Trends for 2020
2020 promises to be a year of change in the eCommerce landscape. There are major eCommerce platforms looking to make shifts; Magento is on the way to converting to a SaaS (SaaS is covered here in our blog about pricing) and BigCommerce is expanding to include multiple stores on a single domain. The landscape of eCommerce is always evolving and this year looks to hold some massive changes for the eCommerce industry.
We thought this topic too important to condense it down to one article, so the second part of this series can be found here.
Mobile will matter for brand and consumer
This isn’t news to anyone. 50 percent of web traffic is generated from mobile devices and 40 percent of eCommerce purchases happen on a smartphone. This number may be even higher for your store depending on your audience. Optimize your website for mobile compatibility or you risk losing out on customers.
2020 will see the power of SMS realized
Text messaging is not a new concept but some brands have not embraced this medium to connect with their audience. About 98 percent of text messages are opened compared to 20 percent of emails. Chances are, at this rate, if you send out a text message, your consumers will see it.
You should always be seeking ways to grow your connections and collecting numbers along with the consent to send SMS messages is a great way to do this.
Consumers and brands will be wary of big tech
The backlash against big tech companies like Facebook and Amazon accelerated in 2019, and it is likely to continue into 2020. Consumers have realized the impact the large companies have on every facet of our lives along with privacy implications and data protection. Brands are starting to realize the cost of doing business on the platforms is jeopardizing long term growth.
2020 will be the year of less reliance on third-party advertising.
Expect to see a shift in business behavior as companies look to move toward a sustainable growth strategy. This will include things like owned marketing that enables the brand to use email, website, and mobile experiences to develop deep and personal relationships with consumers to foster long term growth.
Despite this Google will become a key online marketplace
Unless your brand is very well known the majority of your traffic arrives via organic or paid searches. In order to get your products in front of more customers, you need to optimize for Google Shopping. Not only is it a powerful and reliable sales channel but it can also provide an extreme boost to your SEO effort.
When you integrate your eCommerce platform with Google Shopping, a product listing ad (PLA) is created and automatically top the results page on the shopping tab when a customer searches for a product that you sell. This is especially beneficial for your niche market.
If you are unsure how to establish this channel or want to expand your brand reach: NuEthic can help with your goals for this year.
A sure bet heading into the New Year is the demand for subscription services will continue to increase. This makes sense for both the consumer and the company. Subscription services provide regularly delivered and recurring expected experience through each engagement. Not only does this provide an opportunity to create brand loyalty but it also provides a stable revenue source for your business.
What’s more; while providing your customer with convenience and often savings, running a subscription service inherently saves time and other resources in a few different ways:
- More reliable forecast of inventory
- Scheduled purchases allow for streamlined transactions
- Retain high-quality customers
Look for more and more brands in the upcoming year to hop on the subscription-based service bandwagon.
Expectations of personalized content grow
Brands that create personalized content stand out against those that don’t. This is why it is more important than ever to utilize the data you have on your customers to create rich and engaging personalized content every time you communicate with them.
The demand for high-quality content has never been higher.
That means you have to crank out that high-quality content quicker and with more regularity than ever before. In lieu of trying to grind out brand new content, expect the repurposing of content.
The main point of repurposing content is to allow your audience to see this information however they wish to receive it. By delivering your content in a format that works best for each individual customer, you increase the chance of actual engagement.
Repurposing content does not mean just copying and pasting. Rather it involves one piece of content as a framework for another. For example, if you create a video demonstrating your product you could also create a blog post for the best practical uses of that product.
User-generated content leveraged
We already covered the shift from traditional advertising but where will the average eCommerce business make up this lost avenue of traffic?
Look for businesses to rely more on content created by their consumers.
Reviews and recommendations are already important, as discussed here, but expect them to grow in importance this year for your brand credibility. Also, expect marketing strategies to focus on gaining reviews and other user-generated content. Encourage your consumers to review your business such as customer service and checkout processes as well as individual product reviews.
We talk about the benefits and future of headless commerce here. The key reasons to use headless commerce are the optimization capabilities, the ease of content repurposing, and the ability to customize a rich user experience.
You should consider migrating to a headless commerce platform for this year especially if you are a business based on brand experience. More than just the user end, headless commerce allows your business to be quickly adaptable and change to trends as they arise.
The seamless experience between in-store and online
If you have a brick and mortar location, it is essential to create a seamless experience between the eCommerce website and your physical store. Even if people purchase from your physical store; many of those transactions are the direct result of digital interactions. This is because people very often do research about products and pricing online before stepping foot into your store.
Aside from basic points like pricing consistency, you should consider having in-store pick up, free in-store returns, and ensure the brand identity is the same for your website and store.
2020 will be a year of eCommerce first business branching into brick and mortar locations.
While traditional approaches to physical retail continue to decline in effectiveness, there is a renaissance of sorts in retail. Companies are reinventing their stores’ experience.
A big reason for this reinvention is a simple fact that customers no longer need to visit stores to make purchases. When consumers do visit stores, they are looking for more out of the experience. For brands that already operate a physical store, make sure to provide a unique and valuable encounter. If your brand can provide real-world experiences to your customers, you will stand out and thrive in 2020 and beyond.
If you are looking to stand out, figure out how brand loyalists want to interact with your brand and then build an experience that enables them to do so.
Social Media eCommerce
Social media is already a very popular channel to sell products but they are also evolving as eCommerce changes. Many social media platforms are becoming miniature search engines of their own. Many platforms already have the capability to sell directly through social pages via embedded links. This link will allow a customer to click on a product in a post and be taken directly to a product page on your site, increasing impulse buys. If you are not leveraging social media as an online advertising platform, 2020 is the year to start.
While trends come and go, it is important for eCommerce businesses to pay attention to the ones that have a significant impact on traffic and conversion rate. While the trends may change, even before we ring in 2021, many online stores will see a great return of investment by capitalizing on these trends.
If you’re not sold on these trends or want even more ways to stand out against the competition this year, the second blog in this series can be found here.