Updated: January 17, 2022
Digital transformation became the new reality, especially after the Covid-19 Pandemic affected the globe. With brick and mortar stores becoming a liability, most businesses have turned to eCommerce to keep a steady revenue stream.
With so many sellers going online, the competition is extremely stiff. The only way to stay ahead and provide customers with a positive buying experience is to make use of the latest trends in technology.
Here are 8 eCommerce trends that every business should look forward to and make the most of in 2022.
The most important thing for an eCommerce business is to provide an exemplary customer experience. Headless eCommerce has become the top trend in the industry because it allows you to do that. In the simplest terms, headless eCommerce separates the front end from the back end. This allows the developers and designers to work separately without affecting the functionality of the website. This allows you to make changes according to the trends or based on the response of your customers. Another advantage of adopting headless eCommerce is the time you save on making changes. Developers do not have to worry about major changes in the interface, allowing them to make tweaks in the functionality without affecting the user experience. This is true for the design team as well. With headless eCommerce, you can respond to market changes quickly without wasting the resources available to you. In order to incorporate headless eCommerce successfully for your business, choosing the right APIs is a must. They must be coordinated to provide a consistent experience across multiple channels.
- Buy Now Pay Later and Multiple Payment Options
The checkout part of your ecommerce portal is most important. This is where most businesses miss out on conversions because of complicated or limited purchasing options. The last thing you want is an abandoned cart. For instance, if you only allow card payments on your e-commerce portal, your customer may not be able to complete the purchase because the details are not accessible.The whole point of ecommerce is to allow customers to make purchases anywhere, anytime. With social media and digital marketing picking up, consumers have switched to impulsive buying. They want to be able to make the most of offers and discounts that are promoted on various platforms. So, everything must be instant.The best way to ensure this is to provide as many payment options as possible. You can also provide customers with a buy now, pay later option. It allows a one-click payment option which is most convenient to customers. You can register with credit providers who offer zero interest financing options. Customers have the liberty of making a payment later or breaking down their payments into EMIs as well.Payment options affect buying decisions of your customers. So, the more flexibility you provide, the better it is. Considering that most purchases are made on smartphones when people are on the go, this trend is here to stay.
- Live Shopping/ Social Media Shopping
Ecommerce, today, is all about engagement. This is why live shopping or live ecommerce has become an important feature. It is the next best thing to in-person shopping, bringing together video streaming and social media.Through live shopping, merchants can have natural conversations about their products and services instead of simply putting up descriptions. It is quite similar to the shopping channels on TV that were extremely popular a couple of years ago. Through live shopping, merchants can hold live events on social media channels where they can engage customers in real-time.Anyone from the company who is adept in talking about the products and services can host these events. The more relatable the content, the better are your chances of conversions. Today, social media has moved beyond targeted advertising and paid promotions. Through these live shopping events, you can create a sense of urgency and even guide the customer through the entire shopping process. So, from the time of introducing a product to checking out, you have the undivided attention of your consumer.
- Voice Search Shopping
Voice assistants like Alexa have become extremely common in people’s homes these days. From playing their favourite songs to operating electronics, everything is done through a voice command. Needless to say, customers have responded positively to voice search shopping, too.If you have an ecommerce website, you need to integrate a voice search option so that customers can search for products without manually entering keywords. In order to use voice search shopping on your ecommerce portal, you will need to integrate a dialogue system which uses Natural Language Processing to understand human speech. Then, you need an SEO expert to integrate common keywords to optimize the website for voice search.The advantage of voice search shopping is the convenience that it allows. It also eliminates the chances of errors in spellings or keywords that can cause you to lose a potential customer.
- Subscription and Loyalty Programs
For any business, it is just as important to have recurring business from existing customers as it is to generate new leads. This is where subscriptions and loyalty programs come handy. Customers can be included in a subscription or loyalty program to avail exclusive services and discounts on any purchases made through the website.The advantage of this is not only customer retention but also better relationships with your customers. When a customer chooses to be a part of your loyalty program, it is a sign that he or she has had a positive experience with your products and services. So, you are automatically creating advocates for your brand.In order to incorporate these programs, you must understand the basic difference. With a subscription plan, your customers can make recurring purchases of a product by making a one time payment. So, you can have a quarterly subscription, bi-annual or annual subscription. On the other hand, with a loyalty program, your customers get a discount or additional services everytime they make a new purchase on your website.This also improves the customer lifetime value, turning occasional customers into regular ones.
- Boosting Customer Experience and Convenience
What brings a customer back to an ecommerce platform? The choice and quality of products and services, no doubt. But, there is one thing that customers value the most. It is the ease of shopping on the website.A brand stands out when the customer has a positive purchasing experience. The first thing that you should focus on is an omnichannel portal. This provides customers with seamless purchasing options, whether it is through their smartphone or a desktop. In lieu of the pandemic, many stores have also started click and collect options which allow customers to check the product physically while satisfying their craving for an in-store experience.The next step is to optimize the buyer journey. All the touchpoints of customers must be taken care of to get a competitive edge in the market. This means that you should improve product search, provide a better mobile experience, focus on merchandising and even ensure the best return and refund process. When you engage the customer from the beginning and give them a great after-sales experience, you can expect them to come back to your brand several times.
It is not enough for brands to meet consumer demands. They must also cater to the values of customers in order to build trust. Sustainability is one such value that is no longer limited to eco-friendly brands.With more conversations about protecting the planet and using resources wisely, any ecommerce brand that takes measures to ensure sustainability is here to stay. Simple changes like using different materials in your product or opting for eco-friendly packaging solutions will take your brand a long way. While it may be slightly more expensive initially, the returns that you can expect from these measures are higher. You will also enjoy the loyalty of more customers when your brand embraces a positive message.
- Personalization Through AI and Data Management
Artificial Intelligence and data management are the future of ecommerce. Making use of existing algorithms and technology can help you optimize customer experience. Artificial intelligence helps create a personalized buyer journey. To begin with, AI can recommend products based on the interest of the customers and even suggest payment methods that are commonly chosen by the customer.Features like chatbots and virtual assistants are prime examples of using AI to improve customer support. You can even take care of simple administrative tasks and transactions to utilize existing manpower in a better way.AI and data can even help you make better business decisions. These technologies help predict consumer behaviour, improve customer segmentation and even help you optimize your pricing based on the current market. Overall, AI and data helps you streamline business operations and stay in sync with a dynamic, ever-changing market.
If you are unsure about how to make your ecommerce portal standout, get in touch with Bitcot today. We help you find the right technology to support your business. Not just that, we help you recruit the right consultants or in-house team to take the functionality of your ecommerce website to the next level.