Whether you already have an e-commerce platform of your own or work as a specialized marketer for any number of online storefronts, there is value to be found in current and future industry trends. According to 99 Firms, around 95% of all purchases are expected to be made via e-commerce by 2040, while 80% of US internet users have made at least one online purchase.
In a similar report, Finances Online has stated that 88% of customers prefer online shopping to retail due to its around-the-clock availability, while 90% of shoppers are perfectly content with waiting longer for a product if a certain vendor can offer free and reliable shipping. The transformation and transition toward digital shopping spaces have already begun and the trends for 2020 are already taking shape.
Preparing for the coming storm on time will determine which online storefronts are met with a positive public response and which ones will lose their traffic and popularity as a result of missing features or UX optimization. With that out of the way, let’s dive into several prominent and promising trends that are shaping up to be influential on the online shopping industry in 2020 which will help you better prepare your business strategy for coming changes.
Flexible Shipping Options
As we’ve touched upon briefly, free shipping and handling of e-commerce goods have become an industry norm, with the trend poised to grow further in 2020. According to Hosting Tribunal, 69% of customers are willing to abandon their carts due to shipping fees and taxes, while 24% are fully prepared to pay more for the items themselves if it guarantees them free shipping.
This means that providing your customers with different shipping options and free alternatives to receive their items is of utmost importance. Base prices can be adjusted accordingly to accommodate for the free shipping and cover the expenses of handling and transportation without worrying about the end-consumers with too many details. Find creative ways to incorporate shipping into your plethora of CX features and the public perception of your e-commerce store will be that much more positive.
Growth of Social Media Integration
As an online storefront, your marketing strategy should focus on as many communication channels as possible to attract potential leads. One such case involves social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with their personalized ads and ad placement.
According to Small Biz Genius, 2.62 billion internet users access social media platforms at least once a month, making it the perfect playground for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Likewise, your product pages, landing page, sales ads, and other links should have social media integration embedded for easier content sharing. Making it easy and straightforward for people to share deals and product pages via social media buttons placed on your e-commerce website should be a priority with 2020 looming on the horizon.
Emphasis on Mobile Optimization
With the rise of affordable and high-performing mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, customers often opt for these choices over desktop computers in their purchasing activities. According to Profit Industry, almost 30% of shoppers will abandon their purchases if a website is poorly optimized for mobile, with 61% of customers forming a better opinion of brands with good mobile UX on their e-commerce platforms. It goes to show that mobile users have become an integral part of the e-commerce community on a global level, making it essential for your online storefront to be optimized for Android and iOS.
Responsive web design, short-form content, no auto-play features and well-optimized multimedia with clearly defined interactive buttons and navigation are a must in the current year and 2020 going forward. Optimizing your website for mobile will also allow for higher SEO ranking and organic traffic generation besides the positive word of mouth it will bring as a result – optimize for mobile today.
Interest in Digital Currency Payments
Cryptocurrencies have crossed a long way from an interesting concept to their contemporary practical application as a viable payment method. Cryptocurrencies can now not only be traded for different currencies online but also cashed out via specialized ATMs which are specifically designed with the blockchain technology in mind.
According to Medium, large e-commerce platforms and retailers such as KFC Canada and Newegg actively work on introducing crypto payment methods to their customers in a number of interesting ways. Depending on the type of products you sell and the market you aim to acquire, cryptocurrencies can find their way into your business model in one way or another to accommodate as many custom options as possible.
Personalized & Native Advertisement
Lastly, personalization and native advertisement continue to be a large factor in customer retention and e-commerce brand awareness across the industry. According to Forbes, 76% of customers consider it highly important to receive personalized discounts and recommendations based on previous purchase history, with 80% stating that they are more likely to shop with brands that offer personalized CX and UX on their platforms.
Personalization features such as item recommendations, search auto-filling, email offers and discount coupons should find their way onto your platform. Similarly, native advertisement in the forms of banners and dynamic ads should focus on individual product’s niche to ensure a seamless shopping and marketing experience. Make sure to adopt a similar approach to your marketing strategy going into 2020 to better prepare for the rising personalization trend in e-commerce. This will create a cohesive and immersive UX for your customers, allowing for a much better public reception and higher engagement rates as a direct result.
Shopping in 2020 and Beyond
Running an e-commerce storefront and staying relevant in the eyes of potential and returning customers is an ongoing effort that requires adaptive thinking. The trends we’ve discussed are only a fraction of the development preparing to change the e-commerce landscape once 2020 rolls around.
Find interesting and relevant ways to implement said features and UX optimization into your platform to grow your impact on the market going forward. While not every trend will find its proper place in your business model, those that do will have a positive impact on your e-commerce performance for the foreseeable future.
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Daniela McVicker is a blogger and editor for Top Writers Review. She works closely with B2B and B2C businesses to help them reach a broad audience and build long-term relationships with clients. You can connect with Daniela on Twitter @danielamcvick.