The Ecommerce space is rapidly expanding in today’s world and has been expanding for the past decade at least. Not only are more and more completely online stores revealing their websites for shoppers but more and more brick and mortar stores like Walmart are shifting to the online space.
The Ecommerce space is another space that businesses should keep an eye on with regards to the latest developments as well as potential entrepreneurs who wish to move into this space. Keeping an eye on current trends will help both parties to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in this highly competitive and price elastic market space.
This article will discuss the top nine ecommerce trends that have emerged in the past year and will continue to remain prevalent in the coming years.
1. Payment Options:
When it came to online payments, there used to be only the credit/debit card option for online shoppers. Then PayPal appeared on the scene. Now, however, there are range of payment options for consumers to choose from according to their convenience. More and more ecommerce stores are offering the following additional payment options on top of the regular ones:
- Google Wallet
- Apple Pay
- Direct Bank Transfer
- Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
- Pay In Four (installments plan)
These have allowed ecommerce store to expand their consumer base and is a major trend this year. We can expect more accommodation in this regard in the coming years.
2. Online Ad Costs:
Online advertising costs have risen exponentially in the past year. Facebook ad costs, for example, have risen 47% in the past year alone. This is partially due to the rise of Ecommerce as more and more online retailers are spending money in advertising their stores online. This has given way to ecommerce stores focusing on customer retention strategies since it is easier to advertise to existing customers than bring in new ones which will cost more in today’s market. This trend was prevalent this year and with the continued rise of ecommerce we can expect it to stick around in the coming years despite the return of in-person shopping.
3. Review Options:
The lack of physical storefronts means that online reputation of ecommerce stores is vital to their success. Their online reputation comes about from reviews of customers. These reviews are read by new potential customers and a positive feedback from previous customers means you will inevitable gain new ones. This trend has risen due to the marketing strategy of stores of sending emails to previous customers to leave reviews on their website. If you are an ecommerce store, you should make this a regular part of your marketing campaign.
4. Ordering Flexibility:
Online shoppers generally tend to look for more options when it comes to ordering online. For example, they may want to purchase two items and then ship them to two different addresses. Options like pre-orders, split orders, in-store pickups etc. are becoming increasingly available on the good ecommerce stores. They also have a notification option for out of stock items where customers are given the option of being notified by the store whenever the product becomes available. This leads to lead generation since you will be on their mailing list this way. This is another rising trend in the ecommerce space.
With more and more players entering the ecommerce market, a lot of these stores are not large enough to afford a full time customer service staff. This is where chatbots come in. Using AI and ML technologies, chatbots are created for ecommerce stores where customers can type in their queries or complaints. This is a better alternative to FAQ’s since they are capable of responding to specific questions. When questions get answered, customers are more likely to buy or continue buying in the case of existing customers. This is a vital trend that is growing in popularity since chatbots help bring in large amounts of revenue for these businesses.
6. Brand Ambassadors:
This is yet another rising trend where ecommerce stores find social media influencers with large followings and if their followers align with their products fairly well, they pay the influencers to become brand ambassadors. This is rising in popularity as a strategy since it targets specific audiences who are more likely to become potential customers as compared to general online advertising. With an increasing number of social media forums and a rising number of users, this advertising strategy for ecommerce stores has soared in popularity.
Due to the rise of ecommerce in recent years, alternative financing options have also become available for people looking to open such potential stores. Conventional lending tends to steer clear of ecommerce stores because of their different needs and requirements so in response, financing options more tailored to the ecommerce space have become available of which the ideal one is revenue based financing which allows you to pay back a specific portion of your monthly or yearly revenue until the loan is returned completely instead of a fixed bulk amount. This has allowed more ecommerce stores to spring out. We can expect this trend to become even more important in the coming years.
With increasing concern around the world about the environment, especially among the younger generation who form a major proportion of online shoppers, ecommerce stores are trying to shift to alternative business practices since this impacts their sales as well. Not only do they package and ship their products using recyclable material or environmental material but also advertise their practices on their website. Customers often boycott stores that are not environmental friendly. This is an important rising trend and will remain prevalent in light of the destruction caused to the environment in the past few decades.
9. Personalized Marketing:
CRM softwares are used by most businesses in today’s world, especially ecommerce stores that operate in the online domain. CRM softwares manage customer related data. This data regarding the customer can then be utilized for personalized marketing. Since CRM data will allow you to track the customer’s purchases and spending habits, you can send out more personalized marketing emails to that customer advertising products that are similar to the ones they shop for regularly with approximately the same prices, give or take. This method of marketing is growing in popularity since it yields more fruitful results for ecommerce stores and is expected to become even more prominent than it is now, in the coming years.