Eight E-Commerce Trends You Should Expect to See in 2020
Trends come and go from year to year. Some tried and true e-commerce trends stay the same, such as making the user experience (UX) the best it can be. Others are new and come to stay, while still others fizzle out after a few months. As we move into 2020, there are some trends you can expect to see based on current technology and practices from 2019.
In 2020, online sales of physical goods are expected to reach over $604 billion in the United States. Each year, e-commerce sales grow a bit more, so there is still plenty of room for growth in the online retail world.
Although there are dozens of trends for online businesses, some are more worth your time than others. An animated logo is a nice addition, but it isn’t necessarily an e-commerce trend, nor will it help you sell more goods. Here are eight e-commerce trends you can expect to see in 2020 and beyond that are worth investing your time and resources in.
1. Voice Search
As more and more households take advantage of smart speaker features such as Alexa and Google Home, expect more searches to trend toward voice. Already, 21% of people report using voice search every week. If your store isn’t already set up for voice capability, now is a good time to prep for future changes. At some point, Google may even rate websites based on their voice features as they already have based on mobile responsiveness.
Google Store is optimized for voice search. Although the site looks like any other e-commerce site, Google Home integrates with it perfectly, and users can create commands and enact them easily on the site. There are many ways of making your store voice search-friendly without installing additional software, such as considering “near me” searches and making sure alt tags and CTAs are clearly marked.
2. Faster Speeds
Thanks to the coming 5G saturation, slow website load times will be a thing of the past. Pages will load so quickly that users will not even notice a hesitation at all. It’s important for you to focus on going with the fastest web hosting company possible and optimizing your site for speed. Stay away from heavy graphics and cumbersome scripts.
3. Hover Indicators
Mouseovers have become more and more popular in recent years. They help make a website more interactive, and they can expand on the information users are most interested in knowing more about. Hovers work for mega menus when you have a lot of categories you need to highlight, but they also work well for informational purposes.
DutchWare Gear utilizes hover features to expand on information about each category of products. Notice how when you hover over the image and text for hammock gear, you see choices such as hammocks, suspensions, accessories and quilts. This lets site visitors know exactly what they’ll find when they click on that option.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is utilized more and more by e-commerce stores and all types of businesses. Today’s AI can predict the behavior of customers based on past behavior and serve up an email with specific product recommendations most likely to strike a chord with that person. Computers are learning how to work more like the human brain, so as programming advances, expect to see more and more software options and choices that integrate with what you’re already doing with your online business.
5. Social Media Shopping
More and more people are using social media to find gifts for others or shop for themselves. Targeted marketing via Facebook, for example, gives online retailers the opportunity to reach people interested in a specific topic and even narrow the audience down by age group or location. You’ve probably noticed if you search for new doors on Google that Facebook suddenly shows you advertisements for new doors. Social media is a powerful shopping platform and a good place to take your more interesting products viral.
Tootsie’s Children’s Clothing features their children’s boutique style clothes in their Facebook group. They let people order right there on the page and either have the items shipped or pick them up. This type of selective offer could work for any type of product imaginable. Limit quantities and offer to your top customers first.
6. Eco-Friendly Options
Over 90% of consumers are more likely to trust a company that is environmentally or socially conscious. One thing you can do is showcase on your website how you’re doing your part. Use recyclable packaging, take out web hosting space from a green company and highlight anything else your brand does to be greener.
We live in an ever-increasing impersonal world. That might be one reason why personalized products and services are on-trend. As analytics improve and companies are better able to track past purchases and buying behaviors, e-commerce stores are better able to offer selections based on what a buyer’s preferences are. You can also offer to personalize the products they do purchase with a name or other special touch.
Man Crates offers an entire section with personalization options. Customers can add a first name, monograms or custom items. Not only can buyers choose the most appropriate gift type, but they can make it even more special by adding details you can’t find anywhere else.
8. Expanded Fulfillment
Thanks to Amazon’s Prime services, users expect faster delivery and more options than ever before. Look for ways to get products to customers faster and more efficiently. You should also add the ability to ship overnight for a premium cost for those people who wait until the last minute to shop. Calculate the cost of shipping internationally and determine if it’s worth your time and effort or not.
Watch Your Competitors to Find New Trends in the Coming Year
One of the best ways to discover new trends is by keeping an eye on what your competitors are up to. As your closest competition adds new features, consider whether they’ll work for your customers and how you can implement changes in a better way. You want to keep up with others at a minimum with a goal of surpassing user expectations.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.