If you’re launching and growing an eCommerce store in 2019, you can catch some current trends to give your store a major boost. If you’re entering the market and hoping to compete with established brands and products, here are 5 eComm trends that could help you take off:
Keeping up with customers has always been an important part of business, but with eCommerce it’s a whole different story.
Your customer want to shop at their convenience 24/7. If you have international customers, it’s always a busy time of day. Add the fact that you hope to grow and your customers want answers to their questions quickly and you can see how it’s a challenge.
Chatbots are becoming more and more sophisticated. They can chat with your customers and offer real time answers to common questions. This is a great way to improve customer experience and reduce the number of emails and messages you have to field each day.
Chatbots can also be used to sell or upsell to your customers while they’re visiting your store or social media pages. They can offer products at just the right time and even gather data for future ad targeting.
If you’ve had a bad experience with chatbots in the past, it’s time to take a second look. Where they once felt stiff and impersonal, newer AI driven chatbots can feel like you’re talking with a real person.
Easy web payments
The easier it is to pay, the more willing customers are to buy. This has been known for a long time in retail. It’s the reason credit cards, payment plans, and customer accounts were offered in the first place.
In the digital age, customers are expecting even more speed and convenience. Big retailers have the budget to build proprietary systems for this. Thankfully, technology is making it easy for smaller eCommerce sellers to offer fast, secure, convenient payment methods to your customers.
Customers have spent time looking at your products and deciding to buy. They’ve built momentum toward that final purchase. A long checkout process can make them second guess themselves and even abandon their cart. As much as 28% of cart abandonment is caused by a long, complicated checkout process (Baymard Institute)
What can you do?
Make sure your eCommerce store is compatible with emerging Web Payment technology. This allows your customers to save payment information on their own browser so they can quickly check out without re-entering information or creating a payment account on the platform. This is especially important on mobile, where an increasing number of people are shopping and filling out forms is even less convenient.
Video is becoming more and more crucial to eCommerce for a number of reasons. One of the biggest driving factors is the increase of video viewing on mobile platforms. Watching a video may be easier on a small screen than reading long written descriptions.
Video is also highly viral and easy for customers to share on social media. Using shareable social platforms to distribute your product videos can spread the word is help you connect your product with influencers in your market.
Video is also a powerful way to demonstrate product use and quality. Seeing the product in action can overcome customer reluctance to buy a product they’ve never handled or seen in person. This is especially important for a new company or product trying to compete with established brands.
One more powerful use of video? Let your current customers and fans create videos using your products and share on social media. You can even feature the best of these videos on your store
Data collection is a hot topic right now and there’s no doubt that it has a lot of potential. Data entered by your customers or gathered about their searches and the items they view can be used to create a personalized shopping experience.
The more you know about your customer, the better job you can do of showing them what they really want. This improves the shopping experience and increases the chances that they’ll buy your products. Why give every customer the same experience when you can tailor it to the wants and needs of each individual?
The potential increase in conversion rates for personalized shopping is enormous! That increased conversion rate boosts the value of every visitor to your eCommerce store.
Subscriptions are one of the most fun trends in eCommerce today. Similar models have been popular in the past but technology is creating a lot of potential for streamlined subscription services.
Subscription boxes are one take on the subscription trend. Bundling products to ship to your subscribers is convenient for them and predictable for you. It’s also a great opportunity to include small samples of new products you think they’ll like, based on what they’re already buying.
Subscriptions for individual products are also very popular right now. Consumables like shaving razors and beauty products can be shipped out based on how quickly they’re typically used up. This is a major convenience for the customer and eliminates a lot of hurdles from making a purchase.
If you have a subscriber, you don’t have to worry whether they’ll remember to restock, if they’ll buy from someone else, etc. It’s actually easier for them to continue their subscription than it is to switch to another brand.
Putting it all together
Retail has always been about making the customer experience better and more convenient. People will buy more and visit your store more often if you remove barriers and give them a positive experience. Time hasn’t changed that, but technology has given us new ways to make it happen.
You can use all these tools to make buying easier, make your products more appealing, and improve your customers’ shopping experience. It’s also easier than ever to get customer feedback through quick surveys online. Take advantage of that feedback to learn what you can do to improve the customer experience even more, based on your market’s specific wants and needs.