Though your website may have been built to accommodate trending consumer requirements, their expectations increase as we speak.
To maintain a successful eCommerce platform, it is crucial to keep the finger on the pulse of your target market and update your website and online shop to meet the most recent demands. The emphasis here should be on organizing your activities around consumers and offering the most attractive customer service, rather than focusing on the implementation of the latest eCommerce development trends just for the sake of it.
In collaboration with your product and web development team, it is crucial to regularly evaluate your market approach and detect whether there’s room for improvement. From an eCommerce development standpoint, attention is best to be directed towards expanding into the mobile environment, diversifying payment options, and exploring the opportunities for maximum personalization and security by leveraging the power of AI and big data.
And here is why:
Voice search is getting louder
With voice becoming a preferred mode of communication, we are not surprised to see the increase in demand for voice-enabled shopping. And no, it doesn’t end with mobile search.
In 2020 alone, around 150 million smart speakers were sold globally and about 30% of web browsing was screenless. That’s right - households around the globe started to rely on their smart assistants to complete daily tasks, shop, place orders, and altogether organize their lives. By 2024, smart assistants are expected to become one of the top-selling electronic products.
What can you do?
To maintain a high position on the market, eCommerce businesses should consider implementing a voice search app or platform. Voice-driven shopping will ease and simplify the entire process, which is the perfect option for a fast-paced modern consumer who is used to multitasking.
Voice can also help build a more personalized experience. By relying on AI and ML to capture user behavior, voice assistants become smarter by the day. In time, they learn to better understand users’ shopping habits and can offer customized recommendations.
When should you start working on the voice-enabled option for your eCommerce shop? Right now, because you’re already behind. Big brands like Johnny Walker, Domino’s, Nestle, and others have already implemented voice search to help users better familiarize themselves with their products, automate shopping, provide recommendations, or collect feedback.
Big data is growing
Since their earliest days, eCommerce businesses have leveraged data to optimize their market approach - clicks, impressions, conversion, abandonment, add-to-cart rates, as well as data extracted from web server logs, transaction receipts, social media, geolocation services, and IoT devices - all in an effort to detect the best way to win over and hold onto customers.
While the sheer amount of data can be overwhelming, the right approach to big data analysis can help acquire and retain customers to affect overall profit and business success.
Big data can help, not just to tailor your marketing approach, but also to refine your business strategy. By better understanding customers’ requirements, you can make the necessary tweaks to your products, services, and sales tactics to meet trending demands. Terabytes of information also allow you to build fairly accurate customer profiles and offer a customized experience. By assuming which products individual consumers might be interested in or which product combos they are likely to get, eCommerce stores can make specialized offers to increase engagement and elevate conversion rate.
This is where AI jumps in. Artificial intelligence collects data on shopping trends and helps merchants decipher what consumers are really looking for.
Just note that there is stigma around the collection and use of personal data. Many consumers are unwilling to share their sensitive data, even if it is the only way to have a personalized shopping experience. In the future, we expect to see two consumer streams: those who will opt-in and those who will opt-out and settle for the not-as-customized service.
What can you do?
In terms of eCommerce development, big data analysis can aid in understanding how consumers respond to specific buttons, colors, emails, page designs, or when is their preferred shopping time.
In addition to gathering info that will help you in organizing the most intuitive and engaging web design, big data is also quite beneficial for selecting the right monetization strategy and perfecting the customer service.
This brings us to our next points...
Chatbots are doing all the talking
Chatbots are learning how to take a more humanized approach. They are becoming better and better at understanding customers’ demands, forming sentences, and conveying emotion to offer a more positive and attractive brand and shopping experience.
They already are and will become an even more important eCommerce tool and their performance will have the power to make or break your business.
What can you do?
Oftentimes chatbots interact with a shopper to a greater extent than a retail associate would, providing (near)instant feedback and solutions. This means that by integrating a chatbot service into your eCommerce platform, you are getting a virtual shopping assistant who will offer timely customer service. A chatbot’s professional, efficient, and without-a-delay approach will boost satisfaction, drive sales with targeted recommendations, and consequently - increase revenue and stimulate growth.
Payments are diversifying and becoming more secure
As the number of payment options on eCommerce websites increases, cart abandonment rates lower, as it is not unusual for shoppers to give up on a purchase just because their preferred payment option is unavailable.
For this reason, online retailers are expected to integrate as many payment options as possible to increase their conversion rates and improve customer satisfaction.
More importantly, online retailers are expected to keep their customers safe from cyber-attacks that cost eCommerce businesses about $3.36 for every $1 of fraud. Fortunately, big data resources and continually evolving ML algorithms join forces to analyze billions of transactions. Detecting any anomalies in transaction patterns, like IP jumping or unexpectedly high spending, helps in identifying potentially fraudulent transactions.
What can you do?
In addition to now-indispensable credit card payments, ensure your offering covers PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Facebook payments, Twitter Buy, and WhatsApp Pay, as they currently lead the way as some of the most widely used payment services. However, keep your eyes on the next big thing that enters the market, as with an increasing number of consumers interacting with their favorite brands on different social platforms, the next natural step involves the integration of social payments.
We know that consumers are heavily influenced by social media, which is why it is imperative to keep an eye on your brand’s social presence, but also to enable direct purchases from any of the platforms. It reduces the number of clicks and taps necessary to get to the checkout, hastening and streamlining the shopping process.
Opportunities are endless and it is up to a brand to capitalize on them by making its offer easily accessible and enriched with as many payment opportunities as possible and necessary.
Mobile shopping carts are filling
A mobile-optimized eCommerce site is a given in 2021. But it doesn’t end there. Users want a dedicated app that fulfills a unique purpose.
In just 5 years, the number of smartphone users doubled and reached more than 3.6 billion. At this rate, Statista estimates that this number will surpass 4.3 billion by 2023. Now, considering that more than 85% of mobile time is spent in apps, it is evident that people are so accustomed to mobile applications that they are a part of almost every aspect of their life. Communication, health, fitness, finance, shopping - there’s an app for literally everything.
But is there an app for your eCommerce shop?
What can you do?
Invest in eCommerce app development to create a mobile product that will serve as an extension of your site and meet the growing needs of new and long-time customers.
A mobile application will enhance the mobile user experience - just one tap of the icon will stand between you and your core customer base. An app will offer a direct route to your store and, if built properly, it will deliver a smooth and slick experience. It also provides multiple monetization options, through eCommerce sales, in-app advertising, purchases, etc.
Just remember that the choice between native, hybrid, or cross-platform app development can have a significant effect on the app’s and business’ overall success. To make an informed decision, a consultation with an experienced eCommerce development team should be the first step of the process.
Headless commerce leads the pack
In the end, make one final note that headless commerce is increasing in popularity as its architecture allows merchants to be flexible and build whatever they want.
Headless commerce refers to eCommerce platforms that don’t require a pre-designed storefront. As such, it doesn’t require constant updates. Furthermore, it provides greater control over the content you display on your website and control over the customer journey. Bottom line is - you waste less time maintaining the back-end and more time optimizing the customer experience.
Should you rush to implement these eCommerce development trends right away? No, as not all provide equal value to all businesses.
Keep track of the most recent industry reports and make use of available tools to assess your customers’ behavior. After getting direct and indirect feedback from the public, check out the competitors to see what works for them. With all this data at your disposal, you will get a step closer to understanding which of the eCommerce trends are likely to work in your favor.