Global retail ecommerce sales are exploding.
According to Statista, worldwide e-retail revenues are projected to grow to a jaw-dropping 4.88 trillion US dollars by 2021. Sounds good, doesn’t it? You can almost taste the money.
However, to get a bite of the cherry is not easy. These days online retail strategies change fast. It’s hard to keep up. New tools, new strategies, and new technologies are now required to be successful in this fluid marketing landscape.
Here are five trends to keep tabs on if you want to win and bring home the bacon.
Here we go…
#1. The Augmented Reality Revolution
Augmented Reality (AR) is changing retail and the way people buy and sell.
Retailers now use cutting edge phone technology to allow customers to see how items they want to buy would look like in their homes or offices.
Not sure how that nice-looking couch would look like in your lounge?
You can now use an app to position it wherever you want in your living room and see it in the exact context of your room living room. Amazing!
Such apps have three major benefits.
- Engaging customer experience
- Increased sales.
- Reduced returns.
Houzz has an app that lets you take rooms in your house and then place multiple products within them, virtually, from a selection of 500,000 product images. The best part? People who used the app were 11 times more likely to buy.
Hop onto the ecommerce augmented reality train before it’s too late. Your business will be better for it.
#2. The Emerging Markets Opportunity
The rapid adoption of smartphones and increase in internet penetration rates in emerging markets is turning e-commerce retail into a global market.
Your company’s customers are longer just in your backyard, they’re all over the world.
According to a report by Credit Suisse, total annual ecommerce sales across Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey could reach up to USD$3.5 trillion and impact companies across multiple sectors, including retail, finance, security, and technology.
Brands are taking advantage of this lucrative global opportunity by using powerful ecommerce solutions like Shopify.
Such POS systems support multiple foreign currencies for ease of shopping for local shoppers and have local currency selectors within their storefront themes.
#3. The Mobile Checkout Ascension
Sometime in 2017, mobile checkouts reached 52%, overtaking desktop checkouts for the first time.
We now live in a mobile-first world. Because of advancements in mobile payment technologies like fingerprint and facial recognition, more and more people will enjoy the convenience of mobile checkout.
With Google, Samsung and Apple doubling their user base and installing sophisticated advancements in their payment technology, mobile checkouts are projected to reach 70% of eCommerce traffic by the end of 2018. The mobile train is gathering even more steam and savvy brands are profiting from the development.
For instance, 10% of Starbucks U.S. orders were done with their Mobile Order and Pay app. The payment method was so popular that in February, mobile orders flooded staff and created unheard of wait times.
It’s time to take advantage of the phenomenal rise of mobile checkout.
#4. The Voice Search Wave
Voice search is the future of SEO. In fact, it’s already here.
Its impact on SEO has set off a domino effect on internet marketing. The arrival of voice search has changed internet marketing forever.
According to Google, by the year 2020, more than half the searches will be voice searches. And, with over 30 million voice-first devices in US homes and one billion voice searches per month as of January 2018, there’s no stopping the voice search avalanche.
What does all this mean for ecommerce?
Three key things.
- Creating in-depth product information using natural language. The more info you provide, the greater the chances of ranking for some long-tail keywords prevalent in a conversational search.
- Crafting detailed FAQ around products and services. Since most voice search queries are question-based this’ll raise your brand’s chances of showing up in search results when people ask questions about your product.
- Exploring the use of voice assistants especially for simple straightforward tasks like placing orders.
Clearly, voice assistants will have a huge role to play in ecommerce in the coming years.
#5. The Omni-channel Retail Craze
With the typical consumer using five or more connected devices daily, omni-channel marketing continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.
Statista reports that by 2020, the installed base of Internet of Things devices is forecast to grow to a staggering 31 billion worldwide.
The buyer journey is no longer linear. Prospects now start their buyer journey on one channel and end it on another.
Selling across channels or device is no longer a side dish — it’s now the entrée. From brick and mortar stores to blogs, from online forums to mobile apps, intelligent brands follow consumers everywhere to boost their sales.
Here are some the approaches to take note of:
- Integrated shopping experiences– brands are striving to provide customers with consistent and seamless shopping experiences across devices.
- Inventory visibility across channels/devices– it’s now necessary for your inventory management system to provide real-time updates across channels and devices.
- Personalized buyer journey– successful retailers allow customers to buy their way, in their own time, on their favorite channel.
- BOPIS and ROPO– BOPIS (Buy Online, Pickup In Store) and ROPO (Research Online Purchase Offline) are growing trends in purchasing behavior brands must adapt to.
To satisfy today’s sensitive customers need for total convenience and get results, adopt a sharp omni-channel strategy.
Trends Matter: Jump In On The Act
These topics are trending for a reason.
They’re making headlines because experts agree they’re the next big thing. Pick ones that make sense in your industry and deploy them now rather than later.
Be a smart early adopter brand so you position your enterprise for growth. If you’re sluggish in your approach, your competitors will quickly jump in — and zoom past you on the ecommerce highway before you know it.
So ride the wave today. Your bottom line will be all the better for it.
According to his cheeky wife’s baseless claims, Qhubekani Nyathi aka The Click Guy, is an irresistibly handsome dude. He helps SMBs rapidly grow their income and impact through actionable long-form content that ranks high, builds authority, and generates tons of leads. He is a contributor to top blogs like Crazy Egg, Search Engine People, Techwyse, AWAI, and more.