The dynamic e-commerce landscape offers online retailers new and exciting ways to drive significant changes within the e-commerce business. In fact, as per Statista, global retail e-commerce sales are expected to go up to $4.88 trillion US dollars by 2021. To grab this opportunity, we bring you some of the top e-commerce trends to look for in the year 2019. You got to try these e-commerce trends if you want to boost your e-commerce conversion rate. Adapting to these e-commerce trends quickly would help you offer superior user experience.
“I am fascinated with the idea of the brand becoming a platform, not just for self-expression, but to create uniquely bespoke products in a one-to-one relationship that helps them feel empowered and strong and able to express”
John R. Hoke III, Nike’s chief design officer
E-commerce Trends 2019
Here’s a quick list of e-commerce trends 2019.
1. Augmented & Virtual Reality
2. Advanced Product Filtering
6. Delivery Options
7. Digitising Real World Experiences
8. Easier Checkouts
9. Mobile-first Commerce
10. Multi-channel Attribution
11. Multi-channel Messaging
12. Omni-channel eCommerce
13. Payment Options
15. Social Shopping
16. Subscription boxes
17. User-generated Content
18. Video Content
19. Voice Commerce
20. Influencer marketing
21. Website Performance
Now, let’s see these e-commerce trends in detail.
E-commerce Trend #1: Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR)
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are softening the lines between the real and digital world. For you, as an e-commerce business owner, AR and VR are an opportunity to provide your visitors with new ways to experience the products online. Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on your view of the world by creating a composite view. You can check this IKEA Place App video for more details on how AR can improve the user experience for your audience. It definitely helps customers make better choices. Whereas, VR refers to a computer-generated simulation of a 3D image or environment. In simple terms, it lets your customer see products or activities in realistic settings.
E-commerce Trend #2: Advanced Product Filtering
Advanced product filtering allows your visitors to find what they need faster. It provides your visitors with more options while searching for a product. So, adding filter attributes like size, color, material, price, etc. helps them find what they want quickly.
While adding advanced filtering option, consider 4 performance benchmarks mentioned below.
- Available filters: number of filters are provided?
- Filter logic: does the filter order flow naturally for the user?
- Filter interface: are the filters clear and easy to select/sort?
- Applied filters: do the filters work together, not against each other?
Check out this Australian e-commerce website, The Iconic – that does a fantastic job when it comes to advanced product filtering. They have a wide range of filters, the logic follows, the interface is great and you can easily combine numerous filters.
E-commerce Trend #3: Automation
Automation is taking over all industries and e-commerce is no exception. You can improvise the shopping experience for your e-commerce store by opting to automation. When it comes to e-commerce platforms, automation can be explained as a technology to streamline numerous processes like sales, marketing, inventory management, production, delivery services, etc. Automation improves your customer experience and also boost your conversion rate. Plus, it saves you time by reducing manual work.
E-commerce Trend #4: B2B
E-commerce B2B sales crossed B2C by more than $5 trillion in 2017. This number is expected to grow even further. The key point here is that almost half of B2B buyers are millennials and you don’t want to ignore this market. Therefore, in 2019, figure out the channels your business customers are on and just reach them.
Alibaba has done a great job when it comes to B2B. This is because of a few key reasons:
- not competing with customers
- focusing on customer’s needs
- offering scalability, etc.
E-commerce Trend #5: Chatbots
Chatbots have created a buzz recently. It is a computer program that is designed to chat with users. You can go ahead and opt for the basic customer support to personalized sales interaction based on your business requirements. Chatbots help you streamline customer journeys by offering the right information and connecting customers to the best people. You can use chatbots to power customer service interactions. H&M came up with a chatbot that operates as a personal shopper assistant and provides users style recommendations. Similarly, Sephora developed a chatbot for KIK that allows users to find beauty products and also give makeup and style advice. In the year 2019, you can expect more streamlined communication with customers. You can start figuring out how a chatbot can help your business and save your customer’s time.
E-commerce Trend #6: Delivery Options
Companies are coming up with new delivery strategies like same day delivery or even 2-hour delivery (metro areas). The speed of delivery and efficiency are among the key drivers for online and cross-channel purchases. Brands are trying to optimize their supply chain in order to boost their delivery speed. In fact, some companies in England have even started trailing drones to deliver packages quickly. So, what are you waiting for.. start thinking about how you can improve your delivery process in 2019.
E-commerce Trend #7: Digitising Real World Experiences
The other interesting trend that you’ll see in 2019 is the integration of the digital and physical world. Companies are including interactive digital experiences in-store to take customer experience to another level. The best example of this is Amazon Go. It’s more like a grocery store with no checkout, you just pick a product you want and leave. Amazon then charges your account. Similarly, Walmart executed ‘Scan & Go’ technology that allows customers to scan products as they put them in their shopping carts. 2019 you’ll see more brands using tech in store to engage visitors.
E-commerce Trend #8: Easier Checkouts
Offering easier checkout experience is a must. Customers prefer easier purchase path, therefore, make sure you provide them one. Simpler the better! As per a study in 2017, the cart abandonment rate reached 79%.
The common reasons for cart abandonment were:
- extra costs like delivery, taxes, etc.
- checkout experiences such as creating an account or long/complicated checkout process
Here are some tips to offer an easier checkout experience:
- One page checkout
- Adding auto-fill fields
- Using appropriate input fields
- Optional registration
- Providing users with an option to scan credit cards with image recognition software
If you are wondering how to create easy to understand, one-page checkout then see The Iconic’s checkout process below.
Again if your checkout process is good but still you’re losing sales you might consider investing in a UX specialist/team. This would help you boost your conversions.
“Good website practice and optimizing for conversion usually makes for good search engine optimization. These work together to ensure you drive quality traffic and can persuade that traffic to help you meet your business goals”
E-commerce Trend #9: Mobile-first Commerce
The number of people using mobile devices for shopping online is growing faster than ever. According to Forrester, by 2022, smartphones are expected to count up to $175.4 billion in retail sales. This is exactly why you need to adopt the mobile-first strategy quickly. You can start by reviewing your mobile checkout process to make sure it’s user-friendly. Then you can take this a step further by considering Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a framework that lets you generate super fast website pages across mobile devices. The key advantage of AMP is that it helps you increase conversions by engaging your visitors as they move through your website. WompMobile collaborated with Google to analyze their e-commerce clients and found that the clients using AMP pages increased conversion rates by 105% and reduced bounce rates by 31%. Additionally, it also resulted in increased click-through rates from search engines by 29%.
E-commerce Trend #10: Multi-channel Attribution
As digital and physical world integrates, multi-channel attribution would be significant than ever. Multi-channel attribution refers to gaining insights on which marketing channels and campaigns contribute the most towards driving visitors, and of course sales. Having an idea about your customers’ touch points before the point of sale would allow you to improve your strategy and budget. To begin with online attribution, you can opt for Google Analytics. It provides attribution modeling to identify the relative value of different digital channels for conversions and ROI. And, for more advanced attribution features, you can go for software like Bizible or Looker. You can get a clear picture of which channels result in blockers or are driving conversions. Multi-channel attribution is surely one of the e-commerce trends to look for in 2019.
E-commerce Trend #11: Multi-channel Messaging
Yes, multi-channel messaging is among the e-commerce trends 2019. Users are on multiple channels and it’s crucial to reach them at the right time. All you need to do is, reach your target audience across all active channels regularly. Often companies prioritize one channel of communication. However, as per recent customers who receive outreach in two or more channels, have 166% higher levels of engagement as compared to the single-channel.
So, you can design your multi-channel messaging strategy by using channels like:
- Mobile push notifications
- SMS (text messages)
- In-app messages
- Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
Again, you can use customer segments and analytics data to personalize your message for each recipient with each of these channels.
E-commerce Trend #12: Omni-channel eCommerce
The other e-commerce trend in 2019 will be to reach more customers using omnichannel strategy. It helps you offer customers seamless shopping experience. Though e-commerce sales are growing faster than ever, people still shop in stores. With 51% preferring to shop online, there are still 49% of people who prefer shopping in-store. You can focus on integrating customers’ physical and digital store experiences. Start by creating a convenient buying process for customers who research online, and purchase offline. The very popular example of omi-channel e-commerce is ‘Click and Collect’. E-commerce giants have widely adopted click and collect that lets customers purchase products online and then collect them in store.
E-commerce Trend #13: Payment Options
You have numerous options when it comes to online payments. Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal etc. lets customers make easy online transactions. As per the Washington Post, 70% of people think that mobile payments will overtake cash and cards by 2030. Even payment companies are standardizing the approach to payments by creating simpler, quicker and more secured buying processes. Additionally, global mobile payment revenues are expected to grow from $450 billion in the year 2015 to more than $1 trillion in 2019. So, having convenient and fast payment options would help you increase conversions by more than 20%. So chuck the idea of having lengthy forms. To stay competitive, improvise your payment methods for customers in 2019.
E-commerce Trend #14: Personalization
Customers love personalized shopping experience. Amazon and The Iconic are great examples of how e-commerce can offer personalized shopping experiences. Personalization is nothing but how your e-commerce business personally targets and appeal to its customers. So, let your customers get a role in creating products that reflect their identity. Check out how Nike offers customized service using product personalization with NIKEiD. AI would be a good option when you want to target and track customers in order to deliver a personal experience. So, in 2019, don’t be surprised if you see machine learning algorithms that show tailored landing pages, content and ads to customers.
E-commerce Trend #15: Social Shopping
More and more people are now shopping on social media platforms. In case you are on Facebook or Instagram, you must have seen shopping ads showcasing various products/services.
Social shopping is more than display ads. For instance: Instagram lets you create engaging and ‘easy-to-buy’ posts. In March 2018, Instagram came up with a new feature that allows brands to tag up to 5 products in a post. These tags can be used to highlight information like product price, a link to purchase, etc.
Pinterest is another social media platform that you can use to share your products. You can use different types of pins like:
- Promoted pins – you need to pay to show your pins to more people
- Rich product pins – has real-time pricing, availability and where to buy information.
- Buyable pins – allows people to buy your products without leaving the Pinterest site
It has been observed that 61% of ‘pinners’ made a purchase after seeing business content on Pinterest.
If you are targeting the younger demographic, you can try Snapchat. Snapchat offers a brand-friendly lens feature for companies to created promoted filters. Also, it lets a user shop directly using the app. Known as ‘shoppable AR’, it’s a combination of shopping and Augmented Reality (AR). So, what are you waiting for? get creative and use social media platforms to grow your e-commerce business in 2019.
E-commerce Trend #16: Subscription boxes
E-commerce businesses are opting for subscription boxes to differentiate their offerings. It is extremely convenient. Brands can predict revenues and are able to scale up or down as per requirement. One popular subscription box provider is Birchbox, a cosmetics beauty box subscription that offers a monthly box with 5 personalized samples for its users. The company saw a 63% increase in subscribers in the year 2017. However, if you have been thinking about starting a subscription-based approach to product distribution, you may start now, as the subscription box market has grown immensely in recent years.
E-commerce Trend #17: User-generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) can be explained as content that is created by users. It could be any media (video, images, etc.) that a customer creates in relation to your brand. You will find a number of cosmetics and lifestyle brands using the power of UGC on Instagram or YouTube. For instance brands such as Mecca urge their followers to share makeup looks and then ‘regram’ their followers’ posts. These posts are hashtagged with a custom hashtag of the brand. UGC help you create a loyal customer base and positive word of mouth for your brand. This active engagement results in a loyal customer following and fantastic word of mouth marketing. PWC recently found that social networks are the number one choice of online media, those survey respondents used to find inspiration for their purchases. It’s not just social networks your brand can leverage, with a 20-30% increase in conversion rate when UGC is shown at the moment of purchase. If you’re not already involving your customers, now is the perfect time to start in time for 2019.
E-commerce Trend #18: Video Content
In 2019, video content is expected to cover 80% of all web traffic. Therefore, you must create videos for your e-commerce store.
You can use video in many ways:
- Brand films
- Animation videos
- Educational videos
- Product videos
- FAQ videos, etc.
The key advantage of using video is that it allows you to engage your audience better and convey message easily. Think outside the box! You can start with Product videos to increase conversions and reduce product return rates. This also helps your audience to see the product being used or worn and thus picture themselves using those products.
E-commerce Trend #19: Voice Commerce
Recently, there has been a rise in voice technology. This has resulted in new ways users search and interact with devices. More and more people are using voice to search and purchase products. ‘Voice commerce’ refers to the transactions that occur through voice. As per OC&C Strategy Consultants, by 2020, voice commerce is estimated to grow up to $40 billion in sales in the US alone. Voice commerce is quick and fun.
E-commerce Trend #20: Influencer marketing
The other big e-commerce trend to watch for in 2019 is influencer marketing. It has become more prevalent and profitable. Partnering with social media influencers allows e-commerce brands to connect with their niche audiences and develop trust by word-of-mouth marketing. So, when are you opting for this trend to promote your business and products?
E-commerce Trend #21: Website Performance
Users love better online experiences, and so optimizing your website performance is really important. As per a recent Google Poll, users don’t appreciate slow load time when browsing using mobile devices. 60% expect a page to load within 3 seconds. Also, 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance are less likely to purchase from the same e-commerce store again. Even a 1-second delay in page response would lead to a 7% drop in conversion rate. Therefore, increasing your site speed helps you offer better user experience. Plus, it is also helpful for SEO as Google’s ranking algorithm favors optimized websites. Find out why you need to optimize your website. Get an optimized website for your business.
You can begin 2019 with a bang! Start by opting your favorite e-commerce trends for your online store. These are just 21 actionable e-commerce trends to get ready for 2019. Get closer to your business goals, you can take the help of professionals to create and execute an e-commerce strategy for 2019. Ready to get started!