Given how competitive the ecommerce industry is, it should not come as a surprise that brands are looking for innovative ways to get an edge over their competition.
Keeping up with the latest trends and implementing them in a business strategy is an effective approach, particularly if a brand is one of the first to adapt to a certain change and offer it to its customers.
Let’s take a look at some of the trends that have been influencing the industry and how businesses can benefit from these trends.
Custom merchandise seems to be on multiple brands’ radars these days. The goal of creating custom products is usually with the intent to promote the brand rather than make money from sales. Take politicians, for example. They invest a lot of money to create campaign stickers, caps, flags, and other knick-knacks to give away to potential voters. If you want to design your own mug, t-shirt, hoodie, face mask, sneakers, and other products, investing in manufacturing equipment is also not necessary as there are services that create the merchandise for you.
The growth of the ecommerce industry continues to impress. In fact, ecommerce sales exceeded $3.5 trillion worldwide in 2019, and the number has grown even more during the pandemic. Because of Covid-19, brick-and-mortar stores had to close down indefinitely. As more and more businesses started to shift their focus toward selling goods and services online, they also noticed the sudden rise of digital assistants, such as Alexa. These digital assistants simplify one’s life because they react to voice commands. In comes voice shopping. The idea of voice commerce is relatively new, and implementing this particular technology requires a lot of resources. Nevertheless, the effort would not go to waste given how convenient it is to shop using a voice instead of typing keys on your smartphone or computer. Besides, you also need to consider that some people with disabilities have no option but to shop using their voices. Accommodating their needs would also be a big boost to the overall brand success.
Advanced customization is not a thing that any brand can implement, but if you offer products that come in different colors, shapes, forms, and other customizable options, do not restrict the customization. If anything, offer your customers the freedom to choose what they want to put on the goods. Be it a different fond, a different product color, or a specific logo, leave the choice to the customer.
Customer feedback is another ecommerce trend that tends to get overlooked sometimes. While most businesses have social media and Google pages where they receive feedback from their customers, it is not necessarily enough to receive a sufficient number of reviews and boost online presence. A brand should incentivize customers to leave reviews after they spend their money. Detailed feedback is an asset that will persuade more website visitors to spend money so long as the reviews are positive. And do not forget about word of mouth that will travel more frequently after someone reads positive reviews.
Investing in artificial intelligence is necessary if a brand wishes to process vast amounts of data about its competitors, current trends, customer behavior, and other relevant metrics. Doing this work manually is simply not efficient. AI also comes in handy because of chatbots. Having chatbots replace real people in customer support is beneficial because it saves money. A chatbot is available 24/7, and it responds to customer questions instantly so long as there are no technical issues with the bot. As artificial intelligence continues to improve, we can expect to see even more uses in the future. But for now, ecommerce brands should consider these two as something worth their while.
Virtual reality is not just for video games. Since not having the option to check products in person happens to be one of the biggest downsides of shopping online, some companies are starting to invest in AR and VR to let shoppers shop online as if they were in a traditional retail store. By putting VR goggles on, you can enter a virtual store and get to see and feel some products, which makes it easier to decide whether it is worth getting one or not. While virtual reality is quite expensive to implement, and it is still a relatively new concept, the trend is something to keep an eye on because it is bound to make its mark in the upcoming years.
An average online shopper is more aware of environmental problems and is more likely to support a business that has pro-environment policies.
It can be simple things, like eco-friendly packaging and package delivery in an environmentally friendly vehicle.