Ecommerce that sets you apart. It's a beautiful thing.

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eCommerce Trends in 2020

Reese Mimi Tseayo
Author Reese Mimi Tseayo

These days, consumers demand to have top tier experiences on every channel and with its high levels of innovation, the eCommerce industry is poised to deliver.

Here’s a quick look at some eCommerce trends

  • Retail growth rates have been outpaced by eCommerce by 14.1%
  • Mobile revenue rates are at 36% even though 58% of online traffic comes from these sources
  • A year over year increase of online sales was reached in 2019 with holiday sales reaching $138 billion, an increase of 12.7%

Due to how fast eCommerce is changing, looking into and planning for the future is on the minds of more than a few online merchants. As we prepare for the future of eCommerce, here’s what we think you can expect in the coming months and other trends to keep an eye out for in 2020

Ecommerce trends are categorized into three

Technology-driven eCommerce trends

  1. Micro animations that drive conversions
  2. Mobile progressive web apps
  3. Headless eCommerce
  4. Voice as an eCommerce channel
  5. Visual search in eCommerce

Customer-driven eCommerce trends

  1. Seamless omnichannel experiences
  2. Delivery transformation
  3. Ethical eCommerce
  4. No personalization, no conversion

Industry driven eCommerce trends

  1. Marketplaces
  2. NextGen B2B eCommerce

Micro animations that drive conversion

Things like GIFs have been in use since the advent of the internet however today they are now used in eCommerce more than in entertainment and as memes. A business can add more to user experience, lay more emphasis on a brand’s persona, and boost conversions all by simply adding animated icons.

Progressive web apps

Over the last few years, making the most out of mobile sources has been a major area of focus in eCommerce trends. Progressive web apps seem to be the next step in the way mobile eCommerce evolves and we can expect to see more of that in 2020. Using these apps, your customers can engage with the brand whenever they want at their own convenience in a seamless way. More merchants will have access to these apps soon as the costs of building them are projected to decrease due to how popular they now are.

Headless eCommerce

Lean microservice stacks plus headless architecture provide better performance and agility in comparison with monolithic systems plus the resultant benefits are felt immediately. Scaling and isolating apps as they are developed in parallel. This means better front end experiences such as those provided in progressive web apps are launched more efficiently. In the past, when a change in design aimed at boosting sales was signed off by a user experience team, it would take some time to implement as they would have to wait for the developer to execute it. This resulted in slower growth rates for most merchants however when creatives have the ability to implement changes on their own, they can experiment and test out their ideas more efficiently which would help them get better insights and boost conversion rates.

Voice as an eCommerce channel

Some people believe that the use of voice is still in its primitive stages however there are almost ¾ of customers who prefer using their voice to search for brands and products. Studies show that 76% of organizations currently see a good amount of quantifiable advantages to using the voice function. It has also been discovered that 20% of customers prefer to use their intelligent speakers for shopping purposes. This number is expected to rise to 50% in the next year.

Visual search in eCommerce

Customers in today’s business environment, particularly those within the 18-34 age range show that they prefer image recognitions and visual searches as a way of finding new products or brands. It is estimated that by 2021, brands will have redesigned their websites and other contact channels to accommodate visual search which will lead to a 30% growth in revenue from digital commerce thus making it rank among the major trends to look out for.

Seamless omnichannel experiences

Observing the omnichannel strategy from a sales angle, many of them are currently skipping a major eCommerce trend. The number of touchpoints for decision making grows every day, marketing and sales channels also increase thus creating the need for the same product experience on all channels. A study conducted by PwC showed that 86% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a good or service if it comes with great customer experience. Sellers who understand how important each of the various channels that make up their customer journey is will ensure their product experience is stellar in order for it to perform well in the omnichannel centered economy.

Delivery and shipping transformation

Some of the innovations that will keep causing a stir in 2020 are the changes in the delivery business. Courier and shipping companies are always looking for new ways to use data to their benefit and with the help of AI, anything is possible. There are predictions that soon autonomous vehicles will be responsible for delivering 80% of packages and self-driving robots have already begun to be tested. These robots are like small secure lockers and they are expected to be launched into the eCommerce space in just a few years’ time.

Ethical eCommerce

Today’s consumers are more concerned about the ethical footprints they leave and have more consideration for the environment. 2019 had several climate centered movements where consumers pressured industries and governments for more sustainable solutions to their plastic packaging, waste reduction, CO2 production, and other areas of concern. Studies have shown that as many as 81% of people want organizations to contribute towards making the environment better and an equally high percentage of online shoppers think that product sustainability plays an important role in their purchase decisions. Both genders and Gen X, Z, and millennials are supporters of ethical eCommerce and their awareness of whether products are made ethically will continue to rise so it is important for sellers to learn how this can impact their businesses.

No personalization, no conversion

Ecommerce personalization uses cognitive solutions to learn the location of customers during their product journey as well as to identify what traits and factors give their users a more individualized experience. For merchants to give their customers the most relevant, personalized experience that stands the test of time, they would need to work with artificial intelligence [AI]. Experiences powered by AI can be used on multiple channels and they provide relevant content according to the interactions the customer has on each channel.

Marketplaces

As eCommerce platforms continue to evolve, it is estimated that by 2020 customers will be more driven by how familiar, easy, and competitively priced a marketplace experience is, and in 5 years’ time about 30% of global corporate revenue will result from platforms like B2B and B2C. Top online sellers currently have an annual sales rate of $1.8 trillion and these numbers are not generated by companies that tend to play it safe. First movers are poised to make the most of these opportunities so companies who act fast will benefit more.

NextGen B2B eCommerce

The percentage of B2B companies that are customer-centric is still at only 14% largely because they do not make as much effort to get into the mind of their buyers. Such brands need to look into building more direct to consumer channels which would afford them the opportunities for data ownership which they can then use to optimize their experiences throughout their journey on each channel.

How can merchants take advantage of the future?

The time to move is now as all of these trends and more have already matured and early adopters have already begun to test them as they become even more mainstream.