The advancements in technology have generally improved the lives of people. For example, instead of driving to and from different stores to buy products, consumers can just place the order online using their mobile device at home.
This is why business owners must set up an eCommerce store. By bringing your business to the touch of your customers’ fingertips, you can expect to grow your sales faster.
Statista projects that the e-commerce industry will continue its upward trends in sales by reaching approximately $6.4 billion in sales by 2024. It also predicts that total eCommerce sales will reach around $4.9 billion by the end of 2021.
But to continuously ride the wave of eCommerce’s success, you must know the upcoming trends that the industry has in store for businesses and customers alike. It allows your business to keep up with the changes and continue increasing its revenue through the years.
To help prepare your online store in the future, below are the top eCommerce you must watch out for in preparation for next year and beyond.
Online shoppers prioritize speed and efficiency as one of the deciding factors whether to purchase an item or not. They opt for online sellers who can deliver the product at the fastest time possible.
With drone delivery, you can offer instantaneous fulfillment for customers at a fraction of a price. Instead of drivers personally delivering your order from you, these remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will distribute packages in the air, avoiding road traffic in the process.
Aside from the practical benefits of drone delivery, the power of drone delivery lies beyond the usual scope of eCommerce. Stakeholders can use its technology and gather data to oversee construction projects. Using different drones, you can capture images of the site and piece them together to build the bigger picture. It’s also possible to use drones for enterprise competitor analysis.
However, drone delivery for eCommerce faces obstacles preventing it from commercial use. For example, package theft is highly possible since people can spot the drone above and follow it to its destination.
Other issues include the distance that drones can travel as well as package weight. The heavier the weight and the farther the destination of the delivery, the faster the drone will run out of batteries.
A much more pressing matter with drone use is the potential abuse. It goes both ways: people can damage the drones during delivery, or businesses may use them for unethical reasons.
Despite these drawbacks, drone delivery has a bright future ahead.
Emergen Research forecasts that the drone delivery market will reach approximately $18.6 billion with a compound annual growth rate of 54.5% in 2028. Its growth coincides with the steady success of eCommerce and the growing customer demand for more efficient fulfillment services.
Source: Amazon Air
Among the different brands that plan on implementing this delivery process soon, Amazon Air strives to deliver the packages safely to customers 30 minutes after placing the order.
Voice shopping takes the convenience of online shopping to the next level. Instead of navigating the app or website for products they need to buy, customers can simply say what they want to buy to the device. It will then browse through your purchase history to make relevant product suggestions for your purchase.
If you say to an Amazon Echo that you want to purchase toothpaste, the device will review your preview purchases to see if you ordered toothpaste and recommend that product for you to buy again. If none of the products you purchased before match your request, the device will suggest the best-reviewed brands on Amazon for that product.
Voice shopping devices also track your order status and remind you when you’re due to reorder, among other features.
Implementation of voice shipping is through mobile apps or in-store assistants. However, applying this system to your shopping experience is a complex undertaking that requires the understanding of voice user interface’s (VUI) key components:
- Visual cues – If your app enables voice commands, users must see a green microphone icon on the screen to indicate this to users.
- Custom wake word – Words and phrases like “Hey, Google” for Google Assistant and “Alexa” for Amazon Alexa are default wake words users can say to activate the device. Finding a wake allows you to distinguish your brand from the rest.
- Voice to text transcriptions – Verifies that the assistant is accurately inputting the words spoken by users. Also, show a loading indicator to inform users that the assistant processes the command for filters and specific preferences.
- User feedback – After processing the voice command, the app should ask users whether it processed the command correctly.
Aside from setting up the interface, you must communicate to users how to use your voice assistant to make purchases. Through prompts and email campaigns, customer support and education should help users get on the right track for using the app.
Also, successfully processing complex commands containing multiple questions offers a more seamless conversational experience, something that you must strive for with your app.
According to MoffettNathanson’s Greg Melich in his talk with The Street, only 5% of consumers used voice shopping in 2018 and the number could grow to 50% by 2022. Back then, voice assistants were still in their early stages, but a lot has changed since then.
In particular, adaptation to voice assistance has grown since 2020. People who use their voice tech several times a day increased to 52% compared to 46% before the outbreak, according to NPM Creative. It’s only a matter of time before voice assistant usage trickles down to more online purchases.
Consumers nowadays are much more responsible with their purchases. They ensure that the products they purchase won’t leave carbon footprints and use sustainable products materials and practices to manufacture them.
Again, COVID-19 triggered much of the shift in consumer habits. 33% of consumers rank sustainability as one of the top three deciding factors in their purchases, according to Accenture.
Green consumerism is the term that best captures this ongoing social movement. Just as much as customers want the best products for themselves, they also want to keep their health and environment in check.
Aside from the ongoing pandemic, the rising sea levels, constant forest fires, and other phenomena that point back to our negligence as a whole continue to affect our way of life negatively. And the best way for consumers to prevent these from getting worse or happening again is to make ethical purchases that lower environmental impact.
Implementing the creation of “green products” also has a positive effect on your business. On top of decreasing pollutant release during production and transportation, You get to reduce packaging waste and increase energy efficiency. For example, instead of using plastic for packaging your product, use recycled materials that do the same job as plastic but without harming the environment.
However, you need to be aware that sustainability comes at a higher price tag. Eco-conscious customers also must resign to the fact that green products are much more expensive than others. They will have to strike a balance between fast delivery that leaves more carbon footprints or an eco-friendly delivery method that takes days.
However, over 60% of internet users are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products in this GWI consumer trends report. Therefore, it all boils to developing more green products and solutions for consumers to choose from.
For starters, you must enable sustainability options as part of the buying process. Customers can choose parcel delivery via bikes or electric vehicles before clicking on the purchase button on your online store.
Also, use reusable packaging instead of plastic packaging. Placing the items in cardboard boxes for delivery allows customers to use the boxes again for storage and other purposes.
Lastly, discourage free returns, which pile up on the pounds of carbon emissions they generate. By adding a minimal cost for every product returned, you prevent customers from over-ordering. Also, provide detailed product descriptions, so customers will know what they’re getting before making the purchase.
Running an eCommerce business is more than just making sales and generating revenue. Much of it has to do with providing value to consumers amidst the ever-changing market and buying habits.
Therefore, you can’t just launch an online store and expect people to flock to it. It is your duty as an eCommerce store owner also to know the market’s demands.
Therefore, these three emerging eCommerce trends should help you get your online store straight for years to come. Their rising popularity allows you to benefit from more sales by becoming one of its first few adopters.
More importantly, some of these trends work in synergy together. For example, shipping lightweight parcels using drones helps speed up delivery time while decreasing carbon emissions.
Implementing them on your eCommerce store might take a while due to the processes and costs involved. However, once you have set them up successfully, expect your store to trend up in popularity and sales for years to come.