Do you want to know six major e-commerce trends you should keep an eye on in 2019?
Then you should read this article which will help you to take your online shop to the next level this year.
Technology has changed a lot in the past years and it seems that the pace at which it is evolving is steadily increasing what makes it difficult to keep up with it. E-Commerce is still growing in Europe which is also attributable to the promotion of online commerce through the European Union. In 2018, it removed Geo-blocking, a discriminatory practice, which was impeding cross-border trade. Moreover, new rules were introduced which make it easier to compare parcel delivery prices within the EU and increase the transparency of shipping tariffs.
The increasing digitization and booming e-commerce trade will continue to influence the way how we purchase products online. We identified 6 major trends which will have a strong impact on online shopping in 2019:
1. Same-Day Delivery
The importance of same-day delivery is increasing as customers are getting used to shorter delivery times. Amazon which has been contributing to this development is now further increasing its range of same delivery services.
Studies have shown that consumer expectations are changing because millennials, who expect fast shipping, now have considerable purchasing power. In fact, according to a survey, they are likely to leave their online shopping basket when delivery times are too long. Moreover, 38% of shoppers expect high-street retailers to offer same-day delivery.
As a result, it is recommendable for online shops to offer different delivery options which meet the requirements of heterogeneous online customers. This will have a positive impact on the conversion rate of an online shop.
2. Increasing Shipping Costs
The amount of parcels shipped has experienced a sharp increase during the last years due to the growing importance of e-commerce trade and free (return) shipping. Logistics providers were forced to expand their capacities and increase their workforce significantly in order to be capable to deal with the immense workload. Now, carriers have decided to raise the prices for parcel delivery which will affect businesses (such as online shops) as well as consumers.
On the one hand, online shoppers expect free delivery and in many cases will abandon their shopping cart when shipping costs are added. On the other hand, businesses will face difficulties to offer free shipping as prices increase. As a consequence, online shops will have to find smart logistics solutions in order to be in the position to compete with online giants such as Zalando or Amazon which have a strong logistics network that enables the, to offer free and fast shipping.
3. Omni Channel Presence
Setting up an e-commerce store has become easier than ever and makes it possible to reach potential customers all over the world. However, pursuing an omni channel strategy is becoming increasingly important especially with the goal of outperforming the competition and increasing sales.
According to the Omni Channel Buying Report, 87% of US-consumers purchase offline. 78% of the respondents answered that they ordered from Amazon and 45% in a branded online store. Moreover, 11% of the participants reported that they purchased goods directly from Facebook which shows the growing importance of social shopping. Social networks are starting to introduce an increasing amount of shopping features and people are slowly adapting to it. Nowadays it is possible to purchase online via Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.
Interestingly, 88% of shoppers research online before making a purchase. As a consequence, the term “ROPO” (research online, purchase offline) which describes this customer behavior has been gaining increasing attention recently.
Act now to develop and optimize your omni-channel strategy in order to create as many touch points as possible with the consumer which will help to increase your business performance in 2019.
Customers crave for personalized, frictionless experiences, and companies are sprinting to deliver them. – Blake Morgan
4. Packaging experience
In the context of e-commerce one the most important factors related to the customer experience is packaging and the unboxing experience. In fact, packaging is often perceived as part of the product and according to a study 68% of online shoppers felt that a brand became more superior due to its packaging. Moreover, a unique packaging makes recipients feel more excited about a product.
If you want to compete with Amazon, you should not try to do it based on the price but rather with packaging. Amazon is known for using standardized boxes and since their fulfillment processes are designed for low cost efficient packaging, that is your opportunity to stand out by using branded packaging, stylish void fill and eco-friendly boxes.
“Artificial Intelligence” (AI).
Probably one of the most frequently used buzzwords in by Entrepreneur and Tech-Innovators in recent years.
AI-driven targeting can help your e-commerce store to identify your website visitor’s preferences and match the right experience to them. This can optimize the customer experience across different channels in real-time. For example, online shops for sports wear can depict the desired sports equipment according to a consumer’s preferred sports equipment.
Moreover, personalization can be related to the unboxing experience by providing a handwritten thank you note. In order to further drive brand loyalty of customers it is recommendable to give customers a discount code for future orders.
6. Mobile Commerce
Also known as “M-commerce” will play an important role in 2019. Similar to “ROPO” which describes the behavior of customers who research online and purchase online, it can be observed that there is a comparable customer journey related to smartphone and desktop devices.
“Mobile first” is definitely a thing and explains why Google’s algorithm rates the mobile optimization has highly important. However, many consumers first do research on their mobile devices and end up making a purchase via desktop. In fact, 56% of consumers have used their mobile device to research products at home. Consequently, online shops have to facilitate a great and seamless mobile experience in order to retain customers.
Mobile commerce will continue to emerge and by 2020 it will generate 45% of total e-commerce revenue.
As you can see there are several trends for 2019 and beyond which will provide challenges but also opportunities and chances to take your e-commerce business to the next level.