Consumers are shopping online more, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. Most of them are using online shopping methods for even goods that they previously never considered buying online.
In fact, 41% of consumers say that they are shopping online more than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. There is also evidence that this will continue. 68% of people said that they will continue buying essential goods online, even after these health threats subside.
Image via Salesforce
With many retail stores remaining closed due to the pandemic, a return to normalcy may not be around the corner. It may take some time before consumers are comfortable enough to return to their pre-coronavirus shopping behaviors.
Getting your messaging and media strategy right at this point is crucial for any online store owner. It can enable you to hone your tactics and boost the growth of your online sales channel.
With ecommerce sales expected to rise to 22% by 2023 from 14.1% in 2019, you need to take advantage of new trends to remain competitive. Your store needs to be in tune with the latest trends so that you can meet the growing consumer demands.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the most effective ecommerce strategies that can help your online store thrive. We’ll also look at the marketing channels that can help increase sales and discuss ways to leverage them to transform your store’s growth.
Without further ado, here are some of the top ecommerce trends that you should capitalize on to grow your online store.
1. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
Leading brands are using augmented reality to make it easier for consumers to shop online. It is an innovative technology that engages consumers in an immersive environment. That’s why online businesses are in a rush to adopt it.
The furniture brand, Burrow, uses augmented reality to help consumers visualize sofas in their rooms with the tap of a finger. Their Burrow at Home app allows buyers to customize and try out products in their homes before buying.
Image via Apple App Store
How can you leverage AR and VR for your ecommerce store?
You can use them to showcase your products, highlight unique features, and encourage visitors to test the products before buying.
This can help you deliver immersive and memorable experiences that leave a lasting impression on your visitors. Using this technology can help consumers connect with your products on an emotional level, which can lead to more revenue generation.
2. Shoppable Posts
Social media platforms continue to make it easy for ecommerce store owners to promote their products. Features like the Buy button on Facebook, Instagram Checkout, Instagram Shopping, and others have revolutionized the ecommerce industry.
Social media users can discover and purchase products right from their feeds. They can shop directly without leaving the app, which can reduce the number of steps and pain points in the conversion funnel.
And the best part?
Major social platforms, varying from Google to Pinterest, offer shoppable product images that you can leverage to reach your audience.
These features allow consumers to see relevant information about your products, including pricing and descriptions, without leaving the platforms. They can also access links to the product pages on your site and browse other catalogs.
Image via Instagram
They may still be relatively new, but shoppable posts will continue trending even beyond 2020. More brands will catch on. Jumping on the bandwagon before everyone else does can give you a competitive edge.
3. Mobile Commerce
According to estimations, by 2021, 73% of ecommerce sales will take place on mobile devices.
Image via Statista
With this in mind, your online store needs to have a responsive design that allows visitors to shop easily on both desktops and mobile devices.
How can you increase mobile sales?
Ensure that when you direct your customer to a landing page, they get more than they expected.
For example, you can:
- Include only one offer on the page.
- Personalize it for the target consumer.
- Offer undeniable value.
- Have clear images and visuals.
- Have a prominent call-to-action (CTA).
- Ensure fast loading speeds.
Want to see this kind of landing page in action?
Well, there are many examples of landing pages you can emulate online from various brands. But my favorite one has to be the Beachbody LLC landing page.
Image via Beachbody LLC
They have optimized their landing page for conversions and tailored it to visitors looking to lose weight. They have also included a 14-day free offer to lose up to 9 lbs.
Their CTA button is hard to miss. They've used an engaging headline and inspiring images of fit people.
What does this mean for your online store?
You should make your ecommerce store mobile-friendly and create high-converting landing pages and product pages to encourage visitors to take the desired action.
4. Mobile Commerce Apps
Another mobile commerce trend is the increasing use of mobile apps to learn more about products. 46% of the U.S. mobile shoppers used a mobile retail app in 2019 to look for more information about services and products.
Mobile apps converted at higher rates in 2019 when compared to the mobile web.
Image via Button
How can you leverage this trend?
Become an early adopter of mobile ecommerce apps to remain competitive. You should create a mobile app strategy for your brand to deliver good user experiences and help people quickly access and purchase your products via mobile devices.
5. Headless or API-Driven Ecommerce
Consumers make purchases through various touchpoints, ranging from voice assistants to ecommerce buy buttons and AI-powered bots.
They can search for product information, read reviews, watch videos, and buy products from different channels. But as an online store owner, you need to ensure if your business offers flawless customer experiences regardless of the touchpoints.
The leading ecommerce platforms offer single-stack software with a backend and a pre-set customer-facing storefront. The two have to function together and this inhibits flexibility.
What does this mean?
Updating the storefronts’ user experience and user interface design takes time and lots of coordination. But the digital market is fast moving, and your online store should be in a position to respond swiftly.
Cue headless ecommerce.
With it, you can clearly separate front-end and backend. Your customer-facing experiences (presentations, content, and interactive layers) no longer have to be driven by the ecommerce platform capabilities.
This can help you build omnichannel storefronts while still having a backend for complex transactions.
Headless commerce splits the system-facing aspects from the customer-facing ones. This way, you can create any front-end experience you want and cater to different channels relevant to the consumer.
Adopting it can offer maximum flexibility, seamless integrations, fast updates, quick marketing, and the freedom to experiment with your online store. It can also allow you to control user experiences and the overall look and feel of your ecommerce store.
6. Marketing Automation
Online shoppers expect ecommerce store owners to offer them personalized experiences. 78% of them are more likely to purchase from companies that provide better personalization.
They like personalized experiences since they help them find products they wouldn't have otherwise purchased. It also makes their shopping experiences fast and exciting.
Image via Avionos
That's why you need to capitalize on this trend. Personalization not only helps your customers but also brings significant sales generation opportunities.
You should personalize your email marketing messages to make them relevant to the recipients. Tailor them to each customer and display products as per their buying history and shopping behavior.
What’s the best way to do this?
Use automated marketing.
Automation will allow you to send personalized content to your potential and existing customers and encourage them to convert. It can also help you customize store offerings for each customer.
For example, you can send an abandoned cart email featuring the product a shopper left in their cart to help with recall. The email may also have a discount offer or feature relatable items, thus boosting conversions.
Email automation solutions can help you:
- Upsell and cross-sell products
- Give product recommendation
- Recover abandoned cart orders
- Promote new or related products and services
But therein lies the problem.
You may have all of these incredible offers but your emails might not land in the users’ inboxes. And, even if they do, your subscribers may not open the email. A study conducted in 2018 showed that only 85% of legitimate emails got to their destination.
Why is this bad for your ecommerce business?
It means that, on average, 3 out of every 20 subscribers don't receive your new product emails. They may also not receive emails meant to engage or educate them further.
What can you do about it?
Improve your email deliverability.
And how can you do that?
- Only send emails to customers who confirm they want to receive emails from you.
- Make it easy for users to unsubscribe.
- Purge your email list of accounts that don't engage with your content.
- Send emails on a schedule.
To stay ahead of the competition, leverage marketing automation and ensure your emails get delivered to an engaged audience.
7. Visual Commerce
Some time back, you could launch an ecommerce store, add numerous product pages, and feature a blog. Over time, this led to increased site sessions, a boost in social media follower growth, and happy customers leaving positive feedback.
Things have changed though.
Consumers now prefer to have visual interactions with your products before purchasing them. 84% of them have bought products after watching branded videos, while 66% prefer to learn about products via short videos.
But visual commerce is much more than just posting videos.
You should share user-generated content, interactive content, and 3D representations of your products.
And the best part?
It's not hard to create impressive visuals for your online store. There are numerous digital tools you can leverage to create and publish professional visuals. These tools can help you create eye-catching social media visuals, interactive images, infographics, and more.
8. Voice Ecommerce
It’s interesting to note how consumers have willingly adopted smart speakers in their homes.
As of 2019, the U.S. alone had 74.2 million users. And their usage has grown from just listening to audio and making phone calls to purchasing online.
A 2018 study found that shoppers use smart speakers to add items to carts, research purchases, and order/re-order items online.
Image via NPR and Edison Research
How can you optimize your site for voice searches?
You should create content that includes long-tail keywords that users can search for when they want similar products. You should write in a conversational tone and use various variations of your target keyword to rank higher for voice searches.
Ready to Grow Your Ecommerce Business in 2020 and Beyond?
Consumers continue expecting seamless and personalized experiences from brands. They are quick to adopt new technologies and appreciate variety when carrying out their online shopping.
On the other hand, the ecommerce world continues to evolve, and you need to evolve with it to stay ahead of the curve.
The question is:
Is your online store ready to adapt to the new ecommerce solutions? Are you ready to leverage new technologies to improve customer experiences?
Have you implemented any of the trends mentioned above for your online store? Feel free to discuss your experiences with us and ask questions in the comments below.