We already covered the trends of 2020 in this blog. Those were reliable and very safe predictions of what’s to come for this year. However today we are letting loose and really shaking things up. We will be predicting the future of not only eCommerce but some general business predictions as well.
Growth in the eCommerce landscape is set to continue for 2020 and beyond. In fact, over 4 trillion dollars of online sales are predicted to happen over the next year. This is what the New Year holds for eCommerce and businesses in general.
eCommerce ceases to exist
We have written many blogs about the subject of eCommerce and it saddens me to say this but eCommerce will no longer exist by the end of the year. Bold predictions but hear me out. After years of technological innovation and the importance of digital commerce being fully realized, commerce has transcended physical and digital limitations. The “e” in eCommerce has become unneeded.
Society and technology have come together in a way that eCommerce is slowly making its way to just being commerce.
One of the major changes that will happen because of this integration of society and technology is the ability for international sellers to reach the American audience easier.
International sellers prosper
Global eCommerce growth will continue. The expansion will take place in a lot of developing markets outside the borders of China and the United States.
How can your eCommerce business expand internationally? Through marketplaces like eBay and amazon! Online auction site eBay is in over 25 countries and Amazon has fulfillment centers in 180 countries. Both channels have guidance for entering other areas and you need to cross the borders to sell your products to compete with those already in the global market.
Robots are taking our jobs
Maybe the biggest shift in business is the automation of different tasks to machines. Everything from window washing to inventory management can be performed by robotics at this point. While I don’t think this is a bad thing at all, it will be a dramatic change by the end of this decade. If you are in a transaction based job or business I would start considering a career shift.
These robots that are taking jobs are also communicating with the other robots taking other people’s jobs faster than humans could ever communicate. This speed will increase business decisions and begin to strip away layers of management from organizations. This means this year, businesses will flatten out. By that I mean middle management will start to be a thing of the past. It also means smaller, more nimble businesses will gain a competitive edge over their larger, slower counterparts.
Biological engineering is on its way. By the end of the year, we will be creating different cells with nanotechnology. Before the end of the decade, we will be printing skin for burn victims. A few years later we will be printing heart valves. Mark this page in your bookmark so you can reflect on it and contact NuEthic to tell us how spot on this prediction was.
Social Media as an eCommerce channel
Social media and eCommerce go together like peanut butter and jelly. They came together providing a streamlined shopping experience that is rapidly gaining momentum as different eCommerce platforms launch new shopping features. Making customers leave social media to shop has been a conversion barrier in the past but there are many in-app purchases allowing that barrier to be broken.
Social Media should be an integral part of your business, especially for marketing, but it will be more important as the year continues. However, you might not be putting forth effort into the right social media channels. Pinterest and Instagram have led the way for eCommerce referrals in the past and they become more important in the years to come.
The growing importance of Instagram will have a definite effect on eCommerce in 2020. The head of the product for Instagram recently stated that although advertising would be the leading revenue source still, Instagram is pushing towards more users to shop in the app.
The reason is that there is a huge market share of eCommerce businesses in the United States. The eCommerce growth on the app also increases advertising revenue as product pages look to drive more traffic to their product pages.
Consider Instagram as a major channel for sales in 2020.
Not only for purchasing in the app, but also to create traffic to your store. Over 80% of Instagram users say that their product purchases and the discovery of new items come from the app. Timely engagement and a seamless transition to your store become very important. Also, use Instagram to grow brand awareness.
Visuals matter more
On mobile screens, there is very limited real estate. You need to convey your message quicker and more efficiently. You will need to use visuals to convey your message and products, more than any other medium. Expect customers to expect about 8 images of any given product and the ability to spin the images to get a good 3-d visualization of the product.
Amazon has flaws
Amazon has been the king of eCommerce since eCommerce was a thing. This year, we will see the giant corporation beginning to show signs of weakness. As mentioned before, customers are going to want 8 pictures, amazon only allows 7. This can be a way to increase customers to your eCommerce store. We will also see smaller more agile eCommerce businesses start to chip away at the hold over eCommerce has had for years. Amazon will show flaws this year despite having such a grasp on eCommerce for the last few decades.
Blending is important
2020 will bring human expertise blended with software-driven efficiency. If your business has been keeping up with minor changes as the years have progressed in eCommerce then this should be an easy one to adapt. Those who have not been updating online infrastructures and design should do it now or get left behind.
Sell your own data and privacy
People are distrustful of big tech companies right now. However, people will sell more and more of their privacy away to subscribe to newsletters and reap the rewards of being on their favorite brands’ connection lists. Do not plan to buy connection lists in the future. Create content people want to connect with and give it to them in exchange for their contact information.
There will be new ad space
Brands and retailers will look for new options for advertising beyond Google and Facebook. Instagram and Pinterest will fill some of that space but also look for ads to start appearing more prevalent in SMS and email.
The inbox ads will be more interactive making your email more into a browser than a traditional email. Expect emails to begin to be the gateways to search queries, product pages, and even checkouts or content. This will create a great opportunity, if you have a newsletter already, to have a better funnel ability to increase conversion rates.
Mobile apps are redefining services
Do you think they already have? You’re right but these apps will expand and define other service areas. Imagine being able to order food from Amazon before work and coming home to having a full dinner cooked and the food put away in your fridge. Butler for a day will be an app before the year is over and it will be affordable enough for the average American to treat themselves regularly to it. These apps will also diversify to include some not so regularly available service. Mining and agricultural services will soon be connected to apps.
Mobile payments system
When mobile app popularity starts to explode to other industries and services, the question of who processes, and therefore who profits, from online payments becomes important. Banks, credit card companies, and different software companies battling to secure their place in this digital landscape will be a major story to keep eyes out on.
Entertainment is different
Consumer behavior has already changed dramatically from the last decade. Nowhere will this be more prevalent in the future than in the entertainment industry. Movie theaters will see a dramatic shift as attention spans continue to shorten. Immersion into games will become more commonplace and Google glasses will become an everyday item as life becomes tied into augmented reality.
One of the effects of social media sharing news, apps, and internet access will be the end of printed newspapers. There will be no more printed newspapers by the end of 2020.
The world is ever-changing. It will continue to change whether you change with it or not. The best thing to do for your business and yourself is to remain adaptable and continue to grow as the world does. If you need help growing your online presence and increasing your eCommerce sales, reach out and see how NuEthic can take you into the future.