By 2020, the total revenue that is generated through eCommerce is expected to exceed $4.5 trillion dollars. Each year old eCommerce trends recede and new trends pop up, these trends play a large role in influencing business growth and success. Keeping up with eCommerce trends helps your business provide the best possible user experience and gives you an edge on your competitors.
The following trends will keep you busy as we progress into 2020. Users now want a site that is quicker, smoother to navigate and more interactive. The key is to begin preparation early: the earlier you implement a trend, the more benefit you gain from it. The first ones to implement a trend gain an edge, the last ones are only catching up. Informing yourself early will also let you see which trends you’d like to implement. Not every trend will be worth the effort for your business, some will better align with your goals, others will be valuable to everyone.
1. Voice Search
Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google voice assistant are extremely useful pieces of technology that are now a lot faster and more accurate than they were in the past. Not only is voice search important to users with a disability, but it’s more convenient than typing for nearly all users. Voice search makes navigation super fast, and faster navigation is a better user experience.
Why else is voice search important for SEO? Because it will change what we think of keywords. If people are using voice search to search engines, they’re unlikely to use keywords that we sometimes unnaturally force into content; keywords will change to align with how the majority of users speak. You’re going to see more naturally-phrased queries like “where is the nearest cafe?” rather than “cafe near me” and the canny SEO marketer should start adjusting their keywords accordingly.
2. Mobile Optimization: M-Commerce
The dominance of mobile continues to increase. A larger chunk of overall eCommerce sales are being taken by mobile sales each year. It’s essential your site is mobile responsive! A mobile friendly store means that website navigation will be simple, and loading time will be just as fast as the desktop version of your site.
Chat bot integration into m-commerce will help users make purchases easier and reduce cart abandonment and bounce rates. Machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) now present in AI chatbots has enabled these bots to understand both complex and grammatically incorrect queries.
Mobile image recognition is another trend to be aware of, but you don’t have to implement it just yet. Image recognition refers to software that is able to identify places, people, products, objects, or actions in images. Upon recognition, relevant content will appear that should save the user from undertaking a lengthy search. For example, if a user sees a product that they like on a blog, they can quickly use image recognition to identify what it’s called and then the following websites they could purchase it on.
3. User Interaction and Video Descriptions
Making your website more interactive should help your customers get a better idea of what your products or services are. Top retailers feature videos showing the product or service in use. For example, top fashion retailers now feature videos of models wearing the clothes being sold. Why? It gives the user a better idea of what a piece would like when worn, what the appropriate size for them is and gain a wider perspective of angles than any product image could give.
Video descriptions are more valuable, providing users with more information than what text or static images can. If your content isn’t as valuable as your competitors, you won’t be as trustworthy as your competitors and therefore will be left behind.
What can you do? Embed videos on landing pages, product pages and even sales emails. Make sure you’re creating effective eCommerce videos appropriate to your products, and you’ll see a boost in clickthrough and conversions going forward.
4. Programmatic Audio
In recent years, the opportunities for programmatic audio has grown tenfold. Music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music are the major names, but podcasts and digital radio have also provided ample opportunities. The variety we see now in podcasts also means that businesses are better able to advertise to a niche audience.
Audio ads work because users are more likely to be actively engaged in the podcast or music they’re listening to. Brands are more likely to get some time where a user is listening to their ad and therefore are more likely to get engagement.
The length of your ad is a key consideration. Because users are invested in the audio they’re listening to, they’re more likely to get annoyed by ad interruptions. In the past, best practice for audio ads was around 10-30 seconds. In 2020, it’s recommended to keep your ads even shorter, say 5-15 seconds.
5. Cohesiveness Between Multiple ECommerce Platforms
This is for those who have multiple eCommerce stores across multiple platforms: Shopify, Magento, WordPress etc. With expansion comes more responsibility to keep your brand cohesive. Doing so makes you more recognizable and helps you to gain more loyal customers.
Achieve cohesiveness by ensuring consistency with the colors, typefaces and fonts you use. Of course, include your logo on every ad, original item of yours or event you take part in (logos on images etc).
Across all content that you create, the voice you use should also be kept consistent. If you’re casual on one platform and serious on another, you’ll confuse your customers and leave them wondering what your brand identity actually is. People like to shop with brands that align with their own identity, therefore having multiple will likely lose you customers.
Keeping your brand cohesive across multiple platforms is a constant job. Especially if using heavier platforms like Magento that need constant maintenance. If you’re using a lighter platform like Shopify, you may need to customize your site to make it cohesive with other more flexible platforms. Either way, it’s a job that’s too time consuming for a business owner alone. To achieve cohesiveness, you may want to look into hiring professional eCommerce developers.