We have long talked about the need for businesses to take the digital path. While large companies were quickly jumping on the bandwagon, many small and medium-sized companies hesitated, as investments were significant and profits were uncertain. Now we can say that organizations having taken the digital turn before the pandemic are in a better position today since they have a tool that allows them to continue their economic activities during confinements. Some have benefited from an increase in their sales while others have seen a smaller decrease compared to their competitors.
Although the craze for online shopping began well before the COVID-19 confinements, we are now seeing that this reality is becoming a fact of life. According to BDC, online sales nearly tripled from 2012 to 2018 and the global market is expected to reach US$39 trillion by 2023. With online shopping having become a habit in many households, it’s likely to continue long after the end of the pandemic. So if you haven’t yet embarked on the digital revolution: don’t wait any longer!
In order to help our customers in developing and updating their website, we have compiled 11 e-commerce trends that should be implemented quickly to help improve the performance of your company’s website.
11 trends to boost your e-commerce
01. Sell everywhere (multichannel)
The development of a multichannel selling strategy is at the forefront of several articles on the trends for the next decade. This type of strategy involves broadening sales horizons by targeting users wherever they are.
Whether on Amazon, Google, Facebook or any other platform, your products are available for sale in multiple locations simultaneously. According to some, the use of such strategy is even necessary in today’s world to survive1. Another study has also demonstrated that vendors selling on 3 or more platforms sell on average 156% more than those selling only on their own website. In fact, in the span of one year, the Sellbrite company saw a 300% increase3.
Even if these third parties take a percentage of the sales and affect the return on investment (ROI), the visibility offered is significant. This association can be advantageous in sectors with a high ROI. It should also be considered for sectors with repeated business since they will be able to attract new customers who could then order directly from their own website.
02. Go direct to consumer (D2C)
Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) is the trend for companies that prefer to eliminate barriers between the manufacturer and its customers. This strategy gives them greater control over their brand, reputation and sales tools. They can also collect more data about their customers and develop new products that better meet their needs.
D2C involves the elimination of third parties in the selling process, such as Amazon, in an effort to ensure direct communication with the consumer. The company must be prepared to answer all questions about their products, from delivery times to product specifications and return policy. The benefit of this strategy is that it provides the best customer experience and helps create a more lasting relationship with the consumer1.
It is important to note that to implement such a strategy, a company must be dedicated to providing an exceptional user experience. It also requires a commitment from all departments in order to compete with the world’s online giants.
03. Chat it up!
Chatbots, real-time conversation softwares, are used to answer questions from Internet users in order to help them find specific information. Implementing this strategy in your e-commerce allows you to improve the customer experience by helping them feel more confident about their purchase.
In fact, for many companies, we are seeing an increase in investment in this type of software. In addition, according to several surveys, approximately 93% of retailers plan to invest in chatbots to improve their customer service1.
An interesting strategy would be to use chatbots to collect information about the Internet user and to customize the site accordingly5. Imagine the ultimate shopping experience for your customers when their conversation is paired with artificial intelligence! This trend will certainly become a must-have feature on e-commerce sites2.
04. Interact more! Help them try before they buy
The creation of an interactive experience is an emerging trend that should not be neglected. As a result of the disruptions that have somehow pushed us to shop online, we are realizing that it is at times challenging to make a purchase without experiencing a 360-degree view or having tested, felt, scented, or tasted1.
It is crucial, therefore, to find ways to develop a more interactive experience in several fields such as home furnishings, interior design and fashion in an effort to fully exploit all the senses that the product experience can provide. Of course, this strategy will often require a considerable investment, but in order to remain competitive and take advantage of online sales, we strongly feel that this strategy will become more and more indispensable.
05. Offer Subscription Services
Subscription services are becoming increasingly popular. Already on the rise before the pandemic, these services have become even more widespread. The convenience of having essential goods automatically delivered right to the comfort of your home is strongly progressing1.
In addition, such services can be very profitable for businesses as they ensure a steady flow of money and sales. Generally speaking, sales can only grow with this kind of service if customer satisfaction is emphasized.
06. Develop flexible payment options
While this trend does not affect all industries, offering flexible payment options is gaining momentum. With the fluctuating economy, companies providing these options are sensitive to their customers’ specific financial conditions.
Deferred payment options and multiple payment options, in the case of a subscription, should be considered in order to allow customers to afford your products while keeping in mind their budget.
You can also reduce friction when ordering by offering multiple payment methods: check, credit, debit, PayPal, etc… Also reward point systems are a good option to consider and encourage repeat business with your e-commerce shoppers.
The range of options available in this trend increases customer brand loyalty and provides an enjoyable shopping experience1.
07. Customize using data
This trend is very dear to us as it happens to be one of our specialties. Over 80% of retail leaders say that advanced data analytics is incredibly valuable for making technology investments such as personalization1.
Data collection and personalization are experiencing strong growth, despite the rise in popularity of privacy policies and fears about collected data. Note that 22% of American adult shoppers prefer when retailers use their personal data to make their shopping experience more personalized. Consequently, it is important to develop closer connections with your customers in order for them to develop a deeper brand loyalty1.
According to other studies, the creation of a more personalized online experience makes it possible to:
- Increase your revenues by up to 10%.
- Help create a connection between the customer and your brand
- Simplify the shopping experience
It is also important to note that 94% of companies see personalization as a critical component of their business success3.
The study also found that a personalized experience made customers 110% more likely to add additional products to their shopping cart and 40% more inclined to spend more than expected3.
The MadeWell company executes this strategy brilliantly by automatically selecting the customers’ size on the product pages. Sephora is also a very good example with its personalized emails based on customers’ purchase and browsing history and the delivery of exclusive offers3.
08. Strategic delivery
The pandemic has made everyone more aware of the importance of shipping options. While many consumers prefer staying at home and waiting for their packages, others prefer to buy online and then head to the store to quickly receive their merchandise2. We have seen several large chains quickly developing this service option during the first confinement and the trend doesn’t seem likely to disappear.
A good online store always tries to minimize the friction experienced by the customer from start to finish, this includes the choice of shipping options and their return policies2. These are two elements that must be put forward on the website and be clearly stated. The shipping options must also be very flexible in order to satisfy a greater number of customers.
09. Leveraging Email Marketing
The use of email as a marketing tool is not a new trend, but it is still a strategy that is very much relevant today. Whether it be for recurring sales products or products with a longer conversion funnel, the use of precise and targeted emails allows you to establish a stronger connection with your clientele and build loyalty.
E-mail personalization and automation are already possible and can make all the difference in acquiring new customers. Interactive emails could quickly follow. Imagine being able to add functionalities to your emails such as size selection, add to cart, use of carousels, seeking ratings, etc.
10. Enhance the mobile experience
In 2019, Statista estimated that by the end of 2021, 73% of online sales would be through mobile devices5. If their estimation is correct, the growth of the mobile cannot be overlooked any longer. It is imperative to create an advanced mobile experience and to think in terms of mobile in the very first steps.
Users are now accustomed to online shopping experiences using their smartphones. Large retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart, store shipping address and payment information for a quick and easy process on mobile devices. E-commerce sites are also increasingly adopting payment options such as Apple Pay and PayPal to provide a seamless process5.
To remain competitive in years to come, we must follow this trend as well as the spending habits of users. Applications that enhance the mobile experience can seem complex and expensive. We expect, however, that their better-performing offerings will make them more popular and user-friendly. We also believe that their price will decrease. This type of strategy will thus become accessible to everyone.
11. Adopt a video strategy
Take advantage of this trend, as videos increase the conversion rate. A 2019 study indicated that 62% of customers said they had watched video reviews before making a purchase. In addition, videos are a particularly interesting medium because they can be repurposed on multiple platforms to maximize your visibility. Indeed, they can be distributed on YouTube, social networks, their product page and they can even be used in TV, radio or Spotify commercials with a little editing.
Surely you will agree that there are many trends to follow. But by going one step at a time and moving forward, you will see the tasks completing themselves while your income increases. Using this list, you can start building your e-commerce site for the future starting now.
If you prefer talking to e-commerce specialists before moving forward, our team will be happy to assist you. We offer a personalized approach to help you improve your website and e-commerce.
You don’t have an online store yet? Don’t wait any longer and contact our representatives to get your quote now. There is still time to jump on board. You could even be able to obtain financing for the creation of your e-commerce site.