The covid outbreak spurred online buying, making online shopping the new normal as people are comfortable buying anything and everything from the comfort of their homes.
No one would have imagined that such unpredictable circumstances will entice growth in the industry, luring many sellers into setting up their e-stores and grow their business online. Hence it won’t be wrong to say that eCommerce is in full swing worldwide.
Using the top 7 ecommerce trends in 2021 listed below, you can make the most of available opportunities.
1. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization or SEO is always evolving, and thus it pays to keep with 2021 SEO trends.
Great user experience is now paramount for SEO. Digital marketers will have to orchestrate a stellar user experience to rank higher on Google search.
“UX Signals” are key factors to Google search ranking. This is exemplified by “Core Web Vitals”, which measure key parameters that matter for a good user experience like page loading speed and the stability and interactivity of the page as it loads.
2. Mobile User Experience
It should be apparent that poor user experience will send all the wrong signals to Google, as mentioned above. However, you could suffer further setbacks due to poor user response, especially if they are phone users.
Good user experience for mobile users is imperative. Web traffic from phone users is increasing with each passing year. Currently, over half of all web traffic is from smartphone users.
If the brand mobile site is designed poorly, then over half of the users will leave.
Both mobile and desktop sites should be designed for easy navigation and fast access to desired products. If it takes too long for phone users to find what they need, then over a third will go to a rival website.
Although more than half of mobile users get easily frustrated with increased page loading times, close to two-thirds contact a business after finding it on search results, so providing a good UX to phone users can be more profitable. Conversely, falling short on phone UX can be highly detrimental.
User experience might seem like an added cost. But the truth is that for every dollar invested in UX, the return is $100. So there are lucrative returns and remarkable opportunities for orchestrating a good UX, especially for phone users.
3. Augmented Reality
Unlike virtual reality, the augmented reality of AR does not immerse us in a virtual environment. Instead, it adds graphics, videos and images to your world for a more vibrant and feature-rich reality. As a result, this is a promising facet for ecommerce.
Here is an example. Ikea has an Apple App that allows users to see what exactly what furniture will look like in their home by digitally installing it. Not only that, it shows furniture at the right size so that you can see precisely how much area it occupies in your chosen space.
AR will provide people with a more immersive, personalized and interactive shopping experience that will someday match the in-store experience.
4. Smarter Chatbots
There is a lot of talk about how artificial intelligence is changing everything. Chatbots are a prime application for machine intelligence. Intelligent customer service software can prove to be a game-changer for the all-important user experience.
Chatbots can do far more than just pointing out relevant products for customer needs. They are becoming increasingly smart and humanoid due to which they can handle delivery booking, personalized product recommendations, FAQs and more. Of course, the technology is not as immaculate as actual customer service reps. But the performance and intelligence are getting better each year.
AI-powered chatbots will save costs by replacing large numbers of human reps. They will also improve the user experience by providing fast answers. Customers will no longer need to wait in a queue to have their queries answered. All this will improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
5. Voice Search and Ordering
Voice search is growing fast with the advent of smart voice-enabled assistants like Alexa and Siri. Because of the growing popularity of voice search, ecommerce brands are building features that will empower customers to make voice-based product orders.
Using Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant, you can issue voice commands to reorder products, find hot new deals, get recommendations based on your search/shopping history, add items to the cart, track orders and even cancel orders.
Voice technology will become even more comprehensive and thus put a wider scope of commands at your disposal for better online shopping.
5. Social Proof
Social proof will continue to play a growing role in driving ecommerce sales. The number of likes, followers, positive reviews and user recommendations is essential for fostering trust and nurturing confidence.
Hence, brands will have to work on consolidating their social media presence to capitalize on social proof.
This has given rise to social commerce, where brands are now selling directly on their social media platforms.
One Shopify survey indicated that netizens using online shopping as their primary buying mode doubled in size since the start of covid.
From this, it is clear that social proof will assume much greater importance.
A personalized shopping experience means greater sales and revenue for brands. By showing customers product recommendations based on their buying and browsing history, brands can offer and thus sell more relevant products to their patrons. This will also benefit customers since they will be able to find products that suit their needs better. Smart, personalized shopping is a win for both brands and buyers.
Savvy brands can further personalize shopping according to gender, age group and geographic location by leveraging aggregate user data.
7. Age Group Targeting on Social Media
Millennials and Gen Z buy two to three times more goods on Snapchat and Instagram than other age groups. Gen X prefers Facebook shopping. Based on this information, brands can target the right age groups on the right social channels.
By capitalizing on the seven ecommerce trends shown above, brands can drive more sales and expand their customer base. Instead of seeing declining sales as the outbreak drags on, they can boost profits by basing their digital marketing plan on these trends.