The eCommerce market has grown and evolved significantly over the last couple of years. The main reason online retail has become increasingly popular is that consumers these days find online shopping more convenient and reliable.
You can browse and purchase anything from groceries to hardware with the click of a button. In addition, with a bit of quick research on the Internet, consumers can compare prices and find the best deals in just a few moments.
That’s why eCommerce has grown to become one of the largest consumer-based markets in the world. However, this particular market is famous for being quite a dynamic environment. New technologies and market trends, as well as consumer behavior, tend to reshape the eCommerce industry and force businesses to adapt quite often.
Those stores that are quick to adjust will continue to thrive, while others may soon lose their relevance and competitiveness. With that in mind, here are a few eCommerce trends that are determining the future of online retail.
The rise of mobile
It’s been some time since mobile traffic has surpassed that of the desktop. The rise in polarity and usage of mobile devices is impacting online retail as we know it. So much, in fact, that there’s a growing mobile commerce market in the eCommerce industry. What that means is that eCommerce businesses will have to adjust to mobile if they haven’t already done so by now. Consumers who cannot properly access your eCommerce website via their mobile device will immediately leave for good.
The fact of the matter is that already 56% of consumers are using their mobile devices to browse products online. That said, mobile commerce will make up for 45% of global eCommerce revenue by 2020. Stores that aren’t mobile-friendly and that lack a proper responsive design will soon lose relevance and their competitive edge to stores that are catering to their mobile consumers’ needs.
The growth of new product categories
The eCommerce trade is becoming omnipresent in the online world. More and more companies, as well as individual consumers, are opting for this type of exchange. As this trend is gaining momentum, more product categories are bound to grow within the eCommerce industry.
A good example of this is the fact that large companies that deal in natural resource exploitation are starting to trade in inventory, such as oilfield equipment and other goods, by leveraging the eCommerce trade.
These types of products are entirely new to the eCommerce trade that had up until recently focused mostly on everyday consumer items. That being said, new supply chains and logistics strategies are also being developed around these new product categories, in order to fully leverage both the potential and the benefits of eCommerce trade.
One of the trends that are taking the entire eCommerce industry by storm is customer experience. Consumers are no longer just concerned about product quality. In fact, they’re now focused more than ever on the experience eCommerce stores can provide them with.
What’s more, the more personalized that experience is, the better. The fact of the matter is that consumer expectations, needs and demands continue to grow. Today, experience doesn’t just encompass the interactions between consumers and online retail. It also encompasses factors such as website functionality including speed, security, responsiveness and many other elements.
In addition, customer service and support are also vital aspects of customer experience. Last but not least, a company’s transparency and reputation are also considered by consumers before they decide to do business with a retailer.
Therefore, it’s no longer enough for eCommerce stores to provide consumers with top-quality products. They must also focus on the entire cycle of customer experience from the moment they engage customers for the first time until even after the purchases have been made and onward.
As mentioned before, consumer expectations continue to grow and online retailers must keep up if they wish to remain relevant. One of these consumer expectations that is growing into an impactful trend is the necessity for multiple channels where consumers can interact with online retailers.
In other words, eCommerce businesses will have to focus more on omnichannel interactions with consumers as this trend is starting to revolutionize the entire industry. An omnichannel approach encompasses an integrated experience where consumers can leverage various platforms and methods to conduct their shopping. This may include shopping from different devices, such as mobile, desktop and tablets.
It can also include various touch points, such as online stores, social media and even brick-and-mortar locations. Needless to say, the omnichannel efforts by online retailers will have to include customer engagement on every step of their buyers’ journey, ranging from personalized promotions to continuous customer service and support.
The eCommerce landscape is a dynamic environment that continues to evolve and grow further. Online retailers that wish to succeed or remain at the top of their game will have to keep a close eye on market trends, especially the ones with the potential to reshape the future of the entire industry.