Look around the room you’re in. Do you have a smart speaker? Alexa, Google Home, Echo Dot? If you said yes, you’re not alone. According to a study by NPR and the Edison Institute, about 1 in 4 American households have a smart speaker now, and that number is only going to increase as smart speakers become cheaper and more accessible.
What are the benefits? Well, for one, it’s touch free, and in a world that has become more conscious of surface contamination than ever before, that’s a huge plus. Think about all the stores and restaurants near you encouraging touch-free payment methods to stay safe. This is the eCommerce equivalent of that.
Secondly, it's a huge time saver. Your smart speaker can safely store information like your shipping address and payment information, so when you say “Hey Alexa, order printer ink”, your order is placed and processed without you having to touch a single button. Plus, smart speakers remember past orders, so if you tell them what kind of printer ink you need once, any time you ask your smart speaker to order printer ink, you’ll get the right kind.
eCommerce is getting faster and easier every day thanks to this stored data, which leads into the next trend we’re going to talk about:
Did you know that more than half of online shoppers told “Invesp” that they are happy to provide personal information if it is used to the shoppers benefit. This goes beyond smart speakers, too. Your website can use data your visitors provide to personalize their shopping experience.
Things like someone’s name, item preferences, past orders, location, and so much more can help you create a personalized journey for your customers from when they log on, all the way through their purchase. This has been proven to increase revenue, and decrease bounce rates.
If you use the data correctly, your customers will feel an emotional connection to your website and your brand, and that connection will boost trust and loyalty. Think about it, when you go into a jeweler or a tailor, they personalize your experience for you. You tell them your likes and dislikes, measurements and requirements, and they bring what you want to see right to you.
With AI assistance, your customers’ preferences and desires will be provided without them having to say a single world. This makes life easier for everybody. But let’s take a second and talk about AI, because in 2021, it just might become essential.
Don't believe what the movies tell you: artificial intelligence isn’t here to take over the world. In 2020, AI saw continued growth in popularity, and you were probably using it without realizing. Remember a few moments ago when I talked about that helpful store associate who listened to your preferences and gave you recommendations? AI is the online version of that.
I listens to you as you shop, through your data. If you click on one type of product, or one brand, more than others, the AI of a website will tailor what you see to fit that information. If you consistently click past something, it will stop showing you that product. Your online store will look like it was designed for every user specifically, and as we discussed before, this is great for your sales.
AI doesn’t just make things easier on the frontend, it can help business owners too. You can use AI to show you insights about your customers: how they shop and what they shop for, so you can improve your content. It saves time after purchases too: AI chatbots are more intelligent than ever, meaning they can handle complex customer questions or complaints and direct your customers to the proper solutions.
That means AI can literally solve your problems for you. And from there we can discuss another trend of eCommerce that has solved a big issue plaguing online shoppers:
It’s hard to buy a pair of shoes online. You can use filters for shoe size, type, color, material, and a thousand other things. But without putting that shoe on and taking a couple steps, you won’t really know if you like it or not. That was keeping a lot of people from buying things like furniture online too.
Sites might list dimensions and include detailed photos, but you won’t really know if that couch or coffee table fits until you see it in person. Well, with AR software that companies like Amazon are using, you can see what that furniture looks like in your home whenever you want. The technology is simple: through your camera, it shows you a 3D image of what that piece will look like in the space right in front of you.
This opens up entire new avenues for online shopping. Make online shoppers feel comfortable about buying your products that they would normally come into the store to see. As AR becomes better and more accessible, businesses will find more and more applications for it beyond furniture. Maybe your industry is the next that AR will break big in. You can get ahead of consumer trends with this tip, and our last trend.
More and more companies every day are dedicating themselves to environmental causes, whether it's through company initiatives to make positive changes, donating to green charities, or incorporating eco-friendly materials into their products. This is something that has been around for years, but has moved toward the top of the list when it comes to eCommerce trends in 2020.
And it's not just good publicity. According to a study by Nosto, 50% of people wanted to see more sustainability, while 75% said they would like to see less packaging. If your company is taking these steps to leave less of a footprint on our planet, consumers will notice. It might be a little more expensive, but the numbers have shown time and again that people are willing to pay a little bit more to make a difference.
It doesn't have to be big changes to start. More and more industries are going paperless, or conserving energy with LED lights and turning off computers at the end of the day. Little things like these are just as important to this trend in 2020 as the big changes. And they all make a difference.
Well, there you go, those are 5 of the top eCommerce trends we saw during 2020. You can consider this a peek into the future too. By using this information to get ahead of the curve, you can predict where the trends are going to go next year. This will help you grow with times, and stay ahead of your competition
That’s all from my end, if you want even more insight into what the landscape of eCommerce looks like, click on the link below and let’s get a conversation going.
I’ll see you in my next video!
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