New trends in the space of the e-commerce industry focus more on providing a personalized experience to digital consumers. By adding personalization to the shopping journey of customers, businesses can connect to them intimately and gain customer loyalty.
Today the e-commerce industry is seeing rapid growth in every aspect. Until 2019, the e-commerce retail industry contributed to a total of 14 % sales of the worldwide retail market. After Covid-19, online shopping is experiencing mass adoption globally and experts expect it to grow more in the coming years.
The evolution of the e-commerce market at this pace implies that businesses are going through a period where they need to keep up with the changing trends and adapt to new industry standards. Factors like increase in competition, change in buyers' shopping behaviour, boost in promotion and advertisement rates, and digital content optimization have become essential considerations for e-commerce brands today.
Hence, brands need to analyze and adopt emerging trends in the industry to keep ahead of the competition. In this article, we will explore the top 10 prevailing as well as upcoming e-commerce trends 2022 and how businesses can adopt them in their ecosystem.
1. Use of Artificial intelligence and machine learning
The majority of e-commerce stores are utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer consumers a personalized purchasing experience and provide relevant product recommendations using predictive search. At present, 37% of businesses and organizations employ AI resulting in the elimination of 85 million jobs while creating 97 million new ones by 2025. Earlier manual recommendations were highly prone to mistakes, but now automatic smart AI uses insights like buyers' gender, search history, buying history, and demography to offer relevant products and services.
How businesses can adopt AI and machine learning for customer personalization:
Businesses can use predictive analytics tools such as behavioural analytics, image recognition, inventory management, and automation. Also, studies estimate that by 2025 the AI application revenue will reach 36.8 billion dollars globally. Brands can also opt for commerce experience platforms like Glood.AI. Such platforms connect brands' websites with advanced AI tools to deliver a smooth shopping experience to customers.
2. Customizable Products
The use of interactive content by online stores to receive in-depth information regarding the needs of customers is gaining traction. More stores are enabling consumers to customize the products they are buying or let the brand customize chosen products for them. Furthermore, consumers seem to like this type of e-commerce service.
How businesses can enable customizable products to the consumers:
Companies can enable buyers to make changes and modifications to the products online. For example, let them suggest their own designs, colours, etc. For this, businesses can also make use of product-related surveys, quizzes, and online interactive sessions to offer products that satisfy consumers' requirements.
3. Voice search for online browsing
There is an increase in the rate of digital consumers who use voice searches for browsing the internet. Due to this trend, voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Ok Google are highly in use at present. In fact, as per the survey, around 50% of digital consumers like to use voice search for making online purchases.
How businesses can leverage the voice search:
By incorporating natural language processing, businesses can make their online store voice-search friendly. Further, with the help of AI and machine learning, companies can optimize NLP to prepare applicable responses to users' queries, making it easier for customers to find their products.
4. Implementation of chatbots
Although chatbots have been in use for years now in e-commerce, at present, they are potentially in every area of the e-commerce industry. Moreover, digital consumers prefer resolving their issues through self-help facilities like chatbots instead of calling customer care teams. It is because the chatbots offer easy access and quick replies.
How businesses can use chatbots to streamline a better customer experience:
As per estimates, there are 1.4 billion people across the world using chatbots today and studies found that deploying a chatbot increased sales by a massive 67%! Hence businesses should focus on providing the best shopping experience to global consumers through their brands' unique chatbot.
Businesses should ensure to embed high-quality scripts in their chatbots and not cause the customer to go in loops with repetitive answers by bots.
5. Augmented and Virtual Reality
With online stores, customers get the opportunity to purchase products of their choice, browse variations, choose the best pricing and evaluate features, as well as read other buyers' reviews. To make online shopping more worthy, a few e-commerce brands are utilizing AR and VR technologies to allow consumers to see exactly what they are buying. At present, 1% of retailers are currently using AR or VR, though it's said 100 million consumers will shop in AR online and in-Store by 2020. These technologies offer 3D depictions of products where consumers can evaluate them thoroughly and make an informed purchase decision.
How businesses can adopt VR and AR technologies in the best way:
With AR technology, businesses allow users to experience computerized graphics on real-world items to give them a clear idea of how the product will look in real space.
On the other hand, businesses can adapt VR to give a virtual tour of a product's physical characteristics. Nearly 100 million online buyers expect businesses to offer AR facilities so that they can find out whether the product meets their expectations.
6. The emergence of headless e-commerce
Store owners are using headless e-commerce platforms that offer individual backend and frontend layers. This implies that any changes on the frontend (user interface) will not affect the backend functionalities. It helps them to build a design and layout for their e-commerce website to offer a seamless experience to their specific buyer personas.
Process of utilizing headless e-commerce for online stores:
E-marketers can have complete control over the UI and UX of their online site in different channels, including mobile desktop, social media, etc. With this advancement, they can lay out their stores as per the expectations of their customer base.
Custom front ends like PWA, CMS or DXP can help businesses to achieve the goal without making significant investments. It will also help them to create SEO-specific content for their store.
7. The rise in mobile shopping
Mobile shopping offers consumers the opportunity to purchase products from anywhere in the world with just their smartphones. Mobile devices are anticipated to account for nearly 2.91 trillion dollars in e-commerce sales.
How businesses can benefit from the trend of mobile shopping:
To take advantage of this, firstly, businesses need to make their online store mobile-friendly. An e-commerce website should be compatible with all kinds of devices, including smartphones, desktops, tablets, etc. Further implementation of multiple mobile payment gateways will help businesses to thrive in the arena of mobile shopping. The inclusion of payment options like Amazon pay, credit/debit cards, e-wallets provides easier checkout to consumers.
8. Focus on sustainable e-commerce processes
Today's digital consumers are pretty conscious of the limited resources that we currently use. One of the major sectors that can influence the adoption of the sustainability ecosystem is the e-commerce industry. Due to the increasing concerns of digital buyers, businesses are also focusing on making their business-related processes more sustainable.
How businesses are adapting to the new standards of sustainability:
E-commerce store owners can match up to the standards of the sustainable industry by following a few steps:****
This way, brands can contribute to the betterment of society and satisfy their eco-conscious consumer base.
9. Possibility of drone delivery
Drone delivery is still under the initial development phase. However, the concept is gaining remarkable appreciation from the community. Also, many big brands, including Amazon, are considering it as a better delivery technique, particularly for nearby and lightweight deliveries.
Adoption of drone delivery in e-commerce businesses:
Major e-commerce brands, including UberEats, Alibaba, Amazon, FedEx, have already been utilizing drone deliveries in some regions globally. Businesses that have a large consumer base in the local area can leverage drone delivery methods. However, they need someone who is an expert in the field of drone technology so that errors, including wrong address delivery, will be reduced.
10. Direct shopping through social media
It is another form of online shopping that is gaining traction as a trend in the e-commerce space. One of the leading social media platforms that enable direct online shopping is Instagram. The platform also offers a feature of "checkout on Instagram" that redirects users to products' pages. In fact, 87% of the buyers agree social media channels help them to make purchase decisions.
Businesses streamlining direct online shopping through social media:
Businesses can promote their website pages on Instagram with features like “Instagram shopping” where when a user clicks on the option they get redirected to the e-commerce website page and can easily make purchases. Additionally, with the feature of Instagram checkout, users can pay for the product directly on Instagram without visiting the official website of the online store.
After exploring the above-mentioned trends in e-commerce, it is clear that all of them focus on streamlining online buyers' shopping experience. All of these trends aim to make shopping satisfying and enjoyable for customers.
Before you choose any specific trend for your e-commerce business, we advise you to do a thorough analysis to determine whether the trend will fulfil your expectations. The best way to do this is to take insights directly from your customers through surveys, online interactions, etc.