The 2020 lockdown led to a boom in e-commerce trends, which was already growing steadily. In some areas, switching to online trade is the only way to keep a business. In others, it is an opportunity to reach an additional target audience. Anyways, in 2022, online trading revenue is expected to be $6,54 (compared to $ 3.53 trillion in 2019). To catch this fast-moving train, it is important to consider the needs of the audience and current trends. Let’s talk about them.
The rise of voice search popularity
Humanity is getting used to voice assistants and treats them as real assistants. For example, Google Assistant or Alexa fully participates in the life of a modern person: it helps to find information, shop on the Internet, or wake up in the morning. It is expected that in 5 years, 75% of US households will have speakers with built-in voice assistants. The sales market through voice assistants will be capitalized to $40 billion in 2 years.
What is the reason for the popularity of voice commerce? It’s obvious: modern assistants are less likely to make mistakes, and they are more convenient to use. Nowadays, they understand not only English: the developers “teach” them the most popular languages in the world. Therefore, the coverage is growing.
What should a business do? It is time to optimize your e-commerce site or online store creating the conditions for voice purchases. This will help you get ahead in the search results of the voice search. You need to:
- Optimize content based on popular voice search queries.
- Offer voice navigation through the site and in search results.
- Optimize the purchase scheme for voice commands.
A lot of e-commerce channels
What is multichannel selling? This is the ability to easily and successfully place orders using different devices and channels. So to speak, one store can sell goods through a website, a mobile application, a bot in a messenger, an online chat, via email marketing, and a telephone channel.
About 73% of buyers said that they use multiple channels to make online purchases. As you can see, this survey was conducted 4 years ago. Surely, these indicators have increased, and by next year they will also increase (along with the growth in the number of sold mobile devices and gadgets with voice assistants).
How do you identify the channels your potential customers want to use? Using analytics tools that track actual products and site visitors’ behavior (including product page views and checkout methods).
By analyzing the reports, you will be able to more accurately manage the assortment on the site and suggest the necessary ordering methods. Thus, the buying process will become easier for the target audience, and sales will increase.
Here are more recommendations that are relevant:
1. Optimize the site for mobile devices (to be honest, it should have been done several years ago).
2. It’s even better to create an official mobile app or a progressive web app (PWA).
3. Personalize services for clients at every stage of interaction. Offer to choose any available channel for purchase.
4. Offer several convenient purchase options: with delivery to the post office, home delivery, store delivery, etc.
This is a traditional trend, the relevance of which increases every year. A modern client won’t wait for the page to load. If this has not happened within a couple of seconds, he/she will leave. This can cause colossal losses for a business.
If earlier the acceptability threshold for the load waiting was from 3 to 5 seconds, now it has dropped to 2 seconds. This is the maximum amount of time the average client is willing to spend waiting for a load.
It’s worth recalling that loading time is one of the ranking factors in Google search results. How to achieve high speed? First of all, it depends on the quality of the layout. If the page code is correct and the visual content is optimized, there will be no problems.
User interface personalization
The rule of a good UX design is to be user-specific. This is necessary to help each client find exactly what he/she is looking for. With the help of personalization, the site owner will be able to understand what the target audience wants and how to establish mutually beneficial communications with it.
The ASOS website is a good example of personalized custom design. It has an intuitive interface, high-quality images, conversational style of descriptions, clear sales calls, and clear customer benefits. Video marketing is also used on the website. The video showing clothes on models gives an opportunity to look at the goods in more detail and increases purchasing activity. The store also has a well thought-out option for recommending products based on previous orders and searches.
To make your store recognizable, start with a basic identity. It can be developed inexpensively and without designers. For example, you can generate a logo for your website in a few minutes with the Logaster brand maker.
Artificial intelligence and augmented reality
VR and AR technologies are expected to improve interactions between sellers and buyers. Therefore, the representatives’ of the electronic market plans are to invest $7,3 billion in the development of artificial intelligence in 2022. More than 120 thousand stores are expected to use augmented reality technologies, providing a completely new experience for the customers.
For example, artificial intelligence can perform the function of an online consultant capable of providing personalized recommendations. It will analyze the history of previous purchases of each client and his/her behavior on the site (as well as on the Internet in general) in order to give the most accurate and competent advice.
Augmented reality will provide a “virtual fitting room” function. This is important, since the main problem with online shopping is that the customer cannot “touch” and try the product they choose on. This will be possible with the help of augmented reality. If you implement these technologies on your site (which will undoubtedly be expensive), you will notice an increase in conversions and a decrease in the number of returns. In addition, you can reduce the number of “live” consultants and reduce the call center workload.
New payment methods
Most buyers used to pay by bank cards earlier, but now the number of options has increased. The variety of payment methods became one of the factors in choosing a store. Do you stick to just one payment method? In this case, most of your customers will go to competitors soon.
Nowadays, the majority of online stores offer customers to pay by bank cards, electronic wallets, or electronic payment systems (Google/Samsung/Apple Pay or PayPal). It is expected that over the coming years, the cryptocurrency payment method will become relevant along with traditional methods.
It is profitable to accept cryptocurrencies because transaction fees are lower, and the concept of a reverse transaction is generally absent. It would be wrong to say that there will be a boom in this direction in 2021. However, it’s time to take the first steps.
Growth of mobile commerce positions
The number of users trusting online purchases made using mobile gadgets is growing. According to the forecasts, the mobile e-commerce sales niche will reach 73% by the end of 2021. 30% of potential customers are likely to abandon checkout if they find that the site is not optimized for use on a mobile device.
The conclusion is that it’s time to focus on the needs of the smartphones and other mobile gadgets users. So you need to:
- Use the free Google Mobile-Friendly Test and check how convenient the site is for visitors using mobile devices. To do this, just enter the site address and analyze the results. It will also show if the site pages have problems with the loading speed.
- Create a progressive web application (PWA). It loads faster than standard web pages. Moreover, the user will be able to browse the pages even without an internet connection.
- Check how convenient it is to place orders through a mobile device (including a small screen). Find problems and fix them.
- After all the improvements, test the entire site manually and evaluate the ease of navigation, page viewing, and content management.
E-commerce is developing steadily and will overtake offline sales in the future. To follow the leaders, it is worth focusing on mobile clients, introducing new technologies, and personalizing the site for the needs of the target audience.