New Year Trends
In the first part of our series on 2020 trends in eCommerce, we covered how to stand out against your competitors through content creation and outreach such as SMS. We talked a little bit about headless commerce and its future in the landscape of eCommerce as well. That whole blog can be found here. In this article, we are talking about more trends that will separate your business and leave your competition in the past.
It is expected that 75% of households in the United States will have smart speakers in the next 5 years. Google Nest and Amazon Alexa are leading the way but don’t underestimate other companies’ desire to get into this market. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of investing in voice apps. There has never been a better time to create the ability for consumers to order from your store through a smart speaker or voice-enabled device.
Video will remain important
Video will continue to be an important factor in content creation. In fact, video will continue to grow in importance but not as fast as it has in previous years. However, video reviews and product overviews increase sales. BigCommerce, for example, has a robust and easy tool for video integration along with other useful features found here. If your eCommerce store isn’t taking advantage of video by now, 2020 is a great year to start.
Importance of live chat
Another trend that has seen an increase over the past few years is live chat. Consumers do not want to wait for an email response and they don’t want to talk on the phone either. Live chats provide an easy solution to this problem. The use of a chatbot to respond and provide customer service is also a viable option. This is an excellent way to increase overall customer satisfaction if there is live chat to handle support and provide answers to questions that are being asked through live chat.
Multiple payment options
One of the reasons Amazon is so popular is the ease of payment and shipping because all the billing and shipping information is saved. This makes it easier to checkout without entering data which is even more annoying on some smaller mobile devices.
Consider options that allow your customers to checkout as quickly as possible while maintaining security. Options such as PayPal or Apple Pay are very viable and easy to integrate on most eCommerce platforms. If you would like to add these features while building a more secure site, reach out to us today and see how we have helped numerous other businesses such as yours.
A problem customers had with online stores was the inability to visualize the product before buying it. This makes it difficult to sell things like furniture or home improvement furnishings. Augmented reality and virtual reality help to solve this problem by allowing customers to virtually try on the product without ever touching it.
AR is not only a great way for customers to envision your product in their own space but also increases buying confidence and fuels customer engagement. This technology also helps separate your brand from others as many eCommerce stores are not capitalizing on AR capabilities yet.
One of the most innovative ways augmented reality is integrated has been from companies like Ikea and Amazon in the ability to see how furniture looks in your space before buying. Businesses in the eCommerce landscape need to take note of how this technology is revolutionizing the expectations of customers and their experience. Begin to invest in your own augmented reality program or look into one of the apps or extensions from the different eCommerce platforms.
Caring about the Earth isn’t just for tree huggers and anti-establishment hippies anymore. Most consumers are far more conscious about their environmental footprint than in years past and they want to support businesses that are trying to reduce their waste output.
Most consumers want to invest in environmentally sustainable companies.
Many eCommerce brands have already embraced this trend by using recycled or biodegradable shipping materials. However, there is still an opportunity to stand out further with creative strategies. For example, Banish Skin Care sends products wrapped in socks with their logo on them.
We talked in the first part of this series about the importance of the seamless experience between store and online but there needs to be a seamless experience and journey amongst multiple platforms as well.
2020 is the year of omnipresence.
The customer journey is not linear; it is not even just about being on multiple devices anymore. Your prospects will be bouncing between multiple social platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram to jumping on email and SMS. This year and the years to come will be about achieving multi-channel efficiency in your marketing and advertising efforts to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message.
Getting that message to the right person at the right time and place comes down to understanding how people best receive the message in question.
No one wants to receive a long-form informational newsletter through SMS.
Point being, when utilizing a multichannel approach you need to provide content for the customer they desire in the form they desire and nurture them towards conversion.
There are many advantages to reverse logistics. Financial gains and social benefits to name a few but this is a trend that will explode this year. Here are some more reasons why your company should be looking into reverse logistics for the New Year:
- Allows the receiving of goods back from the consumer or the ability to send unsold merchandise back to the manufacturer to be taken apart, reassembled or recycled, greatly minimizing overall costs for a business.
- Product life cycles are greatly enhanced through the use of reverse logistics.
- Gains can include increasing the speed of production, reducing costs for replacement or repair, retaining customers through improved customer service, and meeting sustainability goals.
- More value can be extracted from returned merchandise.
- Improving customer satisfaction by paying more attention to faulty goods and using feedback to make improvements to future products.
Looking at the advantages of reverse logistics make it a likely trend in the future that your business could adopt now to set your brand apart from other companies trying to gain loyal customers.
If you average a high order total you should include financing options. Not only does it make your customers feel like they have more options but customer financing has increased conversion rates by up to 25%.
There are already a variety of services to offer customer financing, such as Affirm, which offer easy setup options for a variety of eCommerce businesses.
If your products are expensive, have customer financing options.
Some customers, especially first-time buyers from your brand, do not want to create an account just to receive their product. It is imperative for the customers that you have the option to check out as a guest. Some estimates show that up to 35% of abandonment rates are due to the lack of a guest check out.
Offer a guest checkout option. Make sure to explain the benefits of creating an account and try to lead them back into creating an account with discounts or ease of order returns, but offer the guest checkout upfront.
If you own a physical store then it is a no brainer that you should allow returns from online purchases as well. Take this trend a step further and offer free returns in store. Most retailers already offer a free return if it was their mistake in shipping, but you want to stand out, right? Easy and free return policies are one of the best ways to build trust with your customers and help get someone who is on the fence about their purchase.
Free shipping is already widespread and will become more widespread in 2020. Customers more so than ever, especially with certain dollars spent on orders, expect to receive free shipping.
There are numerous ways to offer free shipping. Provide multiple shipping options and let the customer select the best one for them. Increase prices to cover the cost of shipping and then include “free” shipping with every order. Whatever you do, make free shipping available to your customers to not lose out on purchases.
Try before you buy
There is still a demographic of customers that prefer brick and mortar stores. This is because they visually see the items and try them on. Even if you offer an AR solution for this, consider a try-before-you-buy-option.
People want to try products before they buy them.
Some subscription services like StitchFix, have developed a way around this by sending a whole collection of items that they believe a shopper might like based on data gathered. Warby Parker also has a try before you buy option even though they offer augmented reality applications.
No matter which 2020 eCommerce trends you are going to pursue, do so with the intent of giving a seamless and engaging shopping experience for your customer. Keep your eyes toward the ever-changing future of eCommerce and start a dedication to build your brand today.
If you are unsure about what is next for your business, reach out today and let us guide you towards the right path for a sustainable and viable future.