Experts predict that global eCommerce sales will hit an astonishing $3.46 trillion in revenue by the end of 2020. As retailers from around the world strive to keep up with millions of consumer demands, it’s important to learn which trends of this year will be the most valuable to apply to your own business. Instead of trying to stay on top of all the latest cutting-edge technologies, start with these top 5 practices to hit all your business goals this year.
If you’ve ever tried to call a company to ask about their products, you’ve probably dealt with the frustrating experience of waiting on hold for several minutes just to talk to a human being. Today, online shoppers don’t need to wait for answers thanks to chatbots. Powered by AI, chatbots are available 24/7, and they can provide personalized recommendations to each customer that browses your store.
Studies show that over 60% of customers actually prefer utilizing a chatbot feature instead of chatting with a live salesperson in most cases. This is a win-win for both consumers and retailers; customers will get a speedy response, and business leaders won’t have to worry about the minutiae of individual questions. In fact, this trend is so popular that it’s expected to be utilized in 80% of eCommerce businesses by the end of the year.
Voice Search Optimization
Voice assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, and Google’s Assistant, are causing a big stir for merchants around the globe. Statista explains that smart speaker users will include over 76 million users by 2020, which means that retailers must plan their SEO strategies accordingly. For example, people tend to speak in full sentences when they use a voice search function instead of typing in a few keywords. To make sure that potential customers using any device can access your information, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Write content using natural language and provide direct answers to common questions.
- Using schema markup and rich snippets can help search engines properly sort your content and keep it in context.
- Prioritize your local SEO by updating your Google My Business Listing and frequently updating your social media pages.
- Optimize your content by getting rid of outdated information, duplicate pages, or other potentially misleading pages.
AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence will continue to be a strong trend for the foreseeable future. AI provides numerous benefits for customers, merchants, and marketers effortlessly. Customers can get personalized recommendations based on their history, merchants can use AI to automate different processes of their business, and marketers can use the data insights to create powerful ad campaigns. Furthermore, machine learning capabilities allow the technologies to gather nuanced information with every customer interaction. As AI advances and “learns” more about human behaviors, websites will become more personalized than ever before!
Trying to make a simple design change to your website can quickly become a tiresome task if you have to enlist the help of a developer to deal with the backend aspect of the site. With decoupled or “headless” websites, the front end and back ends of the sites are separated from each other, allowing each to be altered independently. This gives retailers complete control over the front end of their site, allowing them to quickly make changes without needing to worry about coding. Similarly, backend developers can work on aspects without having affecting the frontend of the store.
Mobile optimization is still a crucial aspect that modern retailers need to address. Millions of people expect websites to work on their mobile devices just as they would on a laptop or other device. If you haven’t upgraded to a responsive web design yet, this is definitely the year to do so! You could miss out on countless sales by forgoing this important trend.
Consumers also expect to have a variety of payment options, a speedy checkout process, and an easy-to-navigate mobile site.
With growing concerns about the environment, modern shoppers seek brands that share the same values as them. Reducing packaging, using sustainable materials, and using recycled materials are just a few ways to incorporate green practices into your products and marketing efforts. Other environmentally-conscious companies have:
- Taken initiatives to offset their carbon footprints, such as supporting clean energy programs and sponsoring education programs.
- Cut down on the amount of packaging used during shipments.
- Helped customers recycle items they no longer use.
For more information about the latest eCommerce trends, check out our other posts here!