Trends come and go, but there are cases when you need to react fast and be sure to adapt to what is trending.
Ecommerce is an excellent example of when trends should not be taken lightly. If you are an aspiring business owner and want to establish your brand, it is necessary to make the most out of the trending innovations.
A similar thing can be said about businesses that have already established themselves. They should not feel too easy and act surprised when a competitor overtakes them because of the reluctance to implement new, trending technology.
Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent ecommerce trends that are making an impact right now and will most likely continue to do so in the future. 2023 and beyond promises to be another exciting period for ecommerce.
Freedom to customize
Modern consumers are evolving in the sense that they build certain expectations over time. What worked before might not work now. For instance, not everyone will bother to shop on an online store that does not have detailed product descriptions or even video tutorials.
Simple product pages might have worked before, but that is no longer the case.
Advanced customization is an example of a trend that should be present in an online store if it makes sense to offer such a feature.
Giving shoppers the freedom to choose what they want to add to their products is a big plus. Imagine someone looking for fanny packs with interesting design or custom-made face masks.
A store might offer a decent selection of such products, but it would be even better to let customers customize the products themselves. Implementing a mockup generator on the site would allow shoppers to quickly check how a product would look in different colors and fonts.
Note that if someone is looking to create personal merchandise, they will look for a business that offers such a service directly in their store. Combining the feature with collections already available is a great way to improve your results as an online store.
Implementation of Artificial Intelligence
AI is another example of a trend that is making its mark in various industries. Ecommerce is no exception, though the uses might be a bit limited at the moment.
Data processing and chatbots are two of the standout features that benefit from artificial intelligence.
Chatbots are there to replace real people in customer support. Businesses look to cut expenses and work more efficiently.
A smart technology that offers instant responses, 24/7 availability, and the option to learn and improve is a sound investment. The trend is clear that more and more online stores are implementing chatbots.
From understanding customer behavior to figuring out what the competition is up to, there is a lot of data to process for a business that is trying to maximize its efforts and gain an advantage.
The problem with vast amounts of data is that you cannot really process it manually. At least not without the necessary manpower.
Artificial intelligence does an excellent job doing the job for you. And because of constant improvements in precision and forecasting the results, there is a lot of value to be gained from implementing this for your business.
The issue with virtual reality is that it is still a relatively new concept. Not to mention that VR is expensive as it is not really something you can find in most households. It is the minority of consumers that have virtual reality goggles at home.
Having said that, the expectations for virtual reality are quite high. Amazon was one of the first world-renowned brands to implement virtual reality shopping in their store.
Of course, it is not just about putting on VR goggles. Amazon also offers opportunities to visit remote locations virtually for a price. While it might not seem like an example of VR shopping, it should still be treated as one.
Coming back to a more traditional approach, one of the best things about virtual reality shopping is that it eliminates arguably the biggest disadvantage of online shopping.
You cannot try the goods in person, which leaves room for error. Sure, you could argue that there is the option to get a refund after returning a purchase, but it is such a hassle to deal with these things.
While not solving the problem for everyone, virtual reality still offers you an opportunity to visit the store in a virtual environment. You can try clothes, furniture, and other products as if you were in an actual store in person.
Unfortunately, implementations of virtual reality require a lot of investment. We can hope that access to this technology will become cheaper in the future so that most, if not all, online stores and consumers can benefit from it.
But for now, it is clear that this specific trend is bound to grow and attract more interest as years pass by.
Thanks to the rise of Alexa and other digital assistants, it has become quite clear that people want to live an easier life.
Digital voice-controlled assistants are an example of a smart home setup. Similar to how online shopping is changing our lives, smart home appliances are changing that as well.
Voice search is gaining momentum in online shopping as well. Stores are looking to optimize their websites so that one can give a voice command to a mobile device’s microphone or a computer microphone.
If this trend takes off (and it is looking that way), online shopping will become even more convenient and accessible.
It is also worth noting that this specific technology is great for people with disabilities. If someone has to rely on their voice to carry out various tasks, the option to do some shopping online in this way should prove quite useful.
It would not be a stretch to suggest that environmental problems, including sustainability, are on the minds of many people these days.
As expected, brands are trying to appeal to this demographic and show that they care about the planet’s well-being. The tricky part is figuring out how you can introduce sustainability without making your profits worse.
For instance, the idea of delivering orders via friendly means sounds great on paper, but can you realistically find such an option? After all, most delivery companies are still operating the same because finding an environmentally-friendly option to deliver so many orders is still tricky.
Another example could be recyclable packaging. This one is a bit easier to implement and should arguably be one of the first things to do.
Similarly, if there are opportunities to introduce company-wide policies that encourage sustainability, consider it as one of the priorities as well. Something as little as educating employees on how they can make a difference might not seem like a big deal, but it makes a difference.
The last thing to note about this trend is that if a business is looking to go green, it should genuinely seek to do that. Faking it is bound to backfire.
There are plenty of stories about well-established brands that were pretending to care only to be exposed to shady stuff and hurting the environment.
Flexible payment options
Flexible payment options might not seem like that big of a deal, but you would be surprised to learn how many people would prefer to pay using something other than their credit card.
Ranging from various services like PayPal and Payoneer to direct bank transfers, an online store should provide as many options as it can. Otherwise, it stands to lose shoppers who will visit the store and not find their preferred payment method.
Cryptocurrency is also an interesting suggestion, but considering how it is doing these days, it might be better to stay away from it and stick to more traditional payment options.
Also, since payment is usually the final action of the checkout process, you want to have a simple checkout process that is not riddled with redundant steps and complicated fields that shoppers have to fill in by putting in information.
The role of influencers
The last trend to talk about is influencer marketing. Not surprisingly, the role of social media in our lives is quite prominent. Add sites like Twitch TV and YouTube, and it is no surprise to see why influencers are thriving so much these days.
If a brand, including online stores, wishes to increase its sales, raise awareness, and benefit from other things that influencers offer, it should not hesitate and establish a proper influencer marketing strategy.
These days, modern consumers are more likely to trust the word of a personality they follow on social media, and it is unlikely that such a trend will change in the future. Perhaps if something replaces social media, but that is also highly unlikely.
All in all, there are quite a few interesting ecommerce trends that shape how brands approach doing their businesses.
Some trends are temporary, whereas others are bound to establish themselves and be one of the determining factors between a successful business and a struggling business.