E-commerce is projected to reach $4.8 trillion in retail ecommerce sales worldwide by 2021. Companies that follow the e-commerce marketing trends are able to formulate strategies that help them grow at a rapid pace. In 2017, there were over 1.66 billion online consumers. By 2021, this number is projected to surge to 2.14 billion. Here are some of the e-commerce marketing trends that you need to know:
- Customer Engagement and Personalization
Ecommerce stores lack the face-to-face personal interaction that traditional retail shopping has. Online stores do not have retail clerks who can accommodate customers and recommend products based on tastes, interests and preferences. In order to copy the experience, ecommerce companies use personalization opportunities in the whole shopping journey. A lot like how online course providers are replacing the need for person-to-person teaching, ecommerce is substituting the need for in-store experiences in retail. Using personal online data like page visits, search queries and the history of purchases, brands change their online stores in order to serve the needs and interests of customers.
- Programmatic and Contextual Advertising
Context and programmatic ads are going to see a rise in the coming years. Social media sites are already making innovations to the design so that they can cater the trends. Programmatic advertising uses datasets in order to decide which audience they are going to be targeting. These ads will be shown to the audience selected on consumption basis. They will then be retargeted after some time in order to get more ROI. Put simply, it is about attracting the correct audience with the right ad at the right time. Compared to fundamental retargeting efforts, ecommerce store owners will have a better chance of connecting to a larger audience through programmatic and contextual advertising.
- Social Media and Messenger Apps as Key Sales Channels
AI driven chatbots that allow brands to interact with their customers in a very cost-effective way are getting more and more popular as shopping channels. It is somehow possible for customers to open their favorite messenger app and then make either first-time or repeat purchases using only a few clicks. Other features like Instagram shopping let customers buy from retailers directly without leaving the social media app that they use. One has to admit that even if traditional online stores are still the most important e-commerce channel, the convenience provided by secondary channels have really made them very popular.
- AI, Assistants, Chatbots
By 2019, robots will have invaded e-commerce stores. Robots like chatbots and AI or artificial intelligence created to improve the overall shopping experience of customers are going to be at the forefront. AI assistants can take care of multiple tasks usually assigned to humans like handling inquiries and managing inventory. The digital assistants carry out many processes, which frees up time so that you can focus on other aspects of running your business. Chatbots, for example, can address a certain number of customer needs such as answering questions regarding a product or discussing complaints. Chatbots and AI learn from conversations of customers and even evolve to assist the user in his/her personalized experience better.
- Enhanced Options for Shipping
Logistics and shipping is one department that has seen little growth during the past years. Although, there are slight improvements, nothing extraordinary happened in shipping and logistics until 2013 with the popularity of same day delivery. Amazon started testing drone deliveries in the US. Using the aid of Google Maps integration, the drones are able to discover the optimal route to a certain destination. The trend is going to grow with the improvement of technology. Whether you believe it or not, delivery drones are going to become a viable component of business.
- Augmented reality
According to Piers Thorogood, co-founder as well as lead designer of a successful design-focused ecommerce agency, augmented reality will surge in popularity this year. With the use of tools such as Shopify AR by 3D Warehouse along with a growing population of 3D experts, it has become very easy to combine AR into ecommerce stores. This would mean a much richer buying experience for customers where they are allowed to test their homeware products inside their homes and try accessories and clothes. This would mean higher conversion rates or merchants with lower returns.