In 2020, global online sales reached nearly $4.29 trillion. This suggests that the eCommerce market is not going anywhere and is growing.
But due to the saturation and physical retailers moving to online stores, it is important to understand the current trends and stay ahead of the competition.
Here are 7 trends and how you can adopt them –
Trend #1: Print on demand model
The print on demand (POD) model is one where you as a brand create designs and market your products while the print on demand service takes care of the orders, manufacturing, shipping, and delivery. This is a growing trend because the barrier to entry is low, and it makes economic sense for up-and-coming clothing brands.
It also takes care of the infrastructure costs it would take if you were to do this yourself. For instance, if you wanted to build a custom hoodie maker, the time and effort it would take would probably deter you from starting up.
Also, for established brands that want to offer merchandise to their loyal customers, the POD model allows them to easily have their logo printed on clothes and other accessories without having to worry about sourcing and quality control.
Trend #2: Dropshipping
Even before 2020 and the onset of the pandemic, the market was growing pretty steadily. Retail eCommerce sales surpassed 3.5 trillion US dollars worldwide in 2019. One of the reasons for this explosive growth is dropshipping. Brands, especially solopreneurs in the eCommerce space, are jumping on this trend due to the convenience of having all the logistics worked out.
It also solves the issue of global delivery. Using dropshipping, you can find local delivery partners so that you can serve customers worldwide.
Trend #3: Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality helps online shippers try out a product before they buy it. For instance, they can see what that piece of furniture looks like in their home or try on a jacket using AR filters and see different colors. You can check out Antycip to learn more about how it actually aids in businesses.
Integrating AR in your eCommerce store is not difficult, given the rise of no-code platforms. You basically create a QR Code that, when scanned, starts the AR experience on smartphones.
Trend #4: Chatbots
People want answers, and they want it fast. If you don’t get back to leads instantly, the chances of conversion become very poor. Having a chatbot is essential to answer queries, and it also acts as a salesperson 24/7 all year. Chatbots can also be built on no-code platforms and integrated with your eCommerce store. Apart from answering frequently asked questions, the chatbot can also help recommend products based on the customer’s interest and help with returns and refunds as well.
Trend #5: Mobile shopping
In 2021, 54% of eCommerce sales are expected to happen on mobile. Optimizing your website for mobile both for SEO and UI/UX is essential if you want to leverage this trend. To improve your mobile SEO, you can follow Google’s guidelines and tips or hire an SEO agency. For the UI/UX, you should either have your in-house developers create a mobile version or hire an agency to do that for you.
Trend #6: Video marketing
People can absorb and retain content in video form more than they can with text. Videos are essential to an online store and even more so now, given that Google’s algorithm has started featuring videos in the search results. You do not need to invest a ton in video marketing to get started. Since short-form content is very popular, a platform like TikTok might be the best way for your eCommerce brand to upload short 30 second videos and increase your brand awareness.
As you scale, you can make the decision to hire a video production company and shoot high-quality videos.
Trend #7: Sustainability
Given how global warming is affecting the earth, a lot of climate-conscious consumers have turned away from brands that are not sustainable. Using recycled packaging, sustainable resources, eco-friendly practices is expected of eCommerce brands. One of the ways you can ensure sustainability is to have local delivery partners so that you reduce the carbon footprint that is caused due to delivery.
But it is not enough for your brand to have sustainable practices; you also have to communicate it to your consumers. The packaging and social media is a good place to start, and it eventually could become a part of your brand’s storytelling.
To sum up
The trends in eCommerce are ever-changing given the evolving customer expectations. At the core of it, you should always try to create a customer-centric marketing strategy and offer the best possible customer experience right from the first interaction to post-purchase engagement. In a competitive market, customer support can help you stand out.