The eCommerce industry is constantly evolving with new technology. According to recent global eCommerce statistics, global eCommerce is forecast to grow up to $4.97 trillion – almost a 400% increase in seven years. We believe it is critical for store owners to actively learn and adapt to emerging eCommerce trends. Below we share top 5 eCommerce trends for 2021.
1. Customized shopper experience helps you sell more
Personalization is not a new concept in online shopping. In fact, customized emails and marketing campaigns have long been creating higher sales revenue for businesses worldwide. 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experience. And more than 50% of online shoppers are willing to return to a website that recommends products which best suit their needs. These statistics shows how important personalization is in online shopping.
There are many ways to provide personalized user experience for customers who shop online. For Shopify store owners, the first is to impress your shoppers with your website. From website navigation to the final payment stage, a good UX design needs to include clear, valuable guidance that assists shoppers to complete their customer journey effortlessly. For example, if you own an online clothing shop, apart from displaying images, you can have size charts and even size recommmender to help your customers find the best size. By implementing these fit finder tools, you not only deliver superior customer experience but lower your operational costs from free returns.
Another personalization is leveraging AI in product recommendation and personalized marketing. Amazon is one distinguished example that fully utilizes the power of AI and personalization in eCommerce. There are also many automated marketing tools that allows more granular segmentation on customer marketing & promotion. Overall, AI can offers shoppers individualized product suggestions based on their past shopping behaviors and creates a stronger bond with customers in a more cost-efficient way.
2. The Era of Headless commerce is here
The world of eCommerce is moving towards headless commerce. Headless commerce is the idea that the entire storefront system is composed of different best-in-breed micro-systems. This offers more flexibility to present contents.
There are huge differences between headless commerce and traditional commerce. For front-end development, headless commerce has less coupling with the backend system, so you can choose any frontend development solution to power your website. This means headless commerce allows brands to create experiences for both users and admins while traditional commerce already has pre-defined experience. The biggest difference lies in the fact that headless commerce allows endless customization on the front-end. On the contrary, the front-end is tied with the back-end, making little room for alterations in traditional commerce.
Headless commerce even further prompted the advent of composable commerce. Composable commerce allows the eCommerce team to select and assemble a solution that fulfills a brand's needs. It’s about using the best suited technology from multiple vendors instead of relying on one. Composable commerce consists of three elements: business centricity, modular architecture, and open ecosystem. Through composable commerce, brands can easily reach their customers, respond faster to business changes, and lower operational cost from ineffective system management. It is one vital eCommerce trend that will help you stay agile to your customer and market needs.
3. Virtual shopping is the new normal
Due to the global pandemic virtual shopping is bridging the gap between in-store and online shopping experience. More businesses are experimenting this concept with augmented reality (AR) to offer a better digital buying experience. AR in eCommerce helps customers visualize how the product would look in real life and lead to more informed purchases. For example, Sephora introduced an AR mirror that simulates cosmetics on a shopper’s face in real-time. Gap’s DressingRoom app enables customers to check how their clothing may look like at different places. .
With the help of 5G’s high speed, ultra low latency, and greater network capacity, AR integration will only become more mainstream. While there may not be readily affordable solution for you to use today, there will be commercialized AR softwares designed to help brands better sell their products. Then you can enjoy the benefits such as tracking measurable conversions, offering flexible customer service, creating curated customer experience, and growing more loyal brand advocates.
4. Fueling e-commerce with Social Media
More and more sales are driven by social media channels. Social commerce around the world has been growing substantially despite the outbreak of COVID-19. According to Hootsuite’s Instagram statistics report, 130 million Instagram users tapped on shopping posts every month. In fact, social commerce is expected to reach almost $315.5 billion USD by the end of 2021.
With a plethora of social media channels available online, brands now have more flexibility in content creation. Store owners can create various contents ranging from images, videos, polls, to Instagram live stories. Content sharing will also play a more critical role for brand outreach. Many online clothing businesses start using livestream broadcasts to give shoppers more details in regards to materials and textures. Shoppers can even send real-time messages to ask about the size and receive instant answers.
And let’s not forget the power of chatbots. A Chatbot is a computer program designed to simulate conversations with humans online. Smart chatbots use AI to communicate with users and predict their intention and they can even become more intelligent the more conversation they go through. AI chatbots have proven to save time and money while establishing trusts within customers. Spring is one successful example of utilizing Facebook chatbot to understand their customers’ needs and suggest the best products for them.
5. Consumer fulfillment as competitive advantage
Consumers have become more demanding on how their orders are fulfilled. Shops on Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce are expected to deliver products with higher standards: fast, free, sustainable, and branded shipping. Based on studies, 64% of global customers want free shipping and 72% of them want sustainable packaging. More shoppers are becoming consciously aware of a brand’s social responsibility and their production process. In addition, shipping costs are continuously rising. Therefore, brands should think about how to meet those rising demands while securing sustainable profit margins.
You can partner with transportation and logistics companies who offer more sustainable and cost-effective inventory management & fulfillment system. Many of those software also offer new inventions, like curb-side pickup and automated returns. During the first three months of the pandemic, 31% of customers used curbside pickup for the first time between March and June. More brands will jump on the bandwagon this 2021. By offering cheaper, easier-to-use and innovative fulfillment features, it'll no doubt serve as one of your competitive advantages.
The eCommerce marketplace is constantly changing. Make sure to note down these top 5 eCommerce trends for 2021 to help your Shopify business thrive and stay competitive in the future.
Kiwi Sizing is an e-commerce plugin to help solve the sizing problems for online shopping. Over 40% of online clothing returns are due to sizes. Kiwi Sizing is designed to make sizing easy by offering stylish size charts and easy-to-use fit recommenders that let shoppers know what is the best size to purchase. We help improve conversions, cut down on returns, and lower the needs for customer support.
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