The digital revolution and the prevalence of social media have brought about massive changes in the ecommerce marketing landscape.
Many new trends are entering into an increasingly competitive environment and redefining the rules of the game. This ever-changing landscape of ecommerce-businesses is exciting and a bit intimidating, as businesses will need to adapt the new trends and keep up with the challenges.
The current ecommerce stats and trends:
Ecommerce is a huge industry with sales amounting to $2.84 trillion globally in 2018. The year saw an increase of 23.3 percent in sales compared to 2017. In fact, ecommerce sales have witnessed an average growth rate of 25.6 percent from 2014 to 2017. According to Statista, the future of ecommerce looks even bigger and brighter. The global ecommerce revenues are predicted to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021, showing a future of steady upward trend in the industry.
While these stats suggest that the ecommerce industry is thriving, the evolving marketing trends are also compelling ecommerce businesses to rethink the way they engage with tech-savvy consumers. In this post, we will discuss some of the future trends of ecommerce and take a look at the marketing drifts that ecommerce businesses should watch out for in the coming years.
Personalized user experience:
Personalization is a way to tailor your content to the unique needs of your customers. There are algorithms that help businesses collect customers data about their behavior and get to know about their tastes and preferences based on their previous engagement. These algorithms allow them to show their prospects the products that would trigger a desired action.
A report by Boston Consulting Group found that businesses that provide a personalized experience see a 6 to 10 percent increase in revenue. According to “Social Media Today”, 41 percent of customers have switched from companies because of poor personalization. Furthermore, 48 percent of customers spend more money with a business that provides a personalized user experience.
This all means that creating a direct relationship with consumers will be an integral part of the future of marketing for ecommerce businesses. It is possible only when companies start investing more in tools and software that integrate personalization into ecommerce marketing campaigns. It will require more people taking software development degrees so that they can design and develop apps, devices, and reward programs that can drive the ecommerce businesses forward.
Future ecommerce marketing will require businesses to create contextual experiences. The creation of such experiences demands automation that far exceeds the realm of email and website. Such automation (also called automation 2.0) is changing the idea of automation that we had just a few years ago. It will include a connected network of apps, marketing tools, and will involve data to lower the cost and save time for businesses and consumers.
In the past, enterprises like Amazon, Starbucks, and Walmart utilized the secret of automation to build retail empires. Today, there is again a new secret in the shape of Automation 2.0 for ecommerce businesses to help them handle most of the customer journeys and interactions without the need of a human agent.
The Future includes AI and Chatbots:
Artificial intelligence and deep learning will drive the future of ecommerce marketing. According to a study by Accenture, using AI to personalize customer journey will boost profitability rates 59 percent in both the retail and wholesale industries by 2035.
Even today, artificial intelligence is influencing the data in SERP (search engine result page) by tracking user requests, and this is only the beginning. This is why 32 percent of retailers in North America plan to implement AI within three years.
Today, businesses and marketers spend a considerable portion of their marketing budget on channels that didn’t exist around five years ago. With the rise in the number of channels, it is becoming increasingly challenging for businesses to manage communications manually. To solve this issue, marketers have come up with a relatively newer marketing trend called chatbot.
Many businesses are now providing a native, personal, and purposeful experience to consumers using chatbots. A 2017 research on chatbots by Myclever found that more than 70 percent of consumers now prefer to engage with businesses using a chatbot instead of an app. Consumers see chatbots a faster way to access information and engage with businesses in their terms. Since chatbots benefit from the marketing automation 2.0 framework, the data from chatbots can be integrated with different sources, analyzed, and then directed back to any channel. This ensures a faster, personal, and purposeful experience that was not possible before.
Advancement in product visualization:
The technological advancements, like product visualization, have made it possible for ecommerce businesses to showcase their commodities in a way that give a real-life experience to consumers. With 3D modelling, they can now render a realistic image of a product or an architecture, using tools like Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, etc. With its stunning and advanced features, 3d modeling induces innovative marketing that will play a massive role in the future of ecommerce marketing.
Research of “Social Media Today” reveals that 60 percent of consumers now prefer to watch a product video or high-resolution image instead of reading a dry product description. With this in mind, ecommerce businesses need to hone their photography and videography skills to stay on top of the competition.
These changes in consumer behavior are probably fueled by the rise in social media apps like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. Considering this factor, it is no surprise that visual content now influences consumers shopping decisions more than ever. So, working on product visualization and incorporating it in your marketing strategy is a necessity if you want your ecommerce business to succeed in the coming years.
Smart stores use smart technology to improve customer experience and enhance their shopping process. These include the usage of RFID, smart sales, smart carts, and interactive shelves. Below is a little explanation of how smart stores will work.
- Smart shelves: Customers can simply drag the desired products into the smart without having to walk long and seek out goods on the supermarket. Buyers will be able to find their items fully packed at the outlet.
- Smart supermarkets: This concept has been introduced in South Korea, where a network of Tesco stores provides all products with QR code. Customers can order their items by photographing it and get them delivered under the door.
- Radio-frequency tags: With the introduction of radio-frequency tags on goods, cashiers will no more be in demand. If the products are supplied with RFIDs instead of barcodes, the remote reading will enable us to know the purchase amount without the items going out of the cart.
With smart stores coming into the business, the goods in the buyers’ cart will be automatically scanned, and the amount will be deducted from their accounts or with one swipe of a smart card.
The increase in voice searches:
With the increased popularity of smart home assistants like Siri, Google Home, and Alexa, changes in ecommerce marketing are on the cards. Reports suggest that customers are slowly opting for voice searches. According to Google, 40 percent of adults and 55 percent of teens use voice search every day. Voice search is going to get stronger as more and more customers buy smart home assistants.
In a study on the future of retail, Walker Sands revealed that 19 percent out of 1,600 consumers have already shopped online through voice commands. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things will further boost voice search, which is both an opportunity and a challenge for the future of ecommerce.
Ecommerce businesses must embrace these challenges and start serving their customers via voice commands because this is soon going to become the new norm. As voice search gets popularity, we can also expect to see changes in the ranking system and ecommerce websites that do not allow voice searches may lose their ranking over time.
Delivery by drones:
Drones have been delivering data and imagery since they were invented, but the possibility of cargo drones expanded when Amazon announced half an hour commercial delivery some years ago. Though the project has run into technical issues and problems with logistics and regulations, these haven’t stopped companies from testing the service.
In 2016, Amazon claimed that it had made its first drone delivery to a customer in Cambridge, but it couldn’t prove as the beginning of a regular service. The autonomous delivery drone service, Project Wing, is meanwhile expanding test services in a number of locations including Australia and Finland. The emergence of drone delivery will hugely impact the ecommerce businesses as it will make the shipping process faster and more comfortable.
Ecommerce marketing is assumed to expand and diversify with new trends in the coming years. Businesses will need to keep up with these trends and cope up with the innovative techniques to dominate the ecommerce clan.