The e-commerce industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years and is booming in 2019. It has been predicted that global retail e-commerce revenue will surpass $4.88 trillion by 2021. And the number of buyers is expected to reach 2.15 billion by 2021.
These are some fascinating numbers but they indicate that the competition is also going to be fierce as the e-commerce industry expands.
In order to stay on top of your competition, merchants and stores will have to integrate their websites and online stores with the top emerging trends in e-commerce.
Let us discuss some of the top trends in E-commerce in 2019.
Personalization and Customer Engagement
E-commerce companies are providing personalization opportunities throughout the shopping journey. E-commerce is closing the gap between physical store visits and online shopping.
Customers are displayed personalized products based on their shopping and browsing history. They are even recommended products based on their search query or interests on other platforms.
Amazon and Shopify have been successfully implementing these personalization techniques to stay ahead of their competition.
Customer engagement is essential when it comes to e-commerce. Ad copies speaking directly to you and Emails recommending products tailored to your history and needs is what converts a cold prospect into a buyer.
AI, Assistants, and Chatbots
AI has taken over everything today and e-commerce is no exception. Chatbots powered by AI will revolutionize the E-commerce industry in 2019.
Chatbots will be able to quickly respond to customer inquiries with the highest accuracy based on the data collected by them.
This will enable e-commerce stores to reduce their CS staff as most of the queries will be resolved by the chatbots automatically.
AI assistants will be able to complete tasks that would otherwise require dedicated human interaction such as inventory or handling inquiries.
These tools will help to save enormous amounts of time and increase the overall efficiency.
Answering questions related to a particular product to discussing a complaint, chatbots will be able to do all.
Interactive Product Visualization, VR and AR
Many of the times, customers are at the verge of purchasing the item but they hold off on it. They start getting second thoughts: “is this product really for me”, “is it really what it looks like?”.
To help the customers move past these confusions and purchase your product, you need to provide them with the visual interaction of your product. They should be able to virtually see it, feel it in their hands and even interact with it.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will let the customers interact with the product in real-time while sitting on their laptop.
Videos are the most popular medium of content sharing in 2019. Most of the content is digested by people in the form of videos and interaction rate of videos is much higher when compared to other sources.
360-degree virtual videos allow customers to experience the product like never before and ease their decision-making process, tempting them to make a purchase.
Integrating your online stores with voice search is essential in 2019. Over 20 percent of the people are already using Voice Search for most of their online searches and queries. This number is predicted to reach 50 percent by 2020.
Voice Search also allows e-commerce listings to take advantage of long-tail keywords since most of the voice search queries are generally longer than typed or written searches.
Hence, marketers should focus on providing the best shining descriptions for their products and use this opportunity to drastically increase their sales.
Subscription Box Business
Subscription-based e-commerce services give the opportunity to the customers to buy a product on a recurring basis without having to place an order again and again. They are charged monthly or yearly (as per the store plan).
Netflix and other streaming subscription services are on the peak but the trend is also shifting towards subscribing to consumer-based services lately.
Services like DollarShaveClub and Amazon Subscribe & Save are the most popular highlights when it comes to subscription-based e-commerce services.
Research shows that over 15 percent of people in the US have already subscribed to some sort of online subscription to receive products on a recurring basis, mostly through monthly boxes.
Subscription Box Business Trend in E-Commerce gives the opportunity to the customers to save on products that they are going to use frequently by getting a monthly subscription rather than buying them from scratch every time.
And e-commerce merchants should definitely take advantage of this opportunity and start subscription services for their most popular products.
The most significant trend of e-commerce in 2019 is, however, the use of Chatbots in Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat.
We will discuss how Chatbots can improve the customers shopping experience and help you boost your sales and revenue.
Chatbots in E-commerce
Today we know that conversational commerce is essential as it makes the customers feel engaged and increases their trust. Customers are more likely to purchase a product based on honest and helpful conversation rather than clicking on some buttons.
Chatbots are automated programs that can simulate conversations with customers to answer queries and even execute specific tasks without human intervention. AI and ML enabled bots to gather data from different conversations and use this data to improve their future functionality.
Hence, chatbots are getting intelligent day by day and in the future will be able to provide answers to almost all the products related queries.
Customer requests and the corresponding right answers are fed into the chatbot’s algorithms, and with the help of AI, they learn to respond even better by collecting additional data.
Some of the major benefits of using AI Chatbots in 2019 are as follows:
They will provide more human-like experience by providing answers tailored to the customer’s needs.
AI Chatbot apps will provide customers with easy access to ordering the products on-the-go. They will be able to get information on the products, request images, and even prices by sending simple messages on the apps.
Virtual assistants are another example of chatbots who provide you with the information you need on the touch of a button or a voice command. You can even use them to make appointments on your end by making automated phone calls or place an order for buying a product.
Chatbots will be able to provide quick solutions to the customer's problems. Customers will not have to wait in line or on phone calls for minutes before they get an answer. Chatbots will provide accurate answers to the customers instantly based on their purchase history and past interactions with particular customers.
Messenger and E-commerce
Messenger is the most popular app and platform when it comes to conversational commerce and E-commerce in general. It has over a billion users, and over 20 billion messages are sent between users and businesses every day.
With messenger, you have the opportunity to get your products on a platform that has a billion users, is rapidly growing, works on almost every device and is super user-friendly. Messenger chatbots are equivalent to having a personal employee 24/7 for answering your customer queries precisely.
Messenger chatbots are able to send product images and even prices upon customer requests. They will also be able to pick a product based on customer’s keywords and provide details related to that particular product. This will provide ease to your customers and drive them towards making a purchase or placing an order.
If you’re launching a new product, all you have to do is tell the messenger chatbot to send a group message to all your customers about the new product and it the message will be sent. It can then be programmed to provide automated replies to customer queries related to this new product and ultimately help boost sales.
Start Order button on Facebook Page:
By creating an account on Delivery.com, your customers can now place orders directly through your facebook page without even visiting your website.
You can now add a “Start Order” call to action button to your page. For instance, someone is looking to order food from your restaurant then all they have to do is click on the “Start Order” button on your page and they’ll be prompted to provide details about their order while staying inside Facebook App. As soon as they fill the information about their order, you’ll receive an order through delivery.com on your website along with other orders. This adds to the convenience of both the customers and the businesses.
In the near future, you’ll even have the option to receive direct payments through messenger app from your customers which will increase the sales drastically as the customers will have an easier method to make their payments.
Customers who are at the bottom of the funnel (BoFU) can be easily converted using Messenger chatbots. All you’ve to do is run a retargeting campaign for the customers who added your product to the shopping cart but didn’t buy just yet and give them different coupons. Ask the customers to reply to your message button with “coupon” and set your chatbot to generate coupons for different customers automatically. This will help you to get the sales that you already deserved but were just one step away.
In short, Chatbots and Messenger have revolutionized the E-commerce industry in 2019 and merchants can make use of these technologies and platforms to increase their revenues and earn the trust of their customers. So in order to stay ahead of your competition, start using Messenger Ads and Chatbots to your advantage before its too late!