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The 8 top e-commerce trends for 2020

The modern consumer is becoming more and more demanding.

They expect a high quality customer experience, demand personalisation and want to feel connected to brands that share the same values.

That’s before they even consider the quality of your products. Put simply, the e-commerce brands that will survive and flourish in 2020 are those that always put the consumer at the centre of their strategies.

Here are eight consumer-driven trends that will have an even bigger impact in 2020:

1. Voice search

It’s expected that by 2020, as much as 50% of all online searches will be voice searches. With around 95% accuracy rate and massive investment from tech firms into voice-powered technology, it’s something that’s starting to become ubiquitous in home technology.

The challenge for e-commerce retailers is to not only ensure that their website is mobile optimised. It must also be optimised for voice search with changes to keyword placement and content structure imperative.

2. Social-selling

According to recent figures, the number of worldwide social media users is set to reach 2.95 billion in 2020. To put that into perspective, that’s around a third of the global population.

The opportunity for e-commerce retailers must always be to engage with users and potential customers where they spend their time online. It’s therefore no surprise to see recent social-selling opportunities from the biggest social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

How brands make the most of this will be a big challenge in 2020.

3. Chat bots

Live chat is something that customers are expecting more and more. In fact, 79% of consumers prefer live chat as their main source of communication with brands due to the instantaneous nature of the responses.

This is always an easy solution to implement for bigger brands with much in the way of staff resource, it can often prove more difficult for smaller retailers. The automation offered by chatbots is therefore essential and will only become more important for retailers next year.

4. The fast fashion mindset

You simply can’t deny the impact that fast fashion has had on online retail in the last few years. It’s something that consumers clearly want, but there are certain questions that are often raised in terms of how sustainable and environmentally friendly the model is.

That said, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that all brands can learn and take from the model, specifically the following structure and customer benefits:

  • Speed and agility for fulfilment & delivery
  • Social-selling
  • Influencer endorsements

For those brands that can also find a way to bring sustainability into the mix, it should truly be a structure for success in 2020.

5. Multi-platform customer journeys

Customer experience is so important for the future of any e-commerce business. Consumers expect brands to be present across multiple-platforms, with a consistency in terms of messaging, branding and tone.

Not only that, the experience needs to be personalised and tailored to the user. Retargeting campaigns need to be immediate, hyper-relevant and cross-device, while brand awareness must be targeted, tailored and always up-to-date.

6. Subscription-based selling

Subscription-based selling is only set to increase in 2020. When done right, the benefits for both brand and consumer are clear to see.

For the customer, they’ll get a regularly-delivered and consistent experience. They can expect personalisation, convenience and cost savings. On the side of the brand, the monetary advantages are paramount, but they can also expect additional benefits, mainly:

  • More reliable forecasting and better inventory management
  • Streamlined transactions in the form of repeated and scheduled purchases
  • Retention of high-quality customers
7. Real-world opportunities for customers

The death of the high-street has been a very real problem in recent years, but there are still brands that win with their brick-and-mortar stores.

Those are the retailers that see their stores as an extension of the customer experience and cater to customer needs whether through creative use of Geolocation technology or innovative use of pop-ups.

Geolocation technology offers retailers the opportunity to use their online marketing to boost footfall within their physical locations. Geotargeting ensures digital display ads can be targeted at a specific demographic within a defined geographic area, whilst Geotargeting gives brands the chance to connect with potential customers on the go on their mobile devices. The technology offers the platform to boost foot traffic, those brands that are able to do so are the ones that can get creative with their offers, messaging and calls to action.

8. High-quality content

The importance of content never goes away from online retailers, whether to help with customer queries, sell products, or re-engage with existing customers.

Those brands that continue to invest in content creation with a focus on optimising it for voice search, as well as making the best use of user-generated content and high-quality customer-focussed onsite content will be the ones that increase audience engagement in 2020.

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