An e-commerce business will not last if you fail to adapt to trends. The competition will simply overtake you because of innovative technologies and other perks that get customers’ attention.
It is no surprise to see innovations in the ecommerce industry. The industry has grown a lot in the last few years, and Statista, as well as other reliable outlets, projects that this growth will continue in the future. And that was before the Covid-19 when more people had to do their shopping online.
A competitive environment calls for action, and it is no secret that the competition in ecommerce is fierce. Here are some of the trends that have been recognized by big brands already and some that will leave their mark in the upcoming future.
Trend #1 – Custom-Made Merchandise
Custom-made merchandise is not just another source of income. The variety of business promotion methods gives you opportunities to attract a wider audience and turn them into customers. For example, you could create custom clothing lines that have a clear political or environmental message and give them out a demonstration. People will gladly accept t-shirts, hoodies, caps, or face masks.
You can also build customer loyalty by including custom-made knick-knacks as complimentary gifts in the orders. Stickers, key chains, phone cases, and calendars are just a few examples.
Trend #2 – Eco-Friendly Policies
Environmental problems are a popular topic nowadays. Our planet is suffering, and businesses that fail to introduce pro-environment policies are likely to receive a backlash from some of their clients.
You may be limited in potential changes, but if there is room to go eco-friendly, take such an opportunity. Perhaps you can offer reusable packaging or healthier products? And if nothing else, why not start supporting charities or campaigns that fight for our planet?
In addition to retaining your regulars, you may also attract a new clientele looking to support a pro-environment business.
Trend #3 – Voice Commerce
It was only a matter of time before more brands started to implement voice commerce. Shoppers find using their voices more convenient. The popularity of home assistants like Alexa is another proof of that.
Optimizing your online store for voice shopping would also attract people with disabilities. Those who have problems with motor skills but can use their voice to shop could become loyal customers.
Trend #4 – Virtual Reality
Virtual reality for ecommerce still has ways to go, but some of the biggest players, such as Alibaba, have started to offer VR to their customers, and the results were unsurprisingly positive.
One of the biggest downsides of shopping online is that you cannot try the product in person. However, putting on virtual reality goggles and entering the store as if you were there gives an entirely different sensation and makes it much easier to decide whether you want to purchase a product or not.
Trend #5 – Chatbots
It seems like chatbots will replace real people in customer support eventually. Machine learning and artificial intelligence developments have made it clear that chatbots can respond to shopper questions, and they respond immediately. Not to mention 24/7 availability.
Investing in chatbot technology will free up money you need to spend on the customer support employees. Reinvesting that money in marketing sounds like a good option, right?
Trend #6 – Advanced Customization
Despite its advantages, advanced customization remains to be a feature that not all online stores are willing to implement. Customers prefer to have more options when they are picking products.
Take clothes, for example. A t-shirt should not be limited to just ten or so colors. Instead, the buyer should have an option to play with the color palette and pick a custom color that they want. Liberties like these might not seem like that big of a deal, but they can be the difference-maker between losing a custom and gaining a loyal fan.
Trend #7 – Emphasis on Brand Awareness
Longevity is on the agenda for most brands that aim to be at the top of the ecommerce pecking order. And the emphasis on raising brand awareness is one of the best ways to ensure that the business continues to thrive.
Do not limit yourself to just promoting the brand on social media by running contests and hope for a post to go viral. Cooperate with influencers, run ad campaigns, and invest as much as you can to reach a wider audience.
And that is just for social media. You should also attend live events, meet people, and grow a network of connections, rent giant billboards, and run ads on TV or radio.
The goal is clear – get as many people talking about your business and create word of mouth that will become the catalyst who makes your brand successful.