actually visiting a store. Without this, brands can lose their unique selling points, and customers can start to feel like all e-commerce stores are the same. This can lead shoppers to neglect small or independent businesses and rely solely on larger or more well-known e-commerce sites purely for convenience.
If you’re wondering how to start an e-commerce business that will be a success, the key might just lie in personalization. As e-commerce expands, many companies are looking to personalize their consumer’s journey through the store, from browsing to purchasing and delivery. Personalization ensures memorability, something that brands desperately crave. While online shopping is amazing in terms of its convenience and speed, it can leave a little to be desired in terms of experience.
Shopping online can feel a tad impersonal, and consumers may sometimes forget which brands they’re actually shopping with. This is especially common when consumers do blanket searches across large third-party sites to find what they’re looking for. It’s easy for online shoppers to overlook the brand and just focus on the products. This can lead to a lack of consumer retention or brand loyalty, which are vital for business survival.
Without the physical experience of walking into a store, brands need to work a bit harder to catch their customer’s eyes. One way that online shops can combat this is to personalize the customer’s experience as much as possible. Customers are more likely to remember stories where they felt valued and where their shopping experience is tailored uniquely to them.
Marketing options, like creating a personalized email list or using chatbots, can help customers become familiar with your brand over time. This familiarity is far more likely to breed brand loyalty than an anonymous shopping experience. If you’re striving to be the best e-commerce platform in your product area, it is no longer a question of pure quality or even of effective marketing. Instead, personalization is king in the e-commerce world.
Personalization can come through e-commerce SEO tactics, like targeted ads and product recommendations, or from marketing tactics, like collecting the consumer’s email address and adding them to a weekly newsletter. Brands can also personalize deliveries through branding and packaging. For instance, a personalized card included with delivered items is an excellent way to stimulate customer loyalty. Schemes, such as gift vouchers on customers’ birthdays or discount codes for referrals, are also great ways to make customers feel special.
4. Social media e-commerce stores
When it comes to e-commerce, social media is truly unbeatable. If you’re looking for the best e-commerce platform on social media to sell your products, Instagram should be your first port of call. Instagram is showing no signs of slowing down as an e-commerce powerhouse. It’s no longer just a marketing tool – you can now run your page as an online shop. If you’re looking to enhance your reach or to come up with e-commerce business ideas, setting up an Instagram store is a great start.
Instagram already scores high as an e-commerce hub because of the prevalence of influencer and affiliate marketing on the site. Combine this with Instagram’s excellent aesthetics tools, and you have a winning formula to generate sales. Social media stores are only going to become more prevalent in the future. They are already popular with influencers, giving them lots of power in terms of advertising and showcasing products.
With added payment features on Instagram and the ability to create an online store directly through the platform, this is guaranteed to be a booming trend. Perfect if you already love the gram. Social media sites are also ideal for innovative marketing campaigns, such as video ads or user-generated content. It also aligns perfectly with the goals of e-commerce, meaning you can blend your social media marketing with tangible sales.
5. Selling across multiple platforms
If you’re wondering how to start an e-commerce business, selling across multiple platforms is definitely a great option. This can include social media pages like Instagram and Facebook. It can also include your own site store and large-scale third-party sellers, like Etsy or Amazon. Although consumers still hunt down stores online once they are familiar with the brand, modern shoppers are more likely to head to one of these third-party sites first. Selling across multiple online platforms has never been more important for e-commerce sales.
While it’s still important to focus on your e-commerce site design and brand identity, you will generate more sales operating an omnichannel strategy. The more online sales streams you have, the more likely consumers are to come across your products. Use a reputable e-commerce website builder to set up your origin store and then branch out from there as much as you can. Retailers can also make use of handy e-commerce software programs, such as customer engagement analytics readers, to track consumer behavior on their journey through your virtual store.
By adopting this across multiple channels and your social media shops and pages, you can accurately read client behavior. This software can help you understand which platforms appeal more to which demographic and help you design marketing strategies around this information. Marketing your products in a more targeted way allows you to maximize the consumer experience and keep customers coming back.
Having a multitude of channels on which you sell your products also gives you plenty of sharable links and ways to generate content. You can even work with influencers on third-party sites to expand the reach of your products and target new demographics. Promoting your e-commerce store across multiple platforms helps to broaden your range and potentially expand your client base.
You can also use e-commerce SEO to promote your products across different sites and improve your search engine ranking. The more sites you have that contain relevant SEO, the more likely one of your sites will appear on a general web search. Shoppers no longer rely on knowing recognized brands and are more confident purchasing from well-reviewed sellers on third-party platforms. This means that the quality of your products is vital to generate good reviews and create sales.
Whether you already have a thriving e-commerce store, or you’re just starting to look into e-commerce software, you’re in a good spot. The popularity of shopping online is not expected to decline, but will keep growing. Instead, business is booming. E-commerce jobs, including roles like affiliate content creators, online marketing consultants, sales strategists, and SEO specialists, are cutting edge industries. Online sales statistics show that virtual sales will continue to go up, with more incorporation of things like mobile purchasing and word-of-mouth-based referrals.
There are also exciting things on the horizon in other e-commerce markets, such as widespread interest in virtual B2B (business to business) services. With an increasing overlap between online stores and social media sites, it’s more important than ever for brands to get inventive with content and boost their platform’s visibility. After all, content is the currency in a digital, online world. So, try incorporating some of these trends today and watch your business take off.