The unprecedented times have also exacted changes in people’s way of life. Actions and adjustments we thought would be temporary are becoming a new living condition in this crazy world.
Therefore, we see a dramatic shift in how digital commerce gets conducted. The paradigm of how people interact with eCommerce is evolving. Therefore, businesses need to ride the waves of change instead of resisting.
Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, very few companies took their businesses online to test the then uncharted territory. But, that is quickly changing. Throughout 2020, a tremendous growth of 31.8% was observed in the eCommerce industry.
While the 14.2% increase in 2021 is less than the record-breaking retailers’ aggregate lift in 2020, it still indicates that eCommerce will continue to thrive in the future years.
This upsurge in interest in eCommerce has prompted well-known brick and mortar merchants to step up their online games. The heightened competition has resulted in the development of several remarkable trends.
While this is an exciting moment to be involved in digital sales, competing successfully in the eCommerce arena will require businesses to adapt to this fast-changing landscape by incorporating some of these eCommerce trends.
Trend #1: Provide a Personalized Customer Experience
To thrive and succeed in an ever-competitive market, retailers are constantly on the hunt for new and innovative methods to differentiate themselves from the competition, increase consumer loyalty, and keep their customers satisfied. In this context, many companies are well aware that personalization is one of the most important factors in accomplishing those goals.
To get a more profound grasp of how personalization can help your business, consider the following statistics:
- 47% of customers visit Amazon if a brand does not provide personalized suggestions.
- 91% of customers exhibit loyalty to stores that offer personalized offers and recommendations.
- 72% of customers only respond to personalized messages.
What a Personalized Customer Experience Entails
In online shopping, personalization is a practice in which an online store showcases unique content based on consumer data such as demographics, preferences, browsing history, previous purchases, and device usage to provide consumers with what they might want or need.
How New Technology Helps Shops Develop a Personalized Customer Experience
Personalization improves the customer experience by helping firms better understand their customers’ needs and making shopping more fun.
Personalization allows firms to store customer preferences and guide them to their desired location when customers visit your store. Personalization enhances the consumer experience, including promoting the products they want to see, keeping payment information for easy access, and informing them of upcoming deals based on their interests and past purchases.
In this sense, AI and machine learning enable customers’ automated, tailored purchasing experiences. AI collects data on how customers shop, when they buy, and what they want in a product or service — a hard technology, if at all possible, to be recreated in-store.
Big data also helps personalize experiences. Contextually, Big Data Analytics analyzes vast amounts of data to identify hidden patterns. Business owners can make informed judgments based on data. Online retailers can use Big Data Analytics to understand their customers, forecast consumer behavior, and enhance sales.
When companies provide a unique tailored experience, customers are more likely to stick around and become brand ambassadors.
Trend #2: Voice Search Continues to Grow in Popularity
Voice search is currently one of the hottest eCommerce innovations. Voice-enabled searches are increasingly becoming the search method of choice for all types of online shoppers.
As eCommerce continues to flourish, voice search has become a more popular way of communication. Through speech, the searcher communicates the requirements to the device, which responds appropriately, whether by answering a query or finding products.
How Voice Search Changes Keywords
As more users begin to use voice search, behavior patterns emerge.
Generally speaking, people who use voice search ask queries as if they were having a casual conversation with someone they know. Following this, companies can develop more conversational content, reflecting how their customers speak and communicate in their everyday lives.
Ultimately, businesses should tailor their content to respond to written and spoken versions of consumers’ common questions to appear in voice search results. Now, the question shifts: “How?”
What Digital eCommerce Brands Need to Do to Accommodate Voice Searches
Here are some steps to exploit the potential of voice search technology:
Tailor Content to be Featured as a Google Snippet
Google Snippets account for 87% of voice searches. As a result, appearing in the highlighted snippet position of voice searches is a good strategy to increase web traffic from voice searches.
Once companies have decided on your keywords, write a search description that is approximately 160 characters long. Then, once in the search description, they can include their keyword. Overall, when combined with well-optimized website content, this description will improve their chances of appearing higher in search results for voice searches.
Always Include an FAQ Section on Your Pages
Pages with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) tend to rank for keywords since voice search users commonly phrase their inquiries as questions.
However, to reap the benefits of a FAQ page, it must be useful and purposeful. Companies can go over all of the questions they have gotten in the last one to three months and evaluate them. Then, they can create a list of frequently asked questions based on those queries.
Use Long-tail Keywords
Companies should include long-tail keywords or keywords that contain at least three words in their set of keywords when aiming to rank content for voice searches.
Companies can begin by determining the keywords used for voice searches to rank for long-tail inquiries. Businesses can then produce realistic, conversational website content customized to their long-tail keywords once they have determined which keywords are most likely to be used in a conversation.
Because long-tail keywords are comparable to conversational phrases, they help pages rank better for voice search.
Make Use of Schema Markups
Google needs Schema Markups to understand the page and offerings that companies offer; they help search engine crawlers grasp the company’s material by putting it on their website. These crawlers allow search engines to deliver even more meaningful results for different users.
For example, if a company is planning an event, it may use schema markup to inform search engines that its website contains a schedule of up-and-coming events.
Trend #3: Augmented Reality Helps Brands Better Showcase Their Products
AR is increasingly revolutionizing eCommerce. With this technology, shoppers can see and feel an object without physically viewing it, which helps them make better, smarter purchasing decisions.
Applying Augmented Reality to Digital Commerce
AR is increasingly gaining traction in eCommerce, with digital commerce shops utilizing AR for the following applications:
Virtual Try-On Solutions
When purchasing a product, everyone wants to get their money’s worth. So, they take every measure available to ensure that the product or service they are purchasing suits their needs. When people take the opportunity to purchase from a company, and it does not work out, the chances of customers returning are slim.
In this regard, the use of AR helps online customers grasp what they are buying and how the product will work or look on them. Clothing, makeup, accessories, and many others can also be customized using AR applications.
Preview Product Placements
Customers can get a real-time preview of a product’s appearance when installed in their own space by placing it in a preview area. Today, several businesses are already employing AR to assist buyers in visualizing how their couches will fit in their living spaces, for example.
Interactive User Manuals
An interactive user manual adapts to user activities when utilizing software, a website, or an application. Today, many AR user manual applications can now scan the product and show the buttons in real-time with graphical arrows and text to guide the users.
Brands Currently Using Augmented Reality to Showcase Their Products
Many companies already take advantage of the benefits of AR for their businesses, and below are some of them:
Asos: See My Fit
Given that models and photographers had to work from home due to the pandemic, Asos launched the “See My Fit” initiative, employing AR to fit items on models digitally.
Moreover, “See My Fit” also helps customers by showing them how things look realistically in various sizes and body shapes, ultimately increasing sales and decreasing refunds.
IKEA: Place App
With Ikea’s new and improved Place App, users can not only arrange virtual furniture in space but can also capture 3D room layouts and redesign them with everything, from windows and door frames to wall colors and rugs.
Amazon: Hair Coloring at Amazon Salon
Amazon Salon, the eCommerce giant’s first brick-and-mortar hair salon, was established in part to experiment with new retail technology. This option allows customers to experiment with various hair colors and shades before having their hair done, ensuring that the results they get are the results they expect.
Gucci: Virtual Sneakers
Gucci recently updated its Virtual Sneakers app to allow users to “try on” sneakers. By showing customers how a product, in this case, sneakers, will look in real life, returns get reduced, and customer satisfaction increases significantly.
Wayfair: View In Room
Wayfair announced an updated version of its “View in Room” app in September 2020, increasing its usability while also increasing enjoyment when browsing for things for the home.
Trend #4: Chatbots Enhance User Experience and Cut Down on Customer Support Costs
Chatbots are not new in eCommerce. With chatbots, eCommerce organizations can improve customer experience by assisting customers at any time, streamlining many interactions between businesses and their customers.
The Development of Chatbots
Chatbots have revolutionized user support, paving the way for the modern service desk. Chatbots foreshadowed future breakthroughs in sentiment tracking, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning in their earliest form. Today’s AI chatbots are smarter: They can learn from previous interactions and support customers if needed.
Benefits of Implementing a Chatbot on Your Digital Commerce Store
Here are some of the following benefits of implementing a chatbot in your eCommerce store:
24-hour Customer Service
One of the most significant advantages that Chatbots offer is accessible to assist customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Indeed, 64% of consumers believe the finest quality of chatbots is their 24/7 availability. Additionally, they answer every question they receive promptly. This accountability ensures that your consumers can always resolve their issues, regardless of time or geological location.
Fastest-Growing Brand Communication Channel
Chatbot usage surged by 92% from 2019 to 2020, with 24.9% of buyers utilizing chatbots in 2020, making it the fastest-growing brand communication channel.
Furthermore, conversational chatbots can assist businesses in better understanding their clients. Chatbots help businesses understand their customers’ inquiries and requirements and the items or services they are interested in and make strategic decisions to improve the customer experience.
Chatbots Offer a High Response Rate
Notably, chatbots have high response rates, with top chatbots achieving 80-90% response rates. An operator can focus on one customer, but a chatbot can address hundreds of inquiries at once, thanks to the scalability of chatbots enabled by the cloud, internet, and advanced software systems.
Chatbot eCommerce Transactions Offer Great Profitability
Chatbot eCommerce sales are estimated to reach $112 billion by 2023. Companies can use Chatbots to advertise new products and send out proactive notifications. Businesses can also use them to help potential customers make faster purchasing decisions.
Abandoned Cart Chatbots alongside Messenger Boosts Digital Commerce
Companies can use chatbots to remind customers who have not checked out. Using abandoned cart chatbots with Messenger also increases eCommerce income by 7-25%.
Trend #5: Omnichannel Marketing and Customer Support
Customers today want a smooth omnichannel experience, around-the-clock customer assistance, and tailored communications. Companies that fail to meet these expectations will find themselves on the outside looking in. As a result, the omnichannel strategy is evolving; it is no longer simply a blueprint for large corporations but is also becoming a roadmap for startups.
What is an Omnichannel Strategy?
An omnichannel strategy connects a company’s touchpoints like stores, social, websites, email, and mobile. This option allows clients to switch smoothly between channels.
An omnichannel strategy is a marketing strategy that removes barriers to putting the client first.
How to Create an Omnichannel Strategy
When creating an Omnichannel Strategy, consider the following tips:
Make sure your website is accessible from mobile devices.
Because omnichannel marketing integrates offline and online channels, companies must make their website and store mobile-friendly. According to one mobile eCommerce survey, 79% of smartphone users ordered online with their phones in the last six months.
Find out which channels your clients use often.
Omnichannel marketing does not mean using every channel accessible. Instead, it means just investing in channels your clients use. Examine your buyer persona to discover the ideal omnichannel media.
Provider Cross-channel Customer Service
After just one unpleasant customer encounter, one-third of customers said they would contemplate switching companies. This statistic emphasizes the significance of customer service and its contribution to the customer journey. Thus, companies must ensure that they can provide customer service across various channels.
How SAP Can Help Brands Create an Omnichannel Strategy
Marketing directors use SAP to refer to Systems, Applications, and Products. SAP is a software package that helps marketing departments design and execute marketing initiatives.
The SAP Marketing Cloud integrates all of a customer’s data to give tailored forecasts about future market trends and customer and prospect behavior necessary for a seamless omnichannel strategy. For help migrating to SAP and optimizing its functionality for your needs, get in touch with ASAR Digital today!
Benefits of an Omnichannel Digital Commerce Marketing Strategy
The following are some of the most notable benefits of an Omnichannel Strategy:
- Companies with an Omnichannel Customer Engagement Strategy retain 89% of their clients against 33%. As established, an omnichannel marketing strategy puts the customer first; thus, it is easy to see why such a statistic exists.
- Campaigns using three or more channels outperform single-channel campaigns by 287%. Businesses profit from omnichannel marketing by reaching new client segments. Ultimately, using omnichannel marketing to meet customers where they are increases purchase rates.
- Omnichannel Strategy increases average order value by 13%. Customers who interacted with campaigns via three or more channels spent 13% more per order than those who interacted with just one. In the end, multichannel promotions drove more frequent and higher-value purchases.
- Omnichannel customers have a 30% higher lifetime value. The most effective retailers ensure that their marketing tactics enable customers to engage on any channel. They know that shoppers who buy in-store and online are 30% more valuable than those who use just one.
People and technology are continually changing. eCommerce puts it all together to stay up with these changes, firmly securing its place in the future of commerce.
On the other hand, businesses cannot enter the eCommerce field unprepared. Ultimately, staying on top of the current trends can help you stay ahead of the pack, and incorporating the ones that work best for your brand and company model will make all the difference.
Adapting to change can be quite scary. But, remaining stagnant does not make anything better. With this guide in your arsenal and ASAR Digital, embrace change and get the most from it today!