eCommerce sales are stronger than ever before. Compared to 2019, online shopping grew by 40% to a staggering $839 billion USD in 2020. eCommerce brands worldwide have experienced huge sales growth.
But that’s no reason for eCommerce businesses to sit back and relax. It’s important to prepare for the future, too – and to be ready for the trends that may define eCommerce for the next decade.
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Social Media Shopping With Integrated Checkouts
Social media is a great way to reach potential customers – but often, users of social media don’t want to exit their app to click on an ad that will take them to a different website where they order a specific product.
That’s why we think that, in the future, more social media companies will invest in integrated checkout features – customers can simply click on an ad to purchase an item, check out right away, and get back to browsing their feed. This enhanced digital experience could lead to much higher CTRs (click-through-rates) on social ads.
Enhanced Support For Shopping Through Voice Search
Voice assistants like Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s Siri are becoming more widely used as smartphones become faster and more advanced, and “smart home” speakers become more common in homes throughout Australia and the rest of the world.
While voice search is not a huge market, it’s still trending upward – and eCommerce stores need to be aware of this, and should follow best practices to optimize their content for voice search shopping.
A Continued Shift Toward Shopping On Mobile Devices
The majority of traffic on the internet comes from mobile devices – and more people than ever are shopping on mobile. Even just a decade ago, mobile shopping was only a tiny fraction of the eCommerce ecosystem. But in 2020 alone, sales on mobile devices grew by more than 25% to $3.56 trillion USD. In comparison, mobile sales made up just $0.97 trillion USD in 2016. That’s a huge jump.
As phones have gotten faster, more reliable, and easier-to-use, more people are willing to shop using their mobile devices – and this shift shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Integration Of Brick-And-Mortar Stores Into Online Ecosystems
Large brick-and-mortar stores are already focusing on “omnichannel” systems that allow them to sell items both in-person and online – and this trend will continue in the future as the lines between eCommerce and traditional retail continue to blur.
There are other ways brick-and-mortar stores may be integrated into online ecosystems, too. In America, for example, the department store Kohl’s began accepting returns for Amazon.com at all of its 1,000+ stores in 2019.
This is a mutually-beneficial relationship. Amazon shoppers enjoy a fast, convenient returns process – and Kohl’s gets much more foot traffic, which could lead to higher sales.
Data Analytics With Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning For Better Decision Making
Today’s AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning) tools already allow eCommerce companies to track, analyze, and understand data in real-time, leading to valuable business insights.
Now and in the future, this will lead to better decision-making for eCommerce websites. Data about customer experiences can be interpreted to streamline websites, choose products that customers will be interested in, and so much more.
An Emphasis On Personalized eCommerce Customer Experiences
This is related to point #5. eCommerce companies already have access to a lot of data about customers, including age, location, interests, income, and lots of other metrics – and that trend will only continue in the future.
This can be very useful for eCommerce marketing. If customers choose to share more data with an eCommerce store, this information can be used to create a more personalized, customized shopping experience for online shoppers.
For instance, eCommerce stores may be able to automatically recommend products based on a user’s past purchases, provide custom pricing or unique coupons for specific individuals, and more – personalizing and customizing the eCommerce experience further.
Interactive Shopping Experiences With Virtual Reality (VR) And Augmented Reality (AR)
When it comes to eCommerce, digital experiences have not changed a lot in the past 10 – or even 20 – years. Today, eCommerce retail stores are sleeker, faster, and offer a better user experience than ever before.
But customers are still presented with the same basic information – pictures of products, product details, customer reviews, technical specifications, and so on.
But Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) may change this, and offer a truly new way to interact with products. These tools are still in their infancy – but in the future, VR and AR platforms may allow users to get 3D views of products in their home, and even feel the texture of a particular product through specialized tactile interfaces.
This technology is a long way off – but if it ever reaches widespread adoption, VR and AR could dramatically change digital experiences at online stores.
We Can’t Predict The Future – But These Are Our Best Guesses!
Nobody can ever predict the future – let alone in an industry like eCommerce – but at Australian Internet Advertising, these are our best predictions about how the industry may change in the next decade and beyond.
But don’t just prepare for the future. If you’re an eCommerce entrepreneur, you need to be making the most of your website now. And with our web development services, and expertise in eCommerce, Australian Internet Advertising is here to help. Contact us now to get started.