Commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet.
“Communication is at the heart of e-commerce and community.” - Meg Whitman
E-Commerce is not a new trend anymore. It's huge. The average growth rate in e-commerce sales has been 25% since 2014 . The projected retail e-commerce sales worldwide for 2012 is $4.8 trillion. It’s expected to have 2.14 billion online buyers then. These figures mean that your business must join the party if it hasn’t until today. They also suggest that you should expect fierce competition.
Just like traditional retail commerce, information is a big weapon to get the better of your competition in e-commerce. However, since things change very rapidly in the digital world, it's not always effortless to keep up with the latest trends. So, let’s talk about what's been going on recently in e-commerce and what we should expect in the future; therefore, you can be prepared.
E-Commerce has a disadvantage compared to traditional retail shopping. By definition, it lacks the human connection. Companies have been trying to find a solution to this problem. They have been trying to make the customer feel that they are unique, and the transaction is personalized for them. They have come a long way. Today, when you log in to your Amazon account, you can effortlessly find things you might be interested, shown to you based on your latest purchases, search history, and other data. And it feels good! These personalization tools will very likely continue to be a trend in e-commerce in the future.
However, not every purchase online needs to be personalized. There are a lot of things you have to buy regularly, but not necessarily need to feel unique. Grocery shopping is a perfect example of this. You don't really need to feel unique when purchasing eggs, do you? Luckily, the Internet of Things has emerged to save us from drudgery aspects of e-commerce. Thanks to digital personal assistants like Alexa, Amazon Echo, Siri, and other chatbots, who do the tedious work, businesses will be able to use less and less human labor for this type of e-commerce. The voice assistants will also bring back a human element of retail shopping to e-commerce, allowing people to shop by talking again. Voice shopping is expected to be the next big thing and to hit $40+ billion by 2022.
Another future trend in e-commerce is related to business-to-business vs. business-to-customer interactions. It’s a known fact that B2B e-commerce has been growing very fast lately. What’s new is though that it is expected to reach $6.7 trillion by 2020 and outpace B2C e-commerce. B2B customers now have very similar experience and expectations when purchasing online. Since these two kinds of models have different types of audiences, sales, decision-making processes, etc., you’ll need to adjust if you’d like to switch from B2C to B2B.
One of the reasons to choose traditional retail shopping over e-commerce is the need to try before buying. However, old school shopping is losing its advantage in this. Augmented reality and 3D tools allow customers to see if a dress will suit them without even seeing the real product, yet physically trying it. Since augmented reality technology is growing day by day, we can definitely expect it to be a future trend in e-commerce.
Social media has become so popular that it was inevitable for businesses to turn them into shopping channels. Today you can easily buy a product by clicking a button on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and many other social media channels. This trend is likely to grow soon, the research shows. And of course, the replacement of the traditional commerce channels with the digital gives birth to a new trend in the payment methods too. Digital payment has been getting more and more popular against credit cards and cash. Although it’s still early to claim that it will kill its opponents, it's safe to assume that accepting digital payments will give a significant advantage to businesses.
If you’d like to keep up with the latest e-commerce trends, which are changing very fast, Kimola can help you. “Trends” feature of our AI-empowered Consumer Research Platform allows you to see what is trending for your target audience in real-time.