David Beyeemang , MSc Digital Marketing Management
The E-commerce market is one that has been thriving year after year. Ecommerce refers to commercial transactions conducted online. This implies that whenever you buy and sell something using the Internet, you’re involved in e-commerce. According to Smart Insights there has also been an overall growth in this sector by 17% in the UK in 2018. In this blog will be highlighted the hottest trends to pay attention to in the coming year.
Advanced Product filtering
Implementing advanced product filtering enables your customers to locate exactly what they need faster, with more options when searching. Filter features such as colour, size, price material etc help your users narrow their search which again ideal for them as it meets specifics.
Quick Tips: Advanced product filtering should hold up again 4 benchmarks of performance
- Available filters – how many filters there are?
- Filter logic – Is it in order and does it flow naturally for the user?
- Filter Interface – are the filters easy to select/sort
- Applied filters – do the filters work together and not against each other?
Using the image above provided by The Iconic as an example – we can see they provide a varied range of filters, the logic follows, the interface works well and lastly, users can easily combine filters which will
Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality
Regarding blurring the lines between the physical and the digital, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are doing so by introducing new ways to see our world. For online retailers, this is providing your customers with different ways of experiencing products outside of a physical store.
There are major differences between augmented and virtual reality. Augmented reality refers to technology that imposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the world, which creates a composite view.
Augmented reality provides an opportunity for brands to enhance their customer’s experience in the purchase consideration phase. A study showed that 71% of shoppers said they would often shop at a retailer if it offered augmented reality. An example as seen on the left is IKEA’s Place app which enables you to virtually ‘place’ furniture in your space. These products are true to size, helping customers make better choices.
Virtual reality, on the other hand, is a computer-generated simulation of a 3D image. Users are engrossed with this digital world and can generally interact with it.
Virtual reality experiences allow customers to see products or activities in realistic settings. Best Western is an example of a company that has already started offering 360-degree tour “taster” experiences for its customers to enable them to have an inside look into their properties which is in-turn attracting more customers.
VR is still at an early adoption stage, therefore moving forward brands have the opportunity to serve as digital pioneers and improve the experience they are offering.
Machine Learning and AI
Machine learning and AI have already began having an enormous impact on several major business areas.
Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. It can deliver a better user experience based on your previous data or buying behaviours and therefore completely makes sense in e-commerce as everyone has different choices and preferences.
For instance, just like in an actual physical store where you’re a regular customer, the shopkeeper knows what kind of clothes you like, ecommerce will make you feel the same in upcoming years.
More and more people shop on their phones in today’s digital world. The term mobile-first simply implies considering mobile design and implementation at the initial stage of website development, as it can’t be an afterthought anymore due to customer demands.
According to Forrester, by 2022 smartphones will account for $175.4 billion in retail sales. Mobile first doesn’t have to be tasking, as a first step, review your mobile checkout process and ensure its user-friendly. If you are looking to take it a step further, accelerated mobile pages (AMP) is something you can implement. AMP is a framework that enables you to create incredibly fast website pages across mobile devices.
In terms of its benefits, Google and Wompmobile working together analysed their eCommerce clients and recognised that clients which used AMP pages increased conversion rates by 105% and decreased bounce rates by 31%. Those are without question impressive stats to think about for 2019.
Providing easier checkouts has never been more essential. Brands must make sure this process and as simple as possible as your customers will go to competitors that give them an easier purchase path. A 2017 study found that the main reason for cart abandonment was to do with extra costs, however, one of the other top reasons was due to the actual checkout experience. 28% said that the checkout process was too complicated, this in effect is leading to brands losing out on lots of income.
Here are therefore a few quick tips to provide an easier and quicker checkout experience:
- One-page checkouts
- Use appropriate input fields
- Autofill fields
- Don’t force registration
Below is a fine example from The Iconic who use an easy to understand, one-page checkout:
In 2019, think about how you can make your customer’s checkout experience easier.
E-commerce although on the rise has some disadvantages. E-commerce sites record all the important details about the customers which are to be kept secured as it includes details like names, addresses, phone numbers and, bank details. If in these case sites don’t implement rigorous cybersecurity quantity, implications could be severe to customers and businesses alike.
For your businesses to stay ahead of the competition, it would be beneficial to implement some of the discussed actionable e-Commerce trends so as to prepare your online store for 2019. If you haven’t already started exploring these trends, the above listed could be a useful audit tool.