As the rapid technology advancements continue to dazzle us it is no wonder that eCommerce is steadily growing each year, with research pointing out to a staggering revenue of $4.88 trillion by 2021 (Statista).
With more and more businesses joining the trend there is a strong focus on refining the overall process due to the competitiveness as well as the constant change in consumers’ online behavior and preferences. It is no longer enough to cater the right product to the right audience. The burning question in the field is how we can manage to deliver a unified, customer-centric experience that will benefit our long-term goals while keeping up with the progressive, data-driven and relationship-focused industry.
Having a fact-based approach and keeping up with emerging trends is key in developing a strategy for success. Let’s start by exploring the essential eCommerce statistics to keep in mind this year.
- 45% of online shopping orders in the third quarter of 2018 were performed via mobile according to Statista;
- 69% of mobile purchases are influenced by emails from retailers, followed by 67% from online ads according to Adobe;
- The average conversion rate in the second quarter of 2018 was 2.78%, while in the third quarter it was 2.42%, as seen in a Statista study;
- According to the Infosys research, 31% of surveyed customers wish their shopping experience was more personalized than it currently is;
- Personalization is perceived as positive, 44% of respondents saying they will most likely become repeat customers after a personalized shopping experience (Segment Report);
- 93% of the companies observed a rise in conversion rates after implementing personalization, according to Econsultancy Conversion Rate Optimization Report;
- 52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications with them, according to SalesForce;
- 59% of consumers believe it is easier to find more interesting products on a personalized online retail store, as stated by Invesp;
- 74% of customers dislike being shown irrelevant content, according to Social Media Today;
- The average shopping cart abandonment rate was 75.6% in the first quarter of 2018, according to SaleCycle;
- The open rate for cart abandonment emails was 48% in Q1 2018, according to SaleCycle;
- 69% of consumers want more reviews from ecommerce sites, 30% want more video in order to make a purchase, according to BigCommerce;
- Product pages that contain videos have 37% more add to cart conversions than those who lack this feature, as stated by Social Media Today;
- 60% of consumers would rather watch a video than read a product description, according to Social Media Today;
- 55% customers would pay more if guaranteed a good experience, according to Esteban Kolsky;
- More than 60% of consumers prefer website, apps or chatbots to answer their inquiries, according to Kinsta;
- 43% of voice-enabled device owners use it to shop, according to DialogTech;
- Brands that had an omnichannel strategy observed an 83% retention rate, according to Amasty.
Now that we have got our facts and stats together we can grasp a better understanding of where eCommerce is headed. Following are some of the hottest trends in the industry that you should pay attention to and try implementing in order to deliver a seamless customer experience and boost sales.
With so many options nowadays and so little time on our hands, it is easy to feel like you are being succumbed to an infinite pool of choices that are not fitted towards your true needs and wants. It is no wonder consumers request more personalized shopping experiences that are tailored specifically to their buying behavior and previous choices.
With AI and Machine Learning making significant progress, personalization is gaining rapid traction among digital marketers and business owners due to its increased conversion rates, data analysis and customer overview. And it is here to stay as the benefits are undeniable, just take a look at the stats. Ranging from personalized product recommendations, personalized offers to personalized messaging and content, there are immeasurable ways you can conceive your omnichannel personalization strategy to best suit your business.
A trend that is set to develop in 2019 is conversation AI or chatbots due to their ability to facilitate the buying process while providing pleasant customer experience, thus adding value to the businesses who employ this service. One of the main benefits is the 24/7 service along with the simultaneous use of various platforms.
A top trend this year, video is gaining more and more popularity among customers considering the number of hours of YouTube videos watched every day. And this is just a fraction of where we encounter videos, think Instagram stories and Snapchat among others. They build confidence in the retailer while providing the user with a valuable and enjoyable visual experience. The expectations are high as we are used to seeing this kind of content while casually scrolling our Facebook feed as well as on many other social networks. Finding ways to integrate quality videos is key to a successful strategy.
Although not a new trend, mobile searches, and purchases are increasing year by year, reaching almost half of the total purchases in the last quarter of 2018. And it is no wonder considering the amount of time we spend on this type of device. The exciting part is that there are still a wide array of developments made in this area to keep an eye on such as Accelerated Mobile Pages, Augmented Reality, Single-Click Payments to name just a few.
A relatively new trend is Voice Search that is stirring conversations at every level in the industry. Obviously, like many other trends, its purpose is to simplify and enhance the user experience by enabling them to search using voice instead of typing and scrolling through various pages. Seeing its potential, Google is putting a lot of emphasis on voice search optimization in ranking websites. Although in its early stages it is interesting to see its development this year and think of ways we can use it to deliver even better customer experiences.
Drawing a conclusion from these statistics and trends we can easily observe that all of them stress the importance of being customer-focused in order to provide value and deliver the best user experience as this is vital driving more sales and becoming a leading brand in the industry. Keep a dose of curiosity and creativity when refining your strategy for 2019 and see what trends you can include.