And here comes a new year, washing off the bad things from the last one and bringing in new milestones, goals, experiences and bits of knowledge. For those involved or interested in the ever-growing world of ecommerce, we thought of sharing today some of the new ecommerce trends you’ll be seeing a lot this 2020.
Although January is already speeding up, I bet some of us are still trying to find our way around after such a delicious and well-earned holidays break. So, let’s shake that off and get moving because it’s the perfect timing to start planning our marketing strategy for this 2020. Take a look at the numbers and see how ecommerce sales are expected to increase a 19% this year, representing a 16% of all sales worldwide.
Of course, as an ecommerce retailer, you want to have customers around the world. But, are you willing to offer something in exchange? Payment flexibility. If you’re payment-inflexible, that’s going to cost you and your business a lot. However, over the past decade, the ecommerce tech sphere has taken care of this issue with some of the greatest innovations you’re probably familiar with. Among those let’s list Stripe, Square, AliPay and WeChat Pay.
As the payment methods grow in variety, online customers in every country tend to have their own favorite ones. This might have a cultural preference background, for example having credit versus debit cards, or it may be influenced by the penetration rate of mobile wallets, or even by brand recognition and trust regarding terms of security on these payment platforms.
The best way to reach out to your customer base and bring them in with you is accepting as many payment methods as possible. Well, at least the most commonly used ones on those areas you are targeting or those areas which are really lucrative. If you need to find out which payment methods your customers are using, you may use this PrestaShop’s country-by-country list.
You have probably already heard this term somewhere over the course of last year. Maybe you have even asked Google: what’s an IoT? Well, here comes the answer. An IoT is not a thing; it’s… things, in plural. It stands for Internet of Things and those ‘Ok, Google’ or ‘Alexa, play…’ commands that are becoming more and more familiar for the younger Z and Y generations are actually CTAs to devices that are already a part of this Internet of Things.
What does that mean? Well, any device that can exist without being connected to Internet, but which has been internet-ified in recent years, will fall within the Internet of Things. This includes things like your parking garage optimization system, your Apple Watch, FitBit, Google Home, Alexa or your home heating system.
Omnichannel is picking up
As the omni-channel shopping experience is becoming essential for all ecommerce endeavors, it makes sense you ensure your clients an optimized IoT-based purchase platform. The IoT era is coming. In order to be ready for it and don’t fall behind, a great idea is start using a headless CMS so you can make your content available from all IoT devices, for example, a smart watch.
Fresh news is that you can use headless CMS technology not only to manage the front-end of a website, whether it’s an e-store or not, but it’s also becoming a regular norm to manage transactional data.
The idea behind headless ecommerce follows the same logic as headless CMS in general, but its main concern is focusing on the benefits e-merchants can get from a headless system.
On an ecommerce site, going headless is a way of ‘future proofing’ exiting product, customer and sales data, as well as marketing materials.
But, what does future-proof mean?
If, as we foresee, the Internet of Things continues to expand, branch out and become popular, chances are that by the end of 2020 a great percentage of customers will be shopping from devices that will be neither smartphones, nor tablets, nor computers, but just devices connected to the Internet of Things, such as Alexa. That’s why ecommerce retailers like yourself will need to deliver your site and your content to your customers in a way that’s not restricted by screen size and operating system requirements.
That’s what headless commerce is attempting to put in your hands, the possibility of distributing your content, let’s say product descriptions, price details, etc, and collect customer data like emails and purchases histories regardless of the device the customer is using to shop from.
If you’re not used to this word yet, I can assure you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot of it this year, as it’s a powerful marketing trend that is taking all ecommerce sites by assault.
You can use headless commerce systems to turn your marketing omni-channel, that is providing copy and images or videos for your ads and CTAs and, with the right headless CMS, you’ll be able to have formatting models for ads on watches, voice-activated objects, like Alexa, interactive cars, and of course, you’ll still have them on the traditional channels such as mobile, tablets and desktops interfaces.
We believe this year will mark an inflection point in the environmental history and we have reasons to believe that. Last year COP 25 in Madrid was probably one of the most heated to the date, Artic ice is melting right under polar bears paws and the young Greta Thunberg has not only inspired hundreds of funny Internet memes, but has also brought together a strong environmental movement. So definitely, 2020 is going to be a turning point for environmental awareness.
But even if this comes true and we have more people opening their eyes to the dilapidated state of our planet and start worrying about whether hybrid cars batteries pollute and if they are worth the hype, we also have more people realizing that having environmental awareness is not enough.
Experts state that living a comfortable lifestyle in 2019, in which ecommerce orders play a part, will take its toll on 2030. The only thing we could possibly do in order to get us out of this mess is changing radically our wild modes of consumption. Even though it may sound like a paradox, this change can also come from ecommerce.
Online consignment giant ThredUp released data in 2019 in which they show how the fashion resale market is growing exponentially, over 21 times faster than the general apparel market.
Roy Moussa, co-founder of retail shelf-vision startup Qopius knows what he’s doing when it comes to optimize inter-channel for retailers. The technology of his company goes all about using digital data to place the right items on the physical store shelves, and vice versa, taking images of the physical stores shelves to show retailers what they should be stocking more online.
He has a pretty solid background to speak on the subject of click and collect, a retail practice that has been becoming more and more popular as consumers become quality-conscious.
“There has been a revolution of retail since the end of 2017”, he declared recently in an interview with the incubator Plug & Play, “driven by Ecommerce leaders evolving their business models to physical. Examples of this are Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and the launch of Amazon Go.”
He’s got a very good point there. There’s a tendency to combine online efficiency with in-person authenticity, and this works well. In theory, these days you could get everything you need online, and yet you continue to visit brick and mortar stores, which keep driving sales up.
We can’t know for sure which psychological behavior stands behind our attachment to the physical shopping experience, but we know for sure that people haven’t stopped going to stores, despite having the possibility to order pretty much anything right there on their mobile phone.
Back to our roots: taking digital into the physical world
Pure players, and we just mentioned the example of Amazon, are latching onto this phenomenon, although for some it still seems like a regression in time. However, this is actually a potential strategy for the new digital-first paradigm.
What does that mean? Well, it means that it’s time to take a leap back and remember where we came from, that is considering making your products available in physical places.
We know pure players benefit from the fact that they do not need a physical store, which can cost more money. If you can’t afford a brick and mortar storefront of your own, you could try out other alternatives. For example, setting up a temporary pop-up store with a fairly low barrier entry, as Forbes puts it, or renting a stand on a larger retailer’s flagship. Those are great ways for your brand to get noticed and it will offer you the possibility of providing click-and-collect services.
The concept of try and buy is the opposite of click and collect. Instead of searching the product online and afterwards collecting the selected item on the physical point of sale, which goes back to the basic concept of the physical shopping experience, the try and buy starts out with a physical interaction with the product. This is the try part. The client gets to see and touch the item, and then goes back home or to their nearest smart device and click ‘buy’.
While the process of try and buy may be contrary to that of click and collect, these retailers are also putting omni-channeling into practice. This means their shopping experience is also constituted by the same two types of experience: one in-store and one online.
Implementing the try and buy trend is on the same road as offering click and collect services: opening up further points of contact between your products and your customers.
Future-proof your store in 2020
In a nutshell, we could say that ecommerce success in 2020 will rely on three aspects:
Omnicanality is stepping hard into 2020 ecommerce experience as the best way to convert ecommerce customers and cultivate their loyalty. This practice is all about reinforcing human relationships between your brand and your customers. In order to achieve a functioning omnicanality, you’ll need to set up the store beyond their mobiles and desktop devices.
To be successful as an international salesperson, you need to do as the Romans do, when in Rome. This means adapting your sales methods and marketing strategies to please every possible customer across all of those markets you’re reaching out to.
You can do this by accepting as many payment methods as possible, localizing your website as well as your shipping strategy and synching with local social media advertising campaigns. You should also keep in mind these new brick and mortar marketing trends and give it a shot.
Rounding it up, you need to do extensive market research and be ready to offer different experiences for every type of customers in different countries or markets.
And, of course, being personal
In order to get your customers to identify with your brand, you must remember they’re also humans, and for them is easier to feel indentified if they see you not only as a company, but as a person. You can achieve a great level of trust and understanding with your customer base if you make concerted efforts to help them or speak to them, offering them a warm and fulfilling client-retailer experience. Brands in every industry are starting to take advantage of ever-renewing technologies such as AI, social data scraping and neuro-marketing tools, and that is setting a new standard for customization is ecommerce that is a lot higher than we thought yesterday.
This is more obvious when we speak of international customers. You want to sell your products, so you have to adapt your products and your messages to them. In order to do so, you will need to keep in mind each of your customers’ cultural expectations, language and local trends, and you will need to interact with them via as many channels as possible.
Being flexible and implementing omnicanality is the right way to be personal on your interactions client-retailer, and combining these three values, you hold a great chance of carrying out your New Year’s resolutions on the web.