The turn of the decade is quickly approaching and there are plenty of ecommerce trends to be mindful of as we move into 2020 and the years to follow. While the 2010s offered a lot to the ecommerce industry, including mobile shopping, social media, and easy-to-use CMS’ making the addition of ecommerce to a business simpler than ever – the 2020s are going to take the industry further than it’s ever been before.
Here are six of the most influential ecommerce trends we see coming in 2020.
1. Sustainable and Ethical Practices
Shoppers are more mindful than ever, and like it or not, ecommerce is not the most sustainable industry out there. From product packaging, to the protective packaging, to the packaging to ship, not to mention where the product is made and being shipped from – there’s a lot to take into consideration when making this a “greener” process. And that’s what shoppers are looking for in 2020.
Standard Textile created an infographic on the impact of domestic manufacturing. They found that 66% of Americans associate “Made in U.S.A.” messaging with higher quality products, and 80% of consumers rather purchase domestically manufactured goods. In addition to being more sustainably manufactured, products should be sustainable and ethical themselves. Thrive Market is a good trade ecommerce marketplace that sells only eco-friendly food and products and also has a great corporate social responsibility program that gives back to low income families. This is a quintessential sustainable and ethical e-commerce brand that others should follow in 2020 in order to gain a loyal customer base.
2. Social Commerce & Blockchain
Social commerce, the process of social media assisting in the online buying and selling of products and services, really kicked off in 2007 when Facebook introduced the Facebook Marketplace. But in the last decade, social media has stepped up in the commerce game by adding instant shopping buttons – Twitter in 2014, Instagram in 2015, and Pinterest in 2016; offering their own payment methods – Facebook in 2015; and integrated with top e-commerce CMS platforms – Instagram and Shopify in 2017.
One of the biggest contributions to social commerce will be the first social media backed cryptocurrency – Libra. Although Libra is not directly Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Facebook co-founded and is a member of the Libra Association. The coin is set to go live in 2020. Libra is designed for easier and cheaper online money transfers, works directly with the Facebook Calibra digital wallet, and will likely bring more businesses (and consumers) to Facebook upon its launch – even more reason to have your ecommerce businesses actively using Facebook and its services.
It’s likely that because Libra is so accessible via Facebook tools (it originally was proposed in 2018 that Facebook’s new cryptocurrency would make money transfers easier through WhatsAp and not require a bank), that cryptocurrency will become more of the norm. Although Bitcoin commonly in the news and everyone knows what it is, using Bitcoin is definitely not the norm. With more people using cryptocurrency in the coming year, specifically Libra, it’s more important than ever than your ecommerce business begins to accept cryptos as a form of payment.
3. Click-and-Mortar Ecommerce
Click-and-mortar is the happy medium between ecommerce and brick-and-mortar that will prosper in 2020. In the same way that we’ve seen retail staples like Toys R Us close their physical doors, we’re seeing traditional ecommerce brands like Warby Parker and Amazon actually open up their doors to brick-and-mortar. Just brick-and-mortar or ecommerce has proven to be a dangerous strategy for some retailers because shoppers want speed and ease (ecommerce) as much as they want to literally go shopping (brick-and-mortar).
Click-and-mortar offers adaptability. Try on glasses in store and then get them shipped directly to your home (or have the option to do it all from home); or shop at all hours for groceries, toys, and clothes from your phone, and then check out the Amazon Four Star store to check out what the Echo is all about in person (if you wanted to). Click-and-mortar also allows a business’s customer base to widen even further, as they are catering to the online shoppers and the in-person shoppers, not one or the other .
This also offers the opportunity for brands to practice omnipresence – being available on every platform. Omnichannel marketing allows e-commerce companies to nurture customers down the sales funnel from email, to in-store opportunities, to digital advertising, and everything in between. On average, shoppers will spend 10% more than single-channel shoppers, and overall, brands will establish greater loyalty among customers because they are more in front of them.
4. Ecommerce Chatbots Doing More
Chatbots are becoming more powerful as ecommerce finds more use for them, and in 2020 they can be considered essential on ecommerce sites. While chatbots can be helpful for on-site product recommendations and answering simple customer service questions, as they are often used as now, they have so many more capabilities. Chatbots can take on the role as a virtual employee of your store by managing accounting and invoicing tasks, automating payments, keeping track of inventory, even creating remarketing advertising and emails based on each user’s unique experience.
As 2020 rolls around, consumers are beginning to trust bots more. 67% of U.S. millennials even said that they are likely to make a purchase directly from a chatbot. With more shoppers using digital wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, integrating these quick, one-click payment options with your ecommerce chatbot can drive an increase conversions by creating a smoother experience.
5. Voice Search Capabilities
We’ve been warning you that voice search is booming, and 2020 is no exception. It was predicted by ComScore that 2020 would be the year that 50% of all searches would be completed through voice. With more smart-tech products available for consumers, smarter AI technology, and recent web improvements (see how Google’s recent search algorithm changes voice search), voice search is going to continue to flourish and ecommerce businesses need to stay ahead of what that means for them. A few things for ecommerce businesses can do to prepare for the 2020 voice search surge are:
- Keep websites ADA-compliant at all times. This means using the proper HTML tags across the site and offering proper user controls.
- Create more content, don’t just focus on the products. Yes, it’s all about selling, but there are other ways to get shoppers to your site via voice search by means of offering unique and informative content in the form of news articles, blogs, and forums.
- Keep a good online presence. Great reviews on your products and overall business, regardless of the platform the reviews are on, will keep your website in good standing on the web. Positive feedback helps establish credibility, so don’t be afraid to ask your customers for reviews.
6. Same-Day Delivery
2020 is about optimization on all fronts, but same-day delivery is the final trend we are urging ecommerce businesses to improve. 56% of millennials expect same-day delivery at checkout; while ecommerce giant Amazon is already offering delivery in just hours in major cities, this isn’t logistical for all businesses. If you’re one of those many businesses that aren’t on Amazon’s level, consider partnering with messenger services like Deliv if your product is available locally.
Companies to the likes of Amazon, UberEats, and Dominos have started to experiment with drone delivery. This might not be on your business’s radar for 2020, but it’ll be interesting to see how this trend plays out in the near future and if they successfully improve efficiency and safety in product delivery.
Now as we say goodbye to the 2010s and welcome the new decade, we are welcoming new innovation and trends in the ecommerce industry. We are very excited to see where this year takes ecommerce!