Articles | January 3, 2020
What will shape the e-commerce industry in 2020?
Ever since the first goods were sold online, digital commerce has been constantly changing. The areas where evolution is taking place are changing with the development of available technologies and the escalation of customer expectations. Digital commerce means learning about the customer. It’s becoming smart, predictive, and provides a personalized experience throughout the customer’s journey.
No wonder that Artificial Intelligence is believed to be the factor that will soon have the greatest impact on the development of e-commerce. Read about the challenges and the hottest e-commerce trends in 2020.
The challenges in the early days of e-commerce were closely related to simplifying online transactions to encourage customers to shop online. In the following stages, inventory visibility and package tracking possibilities appeared. Content marketing has also become part of the game. Product reviews, blog posts, and social media activities support online sales. Currently a trusted relationship with the customer is of the highest importance. So far you’ve read about it. It’s time to use it.
Main trends in e-commerce in 2020
Let’s look at several trends that many sources unanimously indicate will have the greatest impact on e-commerce development over the next year.
- Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics. AI has travelled the path from a curiosity to be read about in the tech news during a coffee break to everyday use in business. Implementation is no longer expensive, and the benefits allow you to compete with leading players on the market. The more data you collect, the closer you can get to the one-to-one marketing ideal. E-commerce websites are increasingly implementing Predictive Analysis tools to improve email campaigns, predicting the most effective time to send emails based on collected data on conversion rates, opening rates and engagement rates. Next in line are improvements in dynamic content, product recommendation, price optimization and image search.
- Image recognition. Have you had enough of irrelevant search results while shopping online? Thanks to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning we might get rid of this very soon. Visual search allows you to search and find goods that are similar to products from another photo. It might be a picture from the web or even one which you have taken. No wonder that customer-centric visual search solutions are being rapidly implemented by e-commerce companies. Even if the idea sounds unfamiliar, you most probably use the Visual Search Tool on Pinterest already.
- Voice search. In the next five years, up to half of all search queries are going to be either through images or speech. Of course, this will affect SEO, which is why experts recommend the quick implementation of a voice search feature on your e-commerce platform. According to Absolunet’s eCommerce Trends for 2019 report, 80% of mobile users use voice search engines to look for a local business, of which 50% are likely to visit the store within a day, with roughly 18% of those local searches converting to a sale within 24 hours.
- Mobile Commerce. The decision on whether or not to develop a mobile application for your company is a no-brainer. This is the starting point for voice control implementation, simplifying the ordering process This is the starting point for voice control implementation, simplifying the ordering process, as well as taking advantage of visual commerce. It is faster and more convenient to use the app in your mobile than to wait for the opportunity to use a computer browser. The challenge for digital commerce is to make it easier to buy on your mobile. But this is already happening – half of customers who order online make purchases using a mobile device. This has become possible thanks to an improved user experience and mobile payments, not to mention a Progressive Web Application – a hybrid of a website and mobile application, that loads on average five times faster than a website and can work offline to some extent. Of course, the crucial thing is to know your audience, to know where your customers are most active and willing to make a purchase. According to Statista, estimated mobile e-commerce sales worldwide in 2020 will be as high as 70%.
- Selling through social media. Social media can support sales, that much is clear. But there is something more than building brand awareness, engagement with your community, sales adverts, e.g. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are being used for messaging. Social buying is already standard in China, where 55% of social app users reported buying goods or services directly on a social app.
- Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. The era of visual commerce is coming. Take a closer look at Augmented Reality if you want to gain a competitive advantage. 61% of shoppers prefer to shop at stores that offer augmented reality over ones that don’t. Moreover, 40% would be willing to pay more for a product if they could experience it thanks to augmented reality.
More is coming…
The above six trends are only part of what the year 2020 has in store for us. There are many more besides, and it is difficult to predict today which ones will rule when we come to summarize the end of next year: same-day delivery, customer privacy protection, unified commerce, subscription commerce, enterprise marketplace, API-based commerce and more. Some of these technologies can provide you with a strong competitive edge when implemented. They are approachable and not as expensive as they used to be. Many companies offer the tools developed in this booming area in a subscription-based model. It is crucial for your company to set trends and get a boost from technology before it becomes widespread on the market.
The range of technology and responsibility associated with the effective operation of all business tools means going beyond the scope of a single e-commerce manager. Hence, e-commerce structures in organizations will grow and specialization in terms of responsibilities will take place. At the same time, a significant scope of work will be provided as part of outsourced services. In the vast majority of cases, it’s simply cheaper and more effective.
There is a wide range of technology trends that will potentially drive sales online in 2020. Some of them are more likely to star on this stage. According to many forecasts, Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, voice search, mobile commerce, social media selling tools and Augmented Reality are most often indicated as the future of e-commerce. But as the saying goes: the wheels are in motion and anything can happen. Maybe same-day delivery or API-based commerce will be the hero of 2020? Or maybe a new player will appear on the market? No one knows and that’s the beauty of the dynamic market of modern technology. It will be a great year for all of us who are interested in technology, and most probably a year full of opportunities for e-commerce entrepreneurs.