The global ecommerce market is definitely on the rise. Experts believe that the global ecommerce market will grow at a rate of 22.9% annually over the next 7 years.
As an Australian online business, it’s important to know the emerging ecommerce trends to keep up with the competition, and remain innovative. Read on to learn what they are.
1. Physical stores are moving online
Recently, businesses have been shifting away from physical retail and to online sales. Even those stores that have traditionally been bricks and mortar are expanding to have both a physical and virtual presence. From large stores like Target Australia to your smaller competitors, online operations are becoming critical to success.
Even traditional service based businesses like accountants, lawyers and doctors are making the move online and offering online consultations and cloud based services.
2. More purchases from abroad
The online retail market is crowded locally, but it also has international businesses creeping into Australian markets. As COVID-19 spread, consumers increased their international shopping. Cross-border ecommerce spiked 21% year over year from January to June 2020, with online sales of luxury goods increasing by 39%, according to Shopify.
3. Less demand for essentials
Throughout the pandemic-related lockdowns, we’ve seen an increase in demand for essentials in online shopping. This is a direct result of people wanting to reduce their time in the community to avoid contact with others.
However, as lockdowns and restrictions ease across the globe, people will begin to visit local department stores for essential items, such as soap and paper towels. As a result, the online demand for these types of products will rapidly decrease.
The take home message for ecommerce shops is that it may be better to focus on unique products rather than personal care items.
4. Solutions more important than brands
Building a brand is essential for success in any marketplace, but customers are looking for solutions to problems, over brand identity. 70% of Amazon purchases are brandless and 90% of product views result from these searches. This shows that people want to invest in pages with quality content over a strong brand image.
5. Fast shopping is essential
Modern consumers look for a quick and seamless shopping experience online across multiple devices. Your online purchase experience matters just as much as the core product because customers abandon slow-loading sites. Since over half of consumers primarily use their smartphones for shopping, these devices must load your shop in under three seconds.
6. Greater safety and convenience
With the pandemic, consumers have grown accustomed to items being delivered directly to them. Home delivery is a great option for most people, but customers also want other ways to collect purchases. This means that pickup collection services are growing in popularity.
7. Sustainable and speedy shipping
People are looking for eco-friendly values more than ever before. They also are looking for convenience. This means that ecommerce shops are partnering with sustainable and fast shipping partners to distribute orders online, while minimising their packaging and postage wrapping as much as possible.
8. Live streaming events
Live streaming events are essential for international clients. Viewers get to interact with your experts and brand, generating greater engagement. They can also see the items that you have for sale and make one-click purchases.
9. Augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) simulates in-person shopping experiences. Customers see how a product would look in reality and can add it to a visually appealing virtual cart. This is a realistic approach that keeps site visitors invested.
In fact, according to Michael Prusich, the Director of Business Development at 1DigitalAgency, 35% of people say that they would be more open to shopping online if they could try on products virtually. Additionally, 22% of consumers would be more likely to forgo in-store shopping if augmented reality features were incorporated into their favourite ecommerce store.
A great example of this is augmented reality for home goods, interior decorating, and styling. A shopper can style an entire room or design a new project before making a single purchase. This allows the customer to stay engaged with the ecommerce company for a longer period of time, increasing the chance of a sale. As a value add or cross sell, the customer sees and interacts with a range of different products, which leads to additional purchases.
Augmented reality will soon become standard in ecommerce business, in both small to large ecommerce platforms alike.
10. New channel exploration
Australia has many new developing ecommerce channels. Instagram and Facebook are simply too oversaturated. Voice shopping, connected TV, and messaging apps are unique ways that businesses are boosting their voices.
11. Personal shopping experiences
Making business personal lets you connect with your customers by adding a human touch. Find your target audience and tailor the shopping experience to them. Make sure to include templates that let you include customers’ names on mobile, email, and loyalty programs.
On-site personalisation programs are also becoming the norm in ecommerce platforms, with data collected from AI technologies being useful for recommending products to customers based on their browsing history. This facilitates a more tailor-made shopping experience.
Making shopping experiences personal will be a growing priority for ecommerce businesses, as studies suggest that businesses will experience a 25% increase in revenue by scaling their website’s personalisation capabilities.
12. Prioritising customer retention
Customer retention is becoming more important than acquisition. Onboarding new customers is far more difficult and expensive than keeping existing ones. Impact retention strategies like subscription models, chatbots for customer service, and loyalty programs are increasing in popularity.
Get into the best ecommerce trends of 2021
Now that you’ve read about the latest emerging ecommerce trends, it’s time to consider implementing some of these in your online business. The Australian and international online marketplace is becoming ever more competitive, and those businesses that can remain agile and adapt to new trends will succeed and grow.
Sidney Cachuela is the co-founder of POP Business, a cloud-based accounting firm. Sid is also a Business Mentor and Chartered Accountant who genuinely revels in solving business problems related to strategy, operations, sales and marketing. Sidney is obsessed with continuous business improvement and believes innovation, culture management and embracing new tech are tenets in achieving better business practices.