What is the Future of Ecommerce ?

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What is the Future of Ecommerce ?

Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the first-ever ecommerce sale. And, 2019 will also be the year when the online retail giant, Amazon turns twenty-five years old.

Ecommerce has indeed come a long way since the last two and a half decades of its existence. According to Statista, the global ecommerce sales reached a whopping 2.3 trillion US dollars in 2017. The numbers are predicted to grow to a massive 4.88 trillion dollars by 2021.

With that said, ecommerce is still in its infancy, and the best is yet to come. As Jeff Bezos likes to say, “Each day is day one at Amazon,” each day brings new innovations and surprises in the world of ecommerce.

The Future of eCommerce and eCommerce Trends

Here, in this post, we take a look at the future of ecommerce and ecommerce trends to look out for in 2019 and beyond. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for an illuminating read.

#1: Painting a Picture of the Consumer of the Future

Today, price and convenience are the two main factors driving the ecommerce market. Customers are more likely to purchase products that offer them a good deal and are delivered quickly.

But, an increasing number of customers are looking for something more. For instance, they want to find products that aren’t available at big-box chain stores. They are looking for a unique shopping experience that makes them feel valued. It’s not just the product that matters. But, the entire shopping experience.

This small tribe is expected to grow in the coming years. Consumer expectations are about to change drastically. It will no longer be about the company that offers a product at the lowest price. Instead, consumers will look for brands that offer them a unique shopping experience.

Today millennials (people born approximately from 1980 to 1995) form the majority of online consumers. Just a few years down the line, Gen Z (people born approximately from 1996 to 2010) will become the major consumers.

Gen Z comprises digital natives. They are people who have been born with technology and grown with it. Using technology is like second nature to them. They want everything to happen in real-time, without having to wait. And, they are the social media generation that wants instant gratification.

The Key Takeaway:

In the future, ecommerce consumers will become more and more savvy and discerning. They will expect nothing short of a seamless shopping experience. To win this tribe, you’ll have to offer something beyond the best prices and deals.

Immediacy and instant turnaround will remain an essential part of ecommerce. But, as an ecommerce store owner, you’ll have to meet other customer expectations to stay in the game – anytime, anywhere delivery, free shipping, pro-active customer service and support, no disconnect between what they see and what they get, unparalleled shopping experience, unique products, custom fit, and personalized product are some of the expectations of the future ecommerce shopper.

Yes, this places great pressure on ecommerce sellers, but if you fail to meet these expectations, you could get lost in the melee. This is why you need to hire an expert ecommerce website design agency to up your game and stand out from the rest.

#2: The Change in the Structure of the Shopping Journey – From a Linear Model to a Pretzel Shaped One

Traditionally, the shopping journey of a customer was considered linear. A customer arrives at your online store, searches and locates his/her desired product, pays for it, completes the transaction and gets the product delivered to his/her doorstep.

In the future, the customer journey will no longer follow a linear model. Even now, this traditional customer journey is steadily disintegrating.

With the explosive increase of technological advances like AI, IoT, Machine Learning, Neural Networks, and wearable devices, people are no longer following the linear online shopping model. The shopping journey of consumers today looks more like a pretzel with plenty of turns, twists, and loops.

Consumers can start or end their shopping experience on any device – be it mobile, laptops, tablets or even at brick and mortar stores. The lines are slowly blurring, and it becomes increasingly difficult for online retailers to keep track of customers.

The Key Takeaways:

As an ecommerce retailer, it’s no longer sufficient to offer your customers a single touchpoint. You need to be accessible via various channels – desktop store, mobile store, mobile apps, WhatsApp ordering portals, social media sales channels and more.

This is why it makes sense to hire certified Magento ecommerce developers to help you enhance the shopping experience you offer to your customers. Work on establishing an omnichannel presence, so that your customers can easily reach out to your, whenever they want and from whichever device they want.

#3: Search by Typing will become so Old-School. Voice is the Way to Go

Today, more and more people are using voice-enabled search assistants. According to a report on “Future of Retail” by Walker Sands, 19% of online shoppers have completed a purchase using a voice-controlled device in the last year. This number is even higher among millennials. Around 37% of millennials surveyed stated that they often use voice searches while shopping online.

Voice search is more than a passing fad. It’s here to stay and is actively shaping the future of the online shopping experience. With the increasing popularity of smart home speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo, people are searching online without even the need for a screen.

Experts predict that such smart devices will become the first point of contact in the journey of the future online shopper.

The Key Takeaway

As a business, you have to rethink your entire online shopping strategy. One major difference between voice search and regular search is the use of keywords.

While typing in a search engine, people tend to use keywords and related search phrases. On the other hand, while using a voice search assistant, people resort to queries. For instance, if you’re searching for a pizza outlet near you, you would use, “pizza delivery places in [location]” on the Google search bar. On the other hand, while using the Google Assistant, your search term is more likely to be “where is the nearest pizza outlet?”

The importance of SEO for ecommerce will not reduce with voice search. Instead, you’ll have to approach it from a different angle. You have to work on optimizing content and listings for voice search with help of professional SEO services company

#4: Ecommerce Sellers cannot afford to Ignore Social Selling

Today, social media platforms are more relevant than ever before. For instance, Instagram logs over a billion active users every month. According to a report by Flurry, the average adult spends over five hours every day on their mobile devices and more than half of this time is spent on messaging, social media, and other entertainment apps.

And, the good news here is that – a large number of people are buying on social media. According to a survey by Statista in 2016, more than 18.6% of respondents stated that they had bought products directly from brands using social media.

This number is expected to grow in the coming years, as trends suggest. Brands that have adopted social selling have seen huge success rates.

Experts suggest that online shoppers are steadily migrating from native apps to buying on social media.

The Key Takeaway

You could be losing out a major chunk of your revenue if you don’t offer buying capabilities on social media to your customers. Get in touch with your woocommerce development exterts today and capitalize on this growing trend.

#5: Content Will Continue to Rule

For years, marketers have sworn by the mantra, “Content is King.” It looks like this is not going to change anytime in the future. Great content is not only helpful, educational and entertaining, but also a key marketing strategy. Content marketing is highly cost-effective and offers a great ROI.

With that said, effective content marketing is harder than you imagine. Content has evolved drastically over the years. Today, there is a wide diversity in the type of content like tutorials, blogs, infographics, FAQs, videos, memes and more.

While creating content requires minimal resources, nailing the perfect content, relevant to your audience requires expertise and skill. You need to spend time figuring out the right strategy for your content marketing. After all, today’s consumers are notorious for their super-short attention span.

What more, consumers today have access to a wide array of content at their fingertips. So, if you don’t deliver what they want when they want, then all your content marketing efforts go futile.

Here are a few numbers that stress the importance of good content marketing strategy for your ecommerce efforts:

  • Companies that have blogs see the following advantages: 55% more visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages.
  • Content marketing costs 62% lesser than other digital marketing methods and generates 3x more returns.
  • Content marketing offers 3x higher quality leads when compared to paid search.

The Key Takeaway

You need to provide your consumers with engaging and intelligent content to get them to like and interact with your brand. Keep it diverse. Here are a few ideas to inspire you: how-to videos, unboxing videos, live FAQ sessions on Facebook, interactive content like quizzes, assessments, and more.

#6: Simplicity but with the Best Functionality

In the early years of ecommerce, most online shopping sites didn’t consider functionality. Rather, they were focused on adding flashy graphics and other gimmicks to their online stores.

Thankfully, all this has come to an end. Today, businesses are moving away from complex web stores that take a long time to load. The modern ecommerce stores of today are clean, minimal and aesthetically simple. But, that doesn’t mean these pages are simple.

In fact, the ecommerce stores of today offer a whole range of features that weren’t present before. From one-step checkout to intuitive searches & personalized shopping, the functionalities are astounding.

The Key Takeaway

If you have an online store that looks like it’s stuck in the garish 90s, then it’s time to brush up on your “how to build an ecommerce website from scratch?” skills. If you aren’t familiar with coding, don’t have the time to do it on your own, or would leave the job in expert hands, hire an expert ecommerce website development agency to help you get started.

#7: B2B Ecommerce will Grow bigger and bigger

For decades, wholesalers, suppliers and their customers were reluctant to embrace ecommerce. They firmly stuck on to traditional methods of shopping like placing orders on the phone and dealing with tons of paperwork.

But, all that’s slowly changing. According to a recent report by Statista, B2B ecommerce reached a massive $7.7 trillion in 2017, overtaking B2C sales by large. Just like B2C marketplaces, B2B marketplaces are steadily increasing.

However, one major difference between B2B ecommerce and B2C ecommerce is that the former is more functional while the latter focuses on being experiential.

The Key Takeaway

If you’re a B2B brand, then it’s high time that you jump on the online selling bandwagon. Get started by hiring magento 2 development company to help you with the design of your online store and work on providing your B2B customers with the best experience.

The Last Word on the Future of Ecommerce

If your philosophy has been “Business as usual,” then it’s high time that you rethink it. Today, ecommerce is on the cusp of a paradigm change. And, if you would like to survive in the dynamic market of the future, then you need to adapt and evolve.

And, this applies to all brands from Fortune 500 companies to small startups. Keep an eye on the trends and try to stay ahead of the race, by being an early adopter.

Cheers and feel free to write in the comments section below if you want to add up anything based on your experience in the eCommerce world.

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