In 1995, the first item ever was ordered online on Amazon—a book.
Around 25 years later, the eCommerce industry has made over 2 trillion dollars in sales worldwide. In 2019 alone, eCommerce accounted for more than half—56.9%—of all gains in the retail market, and it is only anticipated to grow in the years to come.
But as businesses experiment and try to give consumers what they want, the online retail space is changing rapidly. In the past, consumers have expected essentials like quality service and fair pricing—but the expectations of modern consumers are much higher.
Meeting these expectations, however, is certainly no simple feat. In fact, research from Salesforce shows that 67% of customers say their standards for good experiences are higher than ever.
In order to capture the attention (and wallets) of today’s consumers, eCommerce brands must take notice and act upon the trends driving consumer purchasing behaviors. Make sure to take advantage of these four emerging trends in the eCommerce industry.
Speedy Delivery Services
E-commerce giants like Amazon and Target have set the standard for two-day (and often same-day) shipping capabilities, and as these shipping speeds increased, so have expectations. In fact, one Retail Touchpoints article found that flexibility and speed are particularly important purchase influencers: 40% of shoppers say taking more than two days for delivery would prevent them from making a purchase, while 63% expect delivery within three days as the standard.
The constant demands for faster and more efficient delivery can put a strain on even the mightiest of supply chains. However, businesses can implement digital tools and software into various stages of their supply chain, like inventory management, order fulfillment, or supplier management. These types of tools allow increased visibility into a business’s supply chain, and can help to identify where processes can become more efficient, leading to quicker shipping times.
Heightened Security of Customer Data
More and more high-performing marketing teams are leveraging customer data to craft a full picture of their target consumer base. This allows them to create more focused campaigns, which naturally leads to better results.
However, consumer trust surrounding businesses’ use of that data is fading. According to a PwC report, just 25% of consumers believe most companies handle their sensitive personal data responsibly. At the same time, the same survey revealed that the vast majority of consumers will “take their business elsewhere if they don’t trust a company is handling their data responsibly.”
In order to deliver upon these growing expectations and salvage consumer trust, eCommerce businesses must improve their internal cybersecurity strategies and maintain customer data safety. This can include setting guidelines for passwords, controlling physical access to customer data, as well as using secure network options.
Mobile Shopping Capabilities
The growth of mobile commerce has been noteworthy. Since 2016, sales made via mobile devices increased by 15%. By the end of 2021, 73% of eCommerce sales will take place on a mobile device. Improving the eCommerce experience for mobile customers can be a huge opportunity for businesses to tap into.
eCommerce growth has been driven in part by the increase in usage of mobile devices. People don’t just shop online, they also use their mobile devices to browse or research before making their mind up about their purchase.
In addition, as Millennials and Generation Z assume the majority of consumer buying power, mobile shopping capabilities will become even more crucial. eCommerce brands should not only ensure their site is mobile friendly, but should also look for opportunities in mobile shopping experiences, such as Instagram’s shop feature or augmented reality-powered applications.
Globalization of eCommerce Shopping
More than 2.1 billion shoppers are expected to purchase goods and services online by 2021; increasingly, these online shoppers live outside the United States. In order to service international customers, eCommerce brands will have to adjust a number of their operational activities including supply chain management, global marketing campaigns, and even certain web features.
This is referred to as eCommerce localization, which intends to give international buyers an online shopping experience that is indistinguishable from their normal native experience. A study by the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) found that for every $1 spent on localization, the return on investment is $25. Offering customers local payment methods, local currencies, and translating content into local languages improves the chances of cross-border success.
With advancements in technology and changes in consumer behavior, eCommerce brands need to keep an eye out for these trends in 2020 and beyond. Incorporating these trends into your strategy will not only benefit your customers, but will be sure to benefit your business too.