If 2018 taught us anything, beside the fact that England can win a penalty shootout, it is the brutal reality that retailers that do not embrace digital, are sadly at risk of closing their doors for good.
We are a nation of online shoppers with 51% of UK consumers preferring ecommerce to the high street. So with such demand, what are the top 10 eCommerce trends we can expect to see in 2019?
- Personalisation – businesses will continue to collect data (via cookies) to learn more about you and provide you with more relevant content and products. Typical data areas that are tracked and utilised include; your purchase history, items in or previously abandoned from your shopping basket, your search history, your location, your social media behaviour and your customer demographics. This can sound very ‘Big Brother’ but when done well, can really enhance your shopping experience.
- Augmented Reality – huge brands like IKEA have incorporated AR into their buying experience, effectively allowing you to view that sofa you like, in your home via your smart phone or tablet. With many of our devices now fully equipped with AR capabilities, this technology is open to those with small as well as big budgets. Gone are the days when you purchased a sofa too large for your apartment and faced the dreaded fear of manoeuvring it up the tight staircases (“PIVOT!”), you can now see what an item looks like in the ‘real world’ before it is delivered!
- Social buying – 74% of consumers rely on social media to make buying decisions and 80% of consumers are likely to purchase an item based on friend’s suggestions. With this in mind, we can expect to see a real uplift of our favourite brands increasing their online community and allowing you to purchase directly via Instagram, Facebook or Chatbots.
- Customer service automation – a quality, tailored customer service is absolutely vital to the customer experience. In fact, 52% of B2C customers purchased more after a good customer experience, whilst 55% stopped buying after one bad customer service interaction. To prevent delays, chatbots powered by AI can service customer queries quickly and effectively. If done well, consumers could even think that they are dealing with an agent as opposed to a computer.
- Same day delivery – Already a feature for Amazon Prime customers, same-day delivery is a feature that could be adopted by more and more retailers in 2019, with 38% of consumers now expecting this service. Despite the logistical challenges faced by warehouses to pick and ship within several hours, 72% of shoppers would spend more if same day delivery was available.
- Cryptocurrency – Digital payment solutions such as PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay are now part of everyday life. This year, we can expect to see a surge in the plethora of payment methods on offer, with speed and convenience of the essence. If you haven’t already adopted this modern way to pay, now is the time to get on board as 70% of people believe mobile payments will overtake cash and card by 2030.
- User-generated content – The rise and rise of UGC has enabled brands to be led by their communities. UGC allows consumers to become ambassadors as they share reviews and content through their own social platforms. Many brands are already actively encouraging this by sharing their followers’ posts, with many being featured on the brands’ website and social network. An active engagement results in a loyal customer following and can increase conversion by 20-30%.
- Voice commerce – who doesn’t love their Amazon Alexa? With over a quarter of Britons having one or more smart devices in their home (the most popular being smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home), it’s no surprise that more and more people are considering purchases via voice technology as it can often provide a more seamless customer journey.
- Easier checkouts – Gone are the days when you had to click through multiple pages, register, refer a friend, review your basket several times, enter your payment details and re-enter your log in details before you could purchase a product. One-click purchases are becoming increasingly popular and 2019 could see even easier checkout options. With cart abandonment at around 79%, a quick yet secure check out is imperative for any ecommerce business. Utilising stored data to autofill fields, the use of image recognition software to allow users to scan cards and a one-page checkout are among the suggestions that we could see this year.
- Omni-channel eCommerce – last but not least, will be the heightened experience between our offline and online journeys. We could see a rise in click and collect options, driving footfall to physical shops allowing consumers to have quicker access to their orders. As well as more retailers adopting the use of technology in store, installing tablets to allow customers to browse online and in store simultaneously.