What was new in e commerce in 2019 and what’s coming up for 2020?
As the TV schedules fill up with highlights of the year, we thought we’d take a look at some of the major changes in e commerce in 2019, and have a sneaky peek at what’s coming up for 2020. Here, in no particular order, are our Top Ten E Commerce Trends for 2019.
Buyable Pins, Shoppable Posts – Shopping Got Social
Social Media is growing as a Sales Channel, especially with younger shoppers. 31% of people who use Social Media have clicked to purchase direct from a Social Post. Have you got your catalogue set up on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest so people can buy from there direct? If not, now is the time.
Taking on the Marketplaces
87% of online shoppers compare what they find on a brand’s site to Amazon. (Episerver Report) It is more important than ever to use your social media, ads and website, even your packaging and paperwork to build strong brand awareness and relationships with your customers, so they come direct to you to make their order.
Hey Siri, Order Me a …..
Voice-assisted search is growing, with more and more shoppers asking Alexa, Siri or Google to order something for them. You need to make sure your website is optimised for voice search and the terms we speak rather than type, as well as your normal search keyword optimisation. It is estimated that by the end of 2020 more than 50% of searches will be voice searches according to Quora Creative. Are you ready?
If a customer walks into a store, it is easy for the sales assistant to ask about their interests, lifestyle and budget to recommend suitable products. E commerce companies do this by making the most of online data. Using cookies and purchase history, your site and emails can be automated to make personalised recommendations based on data such as search queries, page visits, previous orders and interests, in language most likely to appeal to the customer.
Ultimately data could mean that we all see a slightly different version of every ecommerce site, dynamically set up so it appeals to us as an individual, based on our online history. True personalisation.
Can I speak to your (human) manager?
Chatbots have joined the workforce alongside human teams in e commerce stores this year. From handling simple enquiries to discussing complaints, artificial intelligence assistants are boosting customer service for many online retailers. 34% of customers now say they are happy talking to them. (E Commerce Platforms)
Beyond the Product Photo
Technology is providing far better tools for visualising products. Retailers can now cut down any doubts consumers might have by showing off products using virtual reality, 3D imaging, augmented reality, and at least, engaging product videos alongside high quality photos. Do you sell sofas? Can you show customers exactly how this sofa will look in their living room? IKEA can.
Getting Dynamic with Data
Aside from personalising the customer’s experience, data can now help retailers respond quickly and effectively to trends and market changes. We can predict what customers are likely to want and when, enabling more dynamic marketing, that is ultimately more valuable to customers. For example, advertising and email offers can be geared to the weather forecast to promote products most likely to sell on a snowy/rainy/sunny day. Woolly jumper/umbrella/ice cream anyone?
Sign Me Up!
Subscription models have been all the rage in 2019. From Dollar Shave Club, shaving supplies, to BarkBox, dog toys and treats, you can now subscribe to regular deliveries of almost anything. Toilet roll? Laundry detergent? Cheese? Coffee? Just a “hug in a box” once a month? Sign us up! Could your products work on a subscription model? You’ll be surprised what can.
Since the final episode of the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 in November 2019, 88% of those who watched it have changed their lifestyle to use less plastic. Customers are no longer happy to receive a mug, in a box big enough for a freezer, wrapped in layers of plastic. Have a look at our packaging pages for protective packaging to suit all sizes of products, produced with the highest environmental standards we could find.
Some retailers are taking this even further and ensuring their items are also delivered by sustainable transport. Amazon has recently ordered a fleet of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles!
New Ways to Pay
With mobile consumers now making up more than 60% of e-commerce traffic, it is perhaps no surprise that e-wallets like Google Pay, Amazon Pay and Apple Pay are now used by around 16% of UK adults, and growing fast. “Buy now, pay later” tools such as Klarna are also on the up and helping customers pay in instalments, or only pay once they have decided which items from their order they wish to keep.
And so to 2020?
Many of these changes have kicked in during 2019 and still have some way to go, so expect further developments in all these areas in 2020. Where to next? Predictions vary but drone deliveries, major growth in B2B e commerce and the rise of the second-hand e commerce market are all on the cards. We will share our favourites as we spot them!