Four Big Ecommerce Trends to Get on Board with for 2019
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It may not surprise you to learn that ecommerce is on the rise. Worldwide sales hit $2.304 billion at close of business in 2017 and is predicted to more than double to $4.878 billion by 2021 – approximately 20% each year between now and then. Digital technology is enabling ecommerce businesses to bridge the gap with physical retail and address some of those historical limitations. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the big tech trends in ecommerce which you should consider implementing in 2019 if you want to keep pace.
#1 Augmented Reality
One of the big problems with buying products such as furniture online is it’s difficult to make a judgement on whether it will fit with your existing furnishings and décor. With such products being sizable and expensive customers want to be as confident as they can be their purchase is in keeping with the present aesthetic.
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Ikea has been ahead of the curve with an app which allows customers to use augmented reality technology to superimpose its products over their living spaces, allowing them to buy with the confidence their choices will look great alongside their other pieces. Augmented reality can also help clothing ecommerce brands by allowing customers to “try them on” before they buy.
#2 Advanced Filters
It’s surprising how many ecommerce brands still have a rather limited selection of product filters. However, companies are starting to realize people want more options than just price etc. to narrow down their selections. Advanced filters can incorporate may other variables such as size, color, and material (for clothing). Advanced filters should also follow logical steps such as how many filters are provided? Does the filter order flow naturally for the user? Are the filters clear and easy to select/sort? Do the filters work together, not against each other? Filipino retailer Argomall has been using advanced filters to boost brand visibility and fight counterfeit goods. “Since Argomall has advanced filters and Argonauts that explain in detail each product, customers remember the brands more,” said Argomall Founder and Chief Argonaut, Karel Holub. “Instead of recommending hundreds of products which are mostly knock-offs, we protect both the manufacturers and customers by giving them high-quality, authentic options. This fosters loyalty and trust." Making sure you have an expanded range of filters which follow these steps can help your customers make better choices within a more streamlined experienced.
Automation is making waves in all manner of industries, from manufacturing to groceries. However, it can also help ecommerce through many avenues. Automated stock control can help make sure, not only that your inventory is kept topped up, but also that your customers have access to the latest information about your stock levels. There are few things more frustrating than making a purchase online, only to receive an email a couple of days later informing you that the item you desired has turned out to be out of stock. Another way automation can boost the customer experience is through service chatbots. With these AI powered assistants in your toolbox your customers can access customer service information through their existing smartphone messaging apps – Facebook Messenger for example. For some time now fast food sandwich brand, Subway has been employing a chatbot which allows customers to order food through Facebook Messenger and collect it at a prearranged time, elegantly demonstrating that chatbots have applications beyond basic customer service queries as well.
#4 Increased Delivery Options
Ecommerce behemoth Amazon has been getting ready to offer drone based delivery for some time now, and is almost set to launch it. Other brands such as Dominos, Google, Food Panda, and more are also all experimenting with droid delivery systems. One of the key limitations when it comes to ecommerce versus brick and mortar is the customer doesn’t get to walk away with the product in their hands there and then. The success of Amazon Prime’s next day delivery subscription service illustrates the desire of consumers to shorten the time between hitting the checkout button and the product arriving at their door. While not all ecommerce brands will have the infrastructure to offer delivery robots, there are many ways brands can offer expanded delivery services for their customers. The evidence suggests customers are willing to pay a little more to get a faster service, so give them the choice.
There are four big trends to watch in the ecommerce world. Many of these are already out there, but you can expect them to become ever more ubiquitous in 2019. The demands of customers are only set to increase, so you need to make sure your offerings are expanding in sympathy.