E-commerce is always evolving. More recently, it was COVID-19 that pushed online selling and buying to unprecedented levels as the general population had to stay at home for indefinite periods of time—making purchases for essential goods and transacting online became the norm, if not the only viable option at that time.
For any online store or business that relies on sales via the internet, it is a challenge to keep up with the times. We’ve rounded up the top trends in e-commerce that you should look out for to remain competitive and profitable in the many years to come.
Shop ideas to grow your online shop here.
1. Data-Driven Decisions
Getting to know your customers to know what they want is traditionally accomplished by asking them to sign forms, answer surveys online, or via phone. Nowadays, collecting data about customers online is almost effortless or at least doesn’t require manual effort.
Tools and tags that track how they interact with your website (like what they bought last time) are available. AI, machine learning, and related technologies, such as those built into the software, use data to analyze, find patterns and trends, and so on. These are all useful in making decisions and strategies beneficial to your customers and business, such as:
- Personalizing the experience of shopping in your online store
- optimizing pricing
- Improving product listings
- Offering product matching, product discovery, and recommendations
- Tracking inventory and predicting future demand
- Setting up effective marketing and sales campaigns
This role of big data warrants a robust customer data management system. Use only tools that can collect accurate and reliable data or set them up to gather only the information you need. Best of all, you can keep your customer data secure and obtain the necessary consent for collecting or processing certain information.
2. Enriched Mobile Experiences
The term smartphone commerce proves the strong presence of mobile phones as a means to shop online. Mobile retail e-commerce spending in the US reached $387 billion in 2022, according to Statista.
You certainly can’t miss out on the traffic coming from mobile devices or the diversity of mobile buyers, which likely includes your target customers. Add to that the popularity of in-app shopping, with one shopping app alone getting 35 million downloads in the US in 2022, according to another Statista report.
These all point to catering to mobile users and ensuring they’ll only have positive experiences browsing and buying at your e-commerce store. Here are some tips:
- Make your site mobile-friendly.
- Consider creating a mobile app.
- Design your website to be free of distracting elements or less obtrusive like pop–up windows.
- Get your site, especially images, to load faster.
- Use high-quality product photos that are zoomable without losing their quality.
- Consider AR or live shopping for engaging shoppers.
3. Better and More Effective Ads
Improved website or app experiences for users whom you want to build long-term relationships with extend to spaces on the internet where they’ll see your business, products, or services.
Ads like PPC will remain relevant because of their low barrier to entry, potential return on investment, and measurable results you can stack up against industry benchmarks.
For ads to be really effective in promoting your brand and delivering your message, think of what your customers want to see and go back to what these ads great:
- Make ads that are not distracting and annoying, clear, informative, compelling, and clickable. Check policies and standards as set by Google for Google Ads and other online advertising platforms for advertisers.
- Place your ads in areas where potential customers will see them: search engines, websites, social media networks, apps, etc.
- Define your ads by the messaging, tone, and visuals best representing your brand.
- Study the ins and outs of PPC platforms, together with customer data and current trends, to set up campaigns that maximize your ad spend. Work with Google Ads agency that see data as an integral part of the process of producing results with respect to PPC.
4. Verified or Verifiable Reviews
Users consume reviews like guides in making purchase decisions by picking up the good and bad of things. This survey says 99.75% of shoppers consult reviews when they shop online. With reviews, shoppers get first-hand information from those who actually bought, saw, and used the product.
It’s also through reviews that people confirm the legitimacy of the online platform and the products they sell, as well as their experiences ordering and contacting customer support. Take for example this review of Temu, an online marketplace known for its low prices.
Because reviews build trust and credibility for your business, it’s all the more important to have authentic reviews on your website as a permanent feature. Encourage customers to leave reviews by asking them nicely via email and making it easy for them to add their reviews.
How Have Others Made It So Far?
For your final tip, study how the big players have done it. The longevity and growth of Amazon and Ebay, both launched in the 1990s, are worth looking into. From their humble beginnings to the present time, they managed to stay afloat during hard times and succeeded through countless trends and competitors.
The intent is not to follow just any trends but to apply what you deem suitable and practicable and modify those in light of your business’s realities. What works for one business may not work for another as resources and markets vary, so it’s imperative to do your due diligence, check what your direct competitors are doing, and be realistic about growth.
Leverage data and technologies to provide personalized services to online shoppers and improve your site’s efficiency. Cater to mobile users as well because they are a force in the e-commerce world. Promote your business through online ads, monitoring and evaluating them for maximum performance. Get your customers to submit reviews to gain valuable feedback and help other customers make informed decisions.