What’s Next in eCommerce?
The eCommerce industry is in a constant state of flux, with innovative tools and technologies coming to market on a regular basis. To stay one step ahead of the competition, savvy shop owners must stay on top of the latest trends. So, what’s new? Let's discuss five key trends in eCommerce that have (and will continue to have) a major impact on the eCommerce sector.
1. Augmented Reality Shifts the Shopping Experience
Augmented reality (AR) is an exciting tool that can enhance user experience and help customers make sound purchase decisions. Typically, AR is defined as overlaying digital imagery on top of real-world objects (or, in the case of eCommerce, superimposing digital imagery on top of other digital imagery).
With AR, online shoppers can truly see the item they're looking for and subsequently make a good buying decision. For instance, AR can help shoppers see how hardwood floors would look in their homes or help shoppers determine how a pair of glasses would look on their faces.
According to one study, more than 100 million consumers are shopping with AR online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Moreover, one survey found that 76% of consumers want to use AR as a daily "tool" in their lives, while another survey found that 66% of people are interested in using AR for help when making purchases.
2. Voice-Commerce is Emerging
Whether it's Alexa, Siri, or Cortana, virtual voice-activated assistants are becoming part of our everyday lives. According to a study by NPR and Edison Research, 62% of American adults in 2022 used a voice assistant on at least one device (including smart speakers, smartphones, TV remotes, in-car systems, tablets, and laptops). Additionally, 35% of U.S. homes have a smart speaker — and that number grows yearly.
One-fourth (26.1%) of smart speaker owners consistently make purchases with this tool. Undoubtedly, that percentage will grow as consumers become more comfortable using this innovative technology. For retail brands, this is good news, as shoppers can easily purchase items with little effort.
3. AI Collects Data About Shoppers
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to help businesses provide automated, personalized customer shopping experiences. AI-driven tools are constantly collecting data about how customers shop. Companies are using said data to match the shopping experience to each user through tailored product recommendations, personalized emails, and so forth.
Interestingly, 62% of consumers would stray from a brand if it delivered impersonalized content, highlighting the importance of AI systems facilitating such personalization from brands. And speaking of personalization...
4. Personalization is Creating Individualized Experiences
Both B2C and B2B buyers want (and often expect) personalized, custom experiences online. As mentioned in the previous section, data collection from AI makes this possible — but how many companies are seriously investing in eCommerce personalization trends?
Interestingly, one study found that best-in-class retailers invest 0.9% of their revenues in personalization, approximately 1.3x more than the average retailer (at 0.7%). These leading retailers are planning to increase their investment in personalization by, on average, 30% over the next three years.
The point is business leaders are becoming increasingly cognizant of how important personalization is, with 90% of leading marketers citing it as a factor that "significantly contributes to business profitability."
5. Chatbots Improve Customer Service
Finally, in eCommerce technology trends, chatbots continue to contribute to satisfactory customer service for online shoppers. It's no secret that one of the biggest indicators of customer satisfaction is the Customer Effort Score (CES), which measures how much effort the customer has to exert to find specific information or resolve an issue. In terms of eCommerce, users may get frustrated and leave the website for good if they can't find what they want within just a few clicks.
This is where chatbots come into the picture. They can quickly answer frequently asked consumer questions, direct visitors to the appropriate product page, connect users to a live agent as needed, or even process transactions. They can significantly reduce a store's CES, resulting in happier customers and more business.
Leverage Key Trends to Grow Your eCommerce Business
The five trends discussed above will undoubtedly continue to influence the eCommerce industry for years to come. However, the important question for you is: How can I leverage these trends to grow my eCommerce business?
The good news is you don't have to answer that question on your own. Reach out to our team of experienced marketing experts at CoxNext today to start the conversation on increasing your eCommerce store's profitability. We can help you tap into one or more of the above trends for significant and sustainable growth.
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