Future of Online Shopping Evolving E-Commerce Trends

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E-commerce has come a long way since the initial online marketplaces first appeared in the 1990s. Today's shopping ecosystem includes channels, technologies, and payment methods unimaginable even ten years ago.

The innovations have revolutionized eCommerce app development services, increasing trust, value, and convenience for businesses and customers. Their effects will undoubtedly remain an influential force on global markets for years to come.

By 2027, mobile will overtake desktop as the preferred sales channel in the US - from 49.2% today to 57.6% by 2027. As part of this revolution, we're seeing innovations like social, voice, and contextual commerce becoming more widely adopted while AI-enabled solutions continue to make waves.

The e-commerce industry is constantly shifting, and this year has been no different. Merchants are creating or improving their e-commerce businesses to meet customers where they are. While everything in e-commerce seems to change daily, we distilled five significant trends that will affect companies over the coming months and years.

Trends Shaping the Future of Online Shopping

To take full advantage of e-commerce opportunities, business professionals must stay abreast of the latest technologies and trends, including those listed below.

#1: Mobile and Social Commerce

Mobile commerce, also known as m-commerce, is a trend that has impacted e-commerce more than any other. By 2025, it's expected that retail m-commerce sales, where shoppers complete their purchases using mobile apps on smartphones and tablets, will amount to $710 billion.

The growth is enormous, but the sellers must be prepared to capitalize on it. The mobile site must be simple to navigate and allow shoppers to locate what they are looking for quickly. Cart abandonment occurs when the payment form is cumbersome or has too many clicks. Apple Pay and Android Pay are just a few of the mobile payment methods that allow shoppers to purchase with a single click. Amazon has 'Buy Now' buttons, which bypass its lengthy process.

Social media impacts e-commerce and mobile commerce significantly. Customers increasingly want to shop and browse items on their favorite social media platforms. For example, Instagram makes it simple for brands to reach out to customers. However, creating engaging content that leads to sales is also crucial. The market is crowded, and sellers must take time to engage customers.

#2: Omnichannel Shopping

Most of today's consumers do their research online on a particular brand before visiting a store. The customer journey has many touchpoints on various devices. Integration between all channels is vital for businesses offering an effortless shopping experience.

Omnichannel shopping is a method of seamlessly connecting physical and digital channels within a business to increase revenue and grow business. If done correctly, omnichannel can drive sales. According to Google's research, omnichannel can generate 80% of in-store traffic.

This approach will boost sales and improve customer loyalty for sellers. For shoppers, omnichannel allows them to buy the product when and how they want. Customers use both offline and online channels of sales seamlessly. This is often done within the same buying journey, blurring the line between digital and brick-and-mortar stores.

Buy-Online-Pick-Up-In-Store (BOPIS), a service that allows customers to combine online and offline shopping seamlessly, is an excellent way to achieve this. Business2Community reports that 50% of customers expect shipping options such as BOPIS or curbside. Similarly, 93% said that the ability to ship from stores had led to increased revenue online.

The omnichannel approach to shopping by custom eCommerce website development services can be a massive advantage in a competitive eCommerce marketplace.

#3: API-Driven eCommerce

Component Commerce (API-driven eCommerce) is a software architecture that combines native and third-party functionalities, which communicate through various APIs. Modularization allows eCommerce ecosystems to be more efficient and adaptable, allowing them to quickly implement new technologies without needing development or implementation.

Its operational flexibility and efficiency characterize API-powered eCommerce. This allows for personalized customer experiences, from marketing and service to invoicing. In the future, having an API-powered eCommerce solution can be a huge advantage for retailers.

#4: Voice Commerce

Voice technology is becoming more popular. According to a survey, 71% prefer voice search over manually typing their query. Voice assistants can help consumers discover and compare new products from various brands.

Voice apps aren't just for searching products. Voice shopping has quickly gained in popularity as voice searches become more common. According to one survey, 50% of respondents reported making at least one purchase using their voice assistant, and an additional 25% indicated their intent to do so within six months.

#5: Checkout Process Optimization

Consumers value speed and convenience when shopping online. They expect to locate what they're searching for quickly, place an order with as few clicks as possible, and have it arrive the following day.

Amazon has achieved dominance by meeting consumer needs efficiently and eliminating friction at every step, whether on mobile, desktop, or tablet devices. People will pay for this service; currently, over 150 million Amazon Prime members spend over $1000 annually.

Reducing friction is easier said than done, however. One area in particular where this problem often manifests itself and becomes particularly costly is at checkout. Checkouts are the heart of customer journeys because this is when sales occur. Unfortunately, however, merchants frequently fail to dedicate any effort or time toward optimizing this stage in the customer journey or checkout optimization - leading them down an unprofitable path that results in missed revenue opportunities.

Fixing this process step can be simple with the right solution in place. Payment Service Providers (PSPs) offer merchants tools for building an engaging checkout experience their customers will love.

E-commerce app development services help your checkout flow by eliminating barriers that cause dropout. Allowing customers to check as guests is an easy and effective method for increasing conversion rate optimization (CRO), with a custom eCommerce app development company taking care of the implementation. After all, mandatory account creation can lead to cart abandonment.

Single-page checkouts are another simple change that can boost your conversion rate. By providing all necessary fields on one page, customers are more likely to complete their purchase quickly without switching tabs multiple times.

Offering multiple payment options can enhance the customer experience and drive conversions. By catering to the needs and choices of customers from around the globe, You can increase your chances of success.

#6: Flexible Payment Methods

To meet your objectives, flexible payment methods could mean offering one-click options to streamline the checkout process for returning customers or offering various alternatives tailored specifically for individual markets or customer segments.

Retail brands targeting millennials may benefit from offering buy-now-pay-later (BPNL) options like Klarna. When selling on social or mobile, Apple Pay and Google Pay should also be submitted; or in the Netherlands, ideal makes sense as a form of payment.

No matter who your audience is, demand for new payment options is growing. According to our research, 2020 saw an explosion of digital payments, with 50% of consumers using at least one digital wallet and 5% using cryptocurrency at least once yearly.

Consumer trends change. You must regularly assess customer needs and adjust checkout experience and payment methods to match changing customer preferences - something a payments partner with in-depth local knowledge in your key markets can assist with.

#7: Social Commerce

An estimated 4 billion people globally now use social media, or approximately 58% of people on earth, with B2C brands using it successfully to market their products - for instance, more than 600 million people actively search Instagram alone for products to buy!

But as social networks mature, more brands are turning to them not only as advertising platforms but as direct selling platforms as well - an emerging form known as social commerce that involves an end-to-end consumer journey taking place within a social networking platform and is projected to reach $604.55 billion by 2027.

Social commerce is a new way for merchants to expand their audience and increase revenues. Still, it comes with unique challenges - particularly accepting payment when someone isn't physically on your website.

At that point, payment links come into their own: They make your checkout experience available wherever your customers may be in digital space - and when customers are ready to purchase something, they can do so without ever leaving their social app - creating a frictionless end-to-end experience for all involved.

Today, 40% of consumers aged 18-24 believe the ability to purchase items through social media would increase their online shopping frequency, and I expect this number to continue rising as Gen Z and Alpha become more significant parts of global consumer bases.

Merchants looking for success in the coming years should research which networks their target consumers use and meet them there to drive sales.

#8: Live chats

Chat used to be seen as an irritating experience for shoppers; now, however, it has become a critical tool in customer support and improving the overall customer experience.

Shopify reports that 43% of customers plan to use live chat within the year, with 60% citing customer service as influencing purchasing decisions. It allows brands to personalize online shopping like never before by giving in-the-moment help on products that could make or break a sale and post-purchase support that builds customer loyalty.

#9: Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) has proven itself as an integral component of online retailing. Shoppers using AR can better visualize what they're shopping for and make more informed buying decisions. In specific industries, AR allows customers to get a feel for items without seeing them first-hand. These industries include fashion, decor, and more.

#10: On-site Personalization

Buyers across all verticals - B2C and B2B alike - increasingly demand customized shopping experiences online. Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), data can now be collected so that personalized product recommendations and dedicated customer service become part of an individual customer's shopping experience.

Implementing personalized experiences into marketing efforts or on-site has been shown to have a substantial effect on revenue, with one study finding it led to a 25% revenue lift among retailers with advanced personalization capabilities (this account for 19% of participating companies) while retailers that were "building basic personalization capabilities" saw 10% or more significant revenue gains; these tiers represented 40% of participating firms.

#11: Strengthen Trust with Customers and Increase Loyalty

Trust has long been the cornerstone of customer relations between businesses and their customers, as consumers will only patronize a service if they are confident it will offer quality products at fair prices.

Trust is more essential and complex than ever in today's digital world, according to research from Salesforce. Almost 73% of consumers say faith matters more now than before, and half or more say earning their trust has become more challenging over time.

Consumers shopping online typically prioritize finding a quality product or service at a fair price while also taking steps to protect their personal information when conducting transactions online.

Financial data is susceptible. According to research by RSA, 78% of consumers are most protective of their financial information. That makes safeguarding checkout points -- where sensitive data is shared with merchants -- a key priority for merchants looking to build customer loyalty.

Merchants can protect their customers and build trust through several strategies, including:

  • Ensuring PC DSS compliance or working with a Payment Service Provider that can assist them in becoming compliant

  • Give customers trust triggers during checkout, such as independent ratings such as Trustpilot or regulatory badges and clearly stated returns/exchange policies. Our research indicates that 71% of consumers actively look at these details, leaving their cart if dissatisfied.

  • Tokenization can help secure customer card data when used in payment flows and is particularly advantageous for businesses with frequent return customers and solutions such as one-click payments.

  • Utilizing emerging regulations like strong customer authentication to provide extra layers of security at the checkout point may create additional friction; however, our research shows that most consumers are willing to tolerate that in exchange for feeling secure.

Assess Your Options: Considering If a Trend Makes Sense for Your Business

Only some trends deserve your time and energy; which makes the most sense for your company? Some might provide enormous value, while others could alienate key constituents or exceed the costs necessary to create an acceptable return on investment (ROI).

Finding out what trends, techniques, and technologies best fit with you can often depend on knowing your customers, vertical, and competitors in depth. There are various steps you can take to evaluate industry trends and take appropriate actions for your B2B.

Stay Abreast of Industry Influencers and Publications

Follow blogs and industry news so you're informed. Begin by tracking down influencers specific to your industry. Later, expand into related markets for an overall picture.

Absorb Up-to-date Industry Research and Trends Reports

Every industry evolves at some point or another, and keeping abreast via reports can give an accurate representation of where things stand. Many research studies are used for these reports, so you know they come from reliable sources rather than following popular opinion alone. In addition, by regularly following what's happening in your industry, you'll develop an intuition for which trends merit more time or consideration than others.

Use Digital Tools and Analytics to Gain a Comprehensive Picture of Customer Behavior

Utilize customer data to assess if a trend is suitable for your business. What do the numbers tell us? While some trends may work better with specific customers than others, you know your customers best and may require using multiple data-gathering tools so you can see trends from various angles and sources. Utilizing customer trends from multiple sources allows you to gain a complete picture of the overall trends that may or may not apply in your particular situation - could adopting something new disrupt customer behaviors?

Gather Feedback from Your Customers

Feel free to solicit input from existing customers regarding what they require from you. Listening closely can give insight into trends, as well as help formulate more precise plans for the future. You may even come up with new ideas you still need to consider!

Observe Your Competitors

Keep an eye out on your competitors to determine what trends they have been following and whether or not those trends worked for them. While you don't need to copy everything your competition is doing, being aware is a valuable way of measuring trends.

Conclusion

E-commerce is an ever-evolving industry. For such sectors, staying ahead of trends is crucial to its success. Today's shopping experience is more personalized, accessible, and data-driven than ever - creating opportunities for business professionals to shape the future of online retailing.

Future trends we can expect to witness include continued advances in social commerce, personalization, AR/VR technologies, subscription services, and sustainable and ethical shopping practices. Retailers that stay at the forefront of these trends while providing excellent customer experiences will have greater chances of succeeding over time.

Reach out to us so we can introduce our team of eCommerce experts and uncover all the eCommerce trends that could accelerate business expansion.

Author

Assim Gupta

Himanshu Verma linkedin-icon-squre

Digital Marketing Manager

Himanshu is the Digital Marketing Manager at Closeloop. He likes to share his knowledge and experience with the world; blog is one of the mediums. He writes on topics of his interests, such as online marketing, brand building, business growth, sales, lead generation, etc., and believes in adding value to readers’ lives. He loves traveling, sports, and army culture.

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