It’s no secret that eCommerce has forever changed the way we shop. In 2020 we saw a meteoric rise in eCommerce sales due to restrictions of COVID that forced the avid consumer to shop via the already thriving eCommerce industry rather than in-store.
Now in 2021, the eCommerce industry is more competitive than ever.
As a result, brands are now looking to continue the momentum they saw in 2020 by monitoring the latest industry trends or seeking advice from an eCommerce advertising agency to gain traction, drive more traffic and ultimately increase sales. With that said, here are some of the latest emerging trends to keep an eye on.
Alexa & Google: The Personal Shoppers
By now, most are familiar with smart home assistants, the devices that can do anything from turning the living room lights off to playing the radio in the kitchen. As a result, more and more people have slowly become reliant on their home assistants for handling most aspects of their everyday lives, including shopping habits.
A recent study showed that 20% of homes with a smart speaker use their speaker for shopping-related activities, from reordering their favorites, where they can find the cheapest deals, checking delivery times, and general reminders to purchase.
As an online store, you want to ensure that you optimize keywords and content for voice search activity to stay ahead of the competition. This includes long-tail keywords and considering the phrases users might speak when searching for products or services.
The Power of Personalisation
If you want to advance customer relationships with your brand, creating a personalised customer experience has been proven to retain customers and help build a strong relationship.
With more than 50% of shoppers saying that a personalised online experience is essential (Bazaarvoice, 2018), you can’t ignore the role personalisation plays in advancing the customer experience.
Ensuring your recommendations are suitable, relevant discount codes, personalised email and engaging with customers via video content are all tactics you can implement to help further the connection between your brand and your target customers.
Today’s consumers deeply care about purchasing from a brand that cares about sustainability as much as they do.
Whether that’s vegan and cruelty-free skincare, free-range meat products, or even eco-friendly packaging, millennials are holding brands to a higher standard when it comes to taking responsibility for your carbon footprint – and rightly so.
So to engage with the rising eco-conscious customer, ensure your brand considers its impact on the environment. Promote your green business practices through your website and socials to show that you meet their expectations of what an eCommerce site should be doing in 2021 to help protect the environment.
The COVID lockdown affected many small independent businesses, with many suffering unrecoverable blows and having to shut down completely. Because of this, the modern consumer feels an urge to purchase from independent brands and show their support on their social platforms.
Customers’ assumption of shopping small or independent is that this actively supports entrepreneurship, and they will be purchasing a unique product. As a result, they expect to receive top-notch customer service as they buy directly from the business owners.
This trend is not dying anytime soon, with 37% of consumers who shop with independent businesses say they are doing it more now than they were pre-COVID-19.
The AR Experience
As computer technology progresses, so does the online shopping experience. One of the biggest concerns customers face with online shopping is not knowing the product first hand to comprehend its size and how it looks in person. With Augmented Reality technology, a brand can offer a glimpse of what the product looks like and create a much richer shopping experience for the online customer.
Some brands have already started implementing AR, allowing customers to have a personal shopping experience at home. So, if you are looking to stand out from your competitors, try implementing AR where possible to help engage with your customer truly.
There Is No Ignoring Social Media
We can’t ignore the role social media plays when it comes to eCommerce. With platforms such as Shopify, it’s now easier than ever for brands to link existing social media platforms so customers can buy directly from Facebook or Instagram.
Sites such as Instagram and Facebook allow brands to discover, reach and inspire their target audience as customers check their socials and scroll through their feeds.
With the introduction of Facebook shops and the recent addition of Instagram’s checkout feature, it’s important when assessing your social media plan that you optimize fully and use all features and potential avenues by which your customer can purchase your product or service.