E-commerce is changing. Every year, there are new developments in the world of online shopping. It can be hard to keep up. If you are an e-commerce business owner or you are looking to invest in an e-commerce business, this guide is for you. Here are the top e-commerce trends for 2021.
Augmented reality (AR) in online shopping
One of the biggest pain points for customers is not knowing what a product is going to look like until it arrives. High-quality product pictures do a lot to solve this, but augmented reality (AR) is the next big trend. Augmented reality is when reality is changed slightly. Here is an example of how it relates to e-commerce. A customer wants to buy a new outfit to wear at the weekend, but they are not sure if it is going to look right. Augmented reality allows them to see, through their smartphone camera, exactly how the outfit will look. This trend is going to be massive in the next few years.
Voice search will continue to grow
Voice search has been growing for years. As the technology becomes more reliable, customers will be more willing to use it. That means businesses need to understand how to optimize for voice search. Smart speakers, smartphones, and other voice-enabled devices will all be important in the future of e-commerce.
AI helps shops learn about purchasing behavior
The more a shop knows about a customer, the more they can personalize the experience. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the key to unlocking this. AI continuously collects data on how a customer shops, when they shop, and what they shop for. All of this purchasing behavior can then be used to create a shopping experience that is personalized for each customer. Like social media, e-commerce stores will soon look completely different on someone else’s device when you compare it to yours.
On-site personalization will improve
One of Amazon’s best features is the ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought’ product recommendations. Sometimes, this simple feature can help a customer find what they are looking for. Plus, it drives up-selling revenue for Amazon. This is called on-site personalization and it will continue to improve. As artificial intelligence becomes smarter, the recommendations will become more accurate.
Some consumers will opt out of data collection
E-commerce sites collect data about customers. This is how they market to existing customers and personalize shopping experiences. However, as more consumers become aware of their data security, there could be a divide in how many people allow their data to be collected. With new legislation banning e-commerce sites from collecting data without permission, there is a chance that many consumers will opt-out. That means some people will have super personalized shopping experiences and some will not. Who knows what that will mean for e-commerce sites and marketers.
Chatbots improve the shopping experience
One of the inherent problems with online shopping is the lack of a shop assistant. Some people love having someone to ask where a product is or what they would recommend. However, chatbots are starting to bring that experience to the world of e-commerce. They offer instant customer support, without the need for e-commerce stores hiring teams of customer service reps. It’s a win-win situation. As chatbots become more intuitive, more customers will feel comfortable using them.
Mobile shopping is still growing
Nowadays, the idea of mobile shopping is pretty normal. Marketers are no longer blown away by the sheer number of people that make purchases on their mobiles. It should also come as no surprise that the number is still growing. E-commerce shop owners need to ensure that their storefront is mobile-friendly, or they could risk losing a huge amount of business.
More ways to pay
Back in the early days of e-commerce, one payment method was enough. Now though, consumers expect to see a whole host of payment methods (Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, Apple Pay, and so on). To put it simply – the more payment methods you can offer, the more sales you will make. Shoppers are easily turned off a purchase, especially if they can buy the same product elsewhere. It is important not to put a barrier in their way.
Customers expect video
Video is becoming the most important form of content for e-commerce businesses. Now that internet connections around the world can instantly stream HD videos, customers expect to see it on e-commerce stores. In addition to product images, you should be providing product videos. It will increase conversions.
Subscriptions keep customers coming back
Consumers are getting used to the idea of subscriptions. It is likely that they subscribe to a video streaming platform, web hosting platform, an online newspaper, online gaming service, or dating site. That means they are not afraid to part with money every month for the right product. If you can create an e-commerce solution that attracts monthly subscriptions, you are into the big leagues.
Real-time stock level is crucial
Consumers are not prepared to wait around for your business to stock up. They want products immediately, whether it is a set of Toshiba transistors or a new pair of Nike running shoes. As an e-commerce business, you need to implement real-time stock levels, so customers know how many products are left. This will also help your business keep enough stock in.
Sustainability is becoming more important
The world is becoming more eco-conscious. It might seem that it is happening slowly, but the change is clear to see in consumer behavior reports. Consumers care about sustainability now. That makes it one of the most important marketing tools for e-commerce businesses. It is a way to stand out from competitors and appeal to new customers. The growth of sustainability is likely to continue, so now is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon.
Businesses need an omnichannel customer experience
Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy. That means they are more likely to look past your e-commerce website and check out your other channels of communication. This includes social media, email marketing, SMS, and more. It is important for businesses to provide an omnichannel customer experience. It builds trust with customers and improves customer service.