The eCommerce industry is ever-evolving, with new innovations and trends coming up every few months. The past year has been no different. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rise of many new trends that you must watch out for.
The trends and innovations in the eCommerce industry are mainly focused on taking a customer-centric approach to offer the best possible shopping experience to users. Catching up with these trends will not just help you increase revenue but also give you an edge over your competitors. So, let’s dive right into it.
1. Social Commerce
Social commerce is a potent way to offer native shopping experiences to users on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. This way, shoppers will not have to visit your online store to browse through products.
Using social commerce, shoppers can directly browse through your products and make a purchase directly from the social media platforms. The trend of social commerce has been on the rise, especially since the pandemic outbreak, after which many brick and mortar stores were forced to shut down.
You, too, can use social commerce not just to increase your sales but to offer an omnichannel experience to your customers. You can get creative by offering personalized product recommendations, using attractive product videos that make users stop scrolling, and using influencer endorsements as a means to attract new customers to your brand.
2. Voice-Search Powered Shopping
With smart speakers finding their way into more and more households, the trend of voice-search-powered shopping also seems to be on the rise. The convenience of voice search allows users to place orders online without having to go through the hassle of visiting the website.
Voice search is also used for other eCommerce related activities such as product research, product comparisons, and even get updates on product deliveries. You, too, can take advantage of this trend by hopping onto the voice search game early.
Implementing voice search SEO for your website can be a great way to ensure that your products and your website come up more frequently for voice searches. If you also own a brick-and-mortar store, you should focus on local SEO as it also helps with ranking for voice searches.
3. High-Speed Deliveries
eCommerce giants such as Amazon have normalized same-day and one-day delivery options for customers. Hence, more and more eCommerce businesses are hopping on to the trend to have a competitive advantage in the market.
The advent of drones for deliveries has even made it possible for 1-hour or 2-hour deliveries in recent times. Hence, if you want to stay relevant and offer premium experiences to your customers, it is important to adapt to the quick delivery trend as early as possible.
For offering high-speed deliveries, you should make sure that you pick a shipment partner who offers speedy and automated fulfillment services. This will ensure that your shipping process is speeded up while not compromising on the accuracy of deliveries.
4. Virtual Shopping Assistants
Virtual shopping assistant bots are also increasingly on the rise in 2021. Such AI-powered bots offer shopping assistance to your customers and help them make their shopping experience easier and smoother.
Virtual assistant bots can be versatile and can solve various problems that may otherwise take a lot of manual handling. For instance, virtual assistants can help your customers with simple queries regarding your store, return policies, shipping details, and order updates.
Such assistant bots can also offer other powerful operations such as helping your customers with product research, picking the right sized product, order processing, payment, and assistance in the returns process. Machine learning and natural language processing can enable these bots to adopt a more humanly approach while interacting with your customers.
5. Immersive AR Shopping Experience
Augmented Reality (AR) is not a new concept in the eCommerce industry. But the innovation has been on the rise for the past year. The growing popularity of AR in eCommerce can be attributed to the fact that it helps overcome the biggest disadvantage of online shopping – getting to know the exact look and feel of physical products in a physical store.
AR technology allows online shoppers to view 3D models of your products in real environments. AR is mainly on the rise in the fashion and home decor niches where customers can picture the product on themselves or in their home environments.
Brands like IKEA and Target have popularized the immersive AR shopping experience trend. If you own fashion or home decor-related online stores, then you must definitely give AR a try. AR helps eCommerce businesses generate more sales and gain increased visibility amongst the target audience.
6. Value-Based eCommerce Brands
Another trend that has been on the rise is the predominance of value-based eCommerce brands. More and more consumers today are focusing on the values and ethics that an eCommerce brand has to offer.
A study by Forrester shows that 68% of US consumers agree that the social responsibility and reputation of a brand have an impact on their purchase decision. Hence, taking up social initiatives towards sustainability, environment friendliness, or any other social causes gives eCommerce brands a definite edge over others.
Today, shoppers want their online shopping experience to be transparent and ethical. Shady business tactics that are harmful to the environment with the sole purpose of minting money from the consumers may be an aversion for many. These practices not just turn away a large chunk of shoppers but may also lead to a bad reputation for your brand.
You, too, can take up an initiative towards contributing towards a social cause that aligns with your brand’s values. Even a small initiative can be a game-changer for your eCommerce business while contributing to the greater good. It is also important to make sure that you hire employees whose values align with your business’s values.
In 2021, simply having high-quality products and spending good money on ads wouldn’t suffice. The number of innovative eCommerce businesses is on the rise, and the best way to fool-proof your business’s future is by hopping on to these trends early on.
So, start adopting the eCommerce trends and innovations mentioned above right away, and you’re soon to see a definite boom in your business’s profits and popularity.
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