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11 E-commerce Trends That Will Shape the Future of Online Shopping

Published on
April 29, 2023
The e-commerce industry is growing, increasing competition for brands. Learn the latest e-commerce trends that will shape online shopping here.

Online shopping is on track to become more popular and more accessible as the e-commerce industry develops rapidly. New trends influencing how customers interact with businesses are emerging due to the development of technology.

Global retail e-commerce sales are anticipated to reach $8.1 trillion by 2026, according to Statista. While the pandemic played a considerable role in the success of online retailers, even as restrictions eased, trends showed that people still prefer browsing e-commerce sites.

Unsurprisingly, e-commerce sites haven’t reached their peak yet. There’s still room for growth. For instance, the American e-commerce market is projected to increase revenue by 31 percent in the next three years. This growth in e-commerce stores has led to the closure of many brick-and-mortar stores as consumers prioritize convenience.

However, it’s also worth noting that not all e-commerce brands will taste success. The success rate of e-commerce stores is less than 20 percent. Online stores must build and earn the trust of consumers. These highlight the importance of staying updated with the latest e-commerce trends that will shape the future of online shopping.

Key Takeaways

  • Mobile e-commerce will drive the growth of the industry.
  • Personalization is still critical in improving customer experience. It will drive the e-commerce shops as they aim to stand out among the competition.
  • Advancements in technology will become a major game-changer in the e-commerce space.
  • More and more sellers will be more open to exploring different e-commerce platforms to showcase their products and increase conversion rates.

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Top E-commerce Trends Driving the Industry

Image by Igor Miske on Unsplash

How do e-commerce businesses stay afloat and prevent their shop from becoming a failure? Follow and know the latest e-commerce trends. Here are 11 of those.

1. Demand for more personalization

If there’s one thing e-commerce brands should prioritize to get loyal customers, it would be personalization. Personalization refers to how brands customize their interactions and marketing campaigns with their target audience.

It’s critical for e-commerce stores to understand what their customers want. A large percentage (73%) of shoppers expect organizations to know their expectations and needs. E-commerce shop owners can’t simply adopt a cookie-cutter approach and expect good results.

Getting this right means winning loyal customers with a solid connection to the brand. Here’s how personalization can make a huge difference.

  • Increased customer satisfaction: Personalization can improve the customer experience. Tailoring recommendations and content to each individual's preferences increases satisfaction.
  • Better engagement: Personalized content and recommendations can capture customers' attention and increase engagement. It can lead to more time spent on the site and more products viewed. In the end, this will equate to more e-commerce sales.
  • Improved conversion rates: It also increases conversion rates by offering relevant recommendations and offers to customers, leading to more sales.
  • Higher customer lifetime value (CLV): Personalized experience helps foster customer loyalty. When people keep coming back, it’s easier to increase CLV.

How do you achieve this? Understand the customer journey. Know what influences their buying decision. Monitor consumer behavior and tailor your campaigns based on the information. One of the most significant advantages of e-commerce sites is their access to first-party data. They can use customer data to craft personalized emails with relevant content.

For example, a clothing store could send personalized emails with recommended outfits based on the customer's previous purchases.

2. Mobile commerce will become the norm

As more people use their phones to shop online, the mobile shopping trend will grow steadily. A report from eMarketer stated that 2022 mobile commerce sales would reach $414.93 billion, representing 6 percent of the annual retail sales. The numbers are projected to grow to 43.4 percent this year.

Meanwhile, a study from Pew Research Center found that 76 percent of Americans use their smartphones for online shopping.

Image taken from Pew Research Center

Mobile commerce's convenience appeals to most consumers. Mobile commerce allows them to shop anytime and anywhere. They don’t need to visit physical stores to browse products, compare prices, and buy. With only a few taps on their smartphones, customers can purchase anything they want within seconds.

Similarly, online sellers will continue to adopt omnichannel strategies. Aside from maintaining products in-store, sellers will also explore having a slew of mobile commerce offerings. Why is this an essential factor for e-commerce sales? Mobile shoppers are mostly Millenials and Gen Zers with massive spending power.

But their job doesn’t end there. Sellers have to ensure they’re optimizing their sites for mobile devices. Numbers indicate that 40 percent of online shoppers will go to a competitor following a bad mobile experience. Despite this, 84 percent of online shoppers still report mobile transaction challenges.

Providing a seamless mobile commerce experience is critical in driving the growth of e-commerce stores.

3. Increase in buy now, pay later schemes

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) payment schemes are gaining popularity. The concept has been introduced previously — it’s a standard offering for most credit card providers.

This payment method allows people to buy goods they may still need to get the money for. Customers can spread the cost of their purchase over a period, making it more affordable for them to buy.

This can particularly appeal to people with irregular income or unexpected expenses, as BNPL can help them manage their budgets.

In addition, many BNPL schemes offer interest-free periods. This makes it an attractive option to customers who want to avoid high credit card fees or interest rates. If the customer pays off their balance within the agreed timeframe, they will not pay any additional fees or interest.

BNPL offers convenience. Most e-commerce sites offer quick online applications and approval processes. This trend will benefit consumers the most since they will have better control over their finances and purchases.

But it doesn’t mean e-commerce store owners won’t have advantages as well.

Sellers can leverage payment methods to develop different ways to attract new customers. They can offer features such as free returns and dedicated support staff. This can lower entry barriers for consumers and provide them flexibility when purchasing. Businesses that see returns as an opportunity to build better customer relationships have greater chances for success.

Most buyers will factor in a store’s return policy before purchasing. An unclear return policy leads to 15 percent of cart abandonment.

BNPL payment options attract and retain younger generations who demand exemplary customer service. It can reduce the sticker shock of big-ticket items, encouraging them to complete their purchases.

With positive customer experience, the better the CLV. Ultimately, this will help sellers increase their bottom line.

4. Adoption of mobile payment systems

Following the growing use of mobile devices and technological advancements, mobile payment systems are finding their way into e-commerce.

E-commerce shops accepting mobile payments provide customers with many benefits. One is convenience. Customers can buy using their mobile phones anywhere at any time. With mobile payments, customers no longer have to enter their payment information manually. They can select their mobile wallet as the payment method, and the information will be automatically filled in.

Many mobile wallets even have scan-to-pay options. Some offer one-click checkout, allowing customers to save their particulars and check out faster.

Mobile payments are secure because they use encryption and other security measures to protect customers' payment information. When shopping online, they can have peace of mind knowing their personal and financial information is safe.

With convenience and security, e-commerce shops can enjoy increased sales. Buyers are more likely to complete a purchase if they can do so without hassles.

While PayPal and Apple Pay enjoy widespread coverage and adoption, the online shopping market will see a continuous influx of apps that would integrate mobile payments. These mobile payments aren’t limited to online shops. Even physical stores are now accepting mobile payments.

5. Growth in social commerce

Along with an omnichannel approach, online retailers will invest heavily in social media campaigns to reach a bigger audience. It’s no longer enough to optimize for search engines. An average person spends 147 minutes of their day browsing their social media pages.

Many sellers are stepping away from the usual platforms, like Shopify and Amazon, as social media channels offer selling options. Facebook has its Marketplace, while Instagram allows brands to add a Shop Now button.

TikTok now offers TikTok Shop, which integrates an e-commerce shop within the platform. Not only can sellers upload images and photos of their products and allow customers to buy directly from them, but the app enables them to sell their goods via live streaming.

Even big-name brands promote their products on their social media handles. This trend is primarily because most consumers get heavily influenced by posts they see on social media platforms. For this reason, many e-commerce brands are investing in influencer marketing to boost their social media presence.

Online stores targeting the biggest consumers can benefit from collaborations with influencers. A report found that 72 percent of Millennials and Gen Z follow influencers. However, before working with influencers, you should understand the cost of influencer marketing.

6. Livestream selling reels in more buyers

Video consumption is increasing. Many influencers and sellers understand that video content gets more visibility and traction. People want something they can digest as they go, and this is why livestream commerce is becoming a game-changer in online retail. This format of live selling is attracting a huge following.

In 2020, livestream commerce sales accounted for $200 billion and $11 billion in China and the US, respectively. It’s safe to say this trend was a response to the pandemic. However, this trend isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. Once consumers experience what it’s like to buy from live streamers, they won’t likely return to traditional shopping.

Image taken from Sprout Social

Based on the Sprout Pulse Survey, 49 percent of respondents plan to watch live streams this year.

7. Growing use of artificial intelligence for campaigns

Advancements in technology have made artificial intelligence (AI) more accessible to all. E-commerce sites can use this technology to improve customer experience. One is through the use of chatbots. In the past, store owners employed someone to answer queries from customers.

With AI and machine learning, site visitors get real-time answers to their questions at any time of the day. This reduced wait time is integral to improving buying experience.

E-commmerce sites can use customer relationship management (CRM) tools to improve their marketing efforts. It’s critical for personalizing messaging and other e-commerce marketing campaigns. With a CRM, sellers can measure different metrics that will allow them to adjust their marketing.

Another useful functionality brought by AI is product recommendations. Buyers can get similar products based on their browsing history.

Sellers use this strategy when the buyers are in the checkout stage already. They will allow AI to recommend products that go well with what is already in the buyer’s cart. It’s a good strategy for upselling.

With AI, sellers can curate the content they send to their target audience. For example, segmenting their database based on demographics or buying behavior would be easier.

From this data alone, buyers can receive relevant emails that resonate with their needs. On the other hand, sellers can enjoy increased engagement and better retention rates. Sellers can also use AI to send out reminders about products in their cart.

8. More demand for sustainability

With climate change a pressing problem, consumers are now more conscious of their purchases. They are more vocal about their support for businesses that show sustainability initiatives. It’s why an increasing number of online businesses focus on environmentally friendly practices and offer sustainable products to their customers.

Admittedly, e-commerce retail has a significant impact on the environment. Estimates show that carbon emissions from logistics will produce 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2030. It’s a tricky situation for most sellers as consumers also demand fast, secure, and affordable shipping rates.

The numbers don’t include the greenhouse gas emissions from product returns. Product returns don’t always go back to the supply chain. Returned merchandise accounts for at least 24 million metric tons of carbon dioxide due to transport. Roughly 4.34 million tons of these products end up in landfills.

E-commerce businesses should find a way to address these supply chain sustainability issues. One is by sourcing materials from ethical and eco-friendly suppliers. They can also work on reducing waste in production and implementing sustainable transportation methods.

For example, sellers can use recycled materials for their packaging materials and opt for carbon-neutral shipping offerings. In the US, UPS allows retailers to pay a small fee to offset shipments. These fees then go through climate-focused projects.

Minimizing returns is also an excellent way to reduce carbon emissions. Sellers should provide buyers with accurate product descriptions and high-quality images. One survey found 87 percent of customers rely on product photos when buying online.

This way, customers can have an informed decision about their purchases — they’re less likely to return products when they’re happy with what they bought.

9. Augmented and virtual reality will be more common

The future of e-commerce won’t be complete without mentioning augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). These two technologies aren’t exactly new, but they have found widespread adoption in the online shopping market.

Improving customer service and experience is providing consumers with the latest offerings. Applying these technologies will allow online shoppers to have buying experience as if they’re in a store. This immersive shopping experience will be a huge hit among Gen Z shoppers.

These technologies allow product visualization in 3D and in real-time. AR is a revolutionary concept that enables the integration of digital images into the physical world, usually through a mobile device or wearable technology.

In e-commerce, AR can create virtual product try-on. Customers can try and see how a piece of clothing or accessory would look on them before making a purchase. For example, the cosmetics brand, Sephora, has an AR feature in its mobile app. It allows customers to "try on" makeup virtually, using their phone's camera to apply shades and products to their faces.

These technologies can help reduce the likelihood of returns, a significant issue for many online retailers. They can also help increase customer engagement and satisfaction, leading to better conversion rates and increased sales.

AR and VR can also help online retailers differentiate themselves from competitors, providing a unique and memorable shopping experience. This offering can set them apart from other e-commerce sites.

However, some challenges are associated with implementing AR and VR in e-commerce. These technologies can be expensive to develop and require specialized skills and expertise.

Plus, not all customers have access to the hardware or software to use AR and VR features. It can limit the potential audience for these experiences. Still, it’s best if brands can explore the possibility of incorporating these technologies into their online stores.

10. Voice commerce will become mainstream

Voice commerce, also known as v-commerce or voice shopping, refers to using voice-enabled devices. Consumers can use smart speakers and virtual assistants to make purchases online. With the increasing popularity of these devices, voice commerce is becoming more common and more convenient for consumers.

Voice commerce is becoming more popular because it offers a seamless, hands-free shopping experience. Instead of navigating a website or mobile app, customers can ask their virtual assistant to purchase for them. This can be incredibly convenient for repeat purchases or items customers know they want, such as household essentials or personal care items.

V-commerce can also provide a more personalized shopping experience. Virtual assistants can use data and machine learning algorithms to make personalized product recommendations based on a customer's past purchases, browsing history, and preferences. This can increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, as customers feel the shopping experience aligns with their needs.

With more people using voice-enabled devices for shopping, technology companies are investing in protecting personal and financial information. For example, some virtual assistants require customers to set up a voice profile or use a secure PIN. This provides an extra layer of security, reducing the risk of fraud or unauthorized purchases.

One example of a company embracing voice commerce is Amazon, with its Alexa virtual assistant. Customers can use Alexa to add items to their cart, reorder past purchases, and make new purchases using voice commands.

Another example is Walmart, which has partnered with Google to enable voice shopping through Google Assistant. Customers can ask Google Assistant to add items to their Walmart cart and place an order for delivery or pickup.

11. Adoption of subscription-based models

Subscription-based models have become increasingly popular in recent years. These models allow customers to receive products regularly, usually monthly, without having to reorder or visit the store in person. This convenience is very appealing to consumers.

One example of a successful subscription-based model is Dollar Shave Club. They offer a monthly subscription service for razors and other grooming products, which has become incredibly popular. Customers love the convenience of having new razors delivered to their door every month. The affordable pricing has helped to make Dollar Shave Club a household name.

Another example is BarkBox, a subscription-based service for dog owners. Each month, subscribers receive a box with toys, treats, and other goodies for their furry friends. Dog owners appreciate the convenience of having high-quality pet products delivered straight to their door.

Subscription-based models provide a steady and predictable source of revenue. With a subscription model, customers sign up to receive a product or service on a regular basis. This means sellers can count on a steady profit from these customers over time. Such a revenue stream can help with financial planning and forecasting.

It’s also critical for promoting customer loyalty. When customers sign up for a subscription, they commit to the seller's brand and products. This can lead to a stronger relationship between the customer and the seller and increased customer retention and repeat purchases.

Subscription-based models often offer incentives for customers to stay subscribed, such as discounts or exclusive content, which can further increase customer loyalty.

Did You Know? By revenue, Amazon remains the biggest e-commerce store. Other e-commerce platforms that attract online shoppers are Shopify, Etsy, and Mercado Libre.

Stay Updated With the Latest E-commerce Trends

Image by Austin Distel on Unsplash

E-commerce is evolving rapidly. Knowing the latest trends is crucial for online shops to succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape. These e-commerce trends are all important factors that will shape the future of online shopping. By embracing these trends, businesses can create better customer experiences, build brand loyalty, and drive sales.

Businesses need to stay current on e-commerce trends by regularly analyzing data and monitoring industry news and events. It’s also crucial for them to experiment with new technologies and strategies. This can help them adapt to changing consumer behaviors and expectations and stay ahead of the competition.

In conclusion, the future of e-commerce is bright, but it will require businesses to be proactive and adaptable to succeed. Archive helps its customers stay on trend by creating more meaningful connections with customers, increasing sales, and thriving in the competitive online marketplace. Sign up with Archive today!

Don’t get left behind. Follow the latest e-commerce trends. Stay updated with the latest trends in e-commerce with Archive.

FAQs on 11 E-commerce Trends That Will Shape the Future of Online Shopping

What are the different challenges of omnichannel e-commerce?

Omnichannel e-commerce offers many benefits, but it does come with challenges.

One is inventory management. Managing inventory across multiple channels can be complex and challenging. Retailers must ensure that inventory is accurately tracked and updated in real-time across all channels to avoid overselling or items going out of stock.

Data management is another issue. With multiple channels come multiple sources of data, which can be challenging to manage and analyze. Retailers need a robust data management strategy to collate, integrate, and analyze data from various sources.

What regions have the most e-commerce success?

E-commerce growth is global. However, the regions with the most prominent e-commerce market would be China, the US, the UK, Japan, and South Korea.

What are the best-selling e-commerce products?

Product demand can change depending on the latest consumer trends. However, fashion, technology, and home products are the most common category. There’s also a growing demand for second-hand products.

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