Revolutionizing E-Commerce: Navigating the Latest Industry Trends
The e-commerce world is rapidly changing. Customers expect more from brands, whether it’s a more personalized experience or seamless access to customer support.
So, what are you doing to boost customer satisfaction and give them what they desire?
Learn from other brands with these 11 e-commerce trends.
1. Personalized Customer Experiences
Brands can generate as much as 40% more revenue by getting personalization right.
So, it only makes sense that more and more e-commerce businesses are delivering personalized customer experiences to increase growth.
Here are some ways that online retailers are driving personalization:
Product detail page (PDP) recommendations: Showing shoppers similar products to the ones they’re already interested in
Personalized bestseller lists: Highlighting best-selling products and personalizing the list by location
On-site targeting: Triggering pop up offers to match each site visitor’s in-session behavior
Retargeting ads: Serving ads to customers that visit a homepage or product page
Let’s look at an example of a brand that gets personalization right.
Henry Meds is a company that provides online access to prescription medications for chronic conditions, such as weight management, diabetes, and hypertension.
Henry Meds has revolutionized e-commerce by offering its customers affordable, convenient, and personalized healthcare services.
Some of the features that Henry Meds offers are:
Telehealth consultations with licensed medical providers who can prescribe medications based on the customer’s health goals and medical history
Ongoing support and guidance from the Henry Meds team, who can answer questions, adjust prescriptions, and monitor progress.
Compounded medications customized to the customer’s needs and preferences, such as dosage, flavor, and delivery method
Free shipping and discreet packaging of the medications to the customer’s doorstep
A library of content on Ozempic and other weight loss medications.
As a result, Henry Meds has received positive reviews from many customers who have experienced significant weight loss, improved blood sugar levels, and enhanced well-being by using their medications.
Henry Meds also aims to reinvent how healthcare success is judged by focusing on the best medical outcomes per dollar spent.
So, are you looking for ways to increase personalization like Henry Meds?
Look no further than a composable CDP (short for customer data platform). It’s a faster and more secure way to activate your customer data and can help you craft hyper-personalized customer journeys.
Leverage tools like CRM, loyalty programs, and marketing automation to funnel into unified customer profiles to tailor the e-commerce experience.
2. Custom Products
A huge part of personalization is customized products. But it deserves its own section. So, here we are.
Product customization and on-demand manufacturing open a world of possibilities for e-commerce merchants who want to improve the customer experience.
This level of customization allows customers to choose from different:
In other words, it gives customers a fun, interactive way to customize a product to their needs and preferences and allows brands to save money on physical samples and photography.
Nike is the perfect example of a brand that allows product customization. Customers can change the color of the shoes to meet their preferences. They can choose from a variety of colors, materials, and patterns, such as cheetah prints, velvet, and more.
Another example is The FrameStore. Shoppers can get a custom frame made to their specifications. They can choose from various frame styles and materials for canvas artwork, mirrors, matting, shadow boxes, and clothing.
3. Artificial Intelligence
AI and automation have become popular tools to streamline operations and increase efficiencies across various industries.
And we’re seeing these tools more and more in the e-commerce industry. For example, many brands use AI to create images and product descriptions, allowing them to show a product in multiple ways without a large, expensive photoshoot.
Online retailers are also leveraging AI to analyze customer data and predict behaviors. This data-driven approach will allow brands to improve marketing strategies and tailor customer experiences.
Advanced voice technology like LOVO is another emerging e-commerce trend. It allows businesses to create realistic and engaging voiceovers for their digital content. As a result, you can streamline content creation and add a personal touch to online shopping — making it more interactive and user-friendly.
4. Social Commerce
47% of social media users say they’d buy a product on Instagram or TikTok. This statistic indicates that social media is more than just a tool to promote products and services.
Consumers can directly buy products from their favorite social platforms. For example, the TikTok Shop lets sellers list their products directly on TikTok through Shorts, Lives, and the Showcase tab.
Users can find these products tagged in the content they see on the algorithm-driven For You page.
Instagram Shops is similar, as it allows merchants to open a storefront and add products directly from the Instagram app.
5. Short-Form Video
When it comes to discussing the best channels for marketing e-commerce products, short-form video is where it’s at.
Social media platforms like TikTok started the short-form video trend. And since the pandemic, when everyone was forced to stay home, it really took off.
And now, short-form video content is available on a variety of social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Users can consume video content in a short, bite-size format. This is key in a world where the attention span is getting shorter and shorter, and people are easily distracted.
So, creating engaging and concise content can supercharge your content marketing strategy.
Examples of short-form videos you can create include:
Behind-the-scenes product sneak peeks
Tutorials or how-to videos
Product or event teasers
6. Augmented Reality
When shopping at a brick-and-mortar store, it’s easy to see how a product looks or fits in person.
Imagine trying to do this online. Let’s say that you need a new sofa, and you’re browsing online to see what different online stores have to offer.
But it’s hard to envision how these couches will look in your space from the product photos alone.
That’s where augmented reality (AR) comes in. For example, IKEA offers an app that lets customers place 3D products in their homes. This feature allows potential customers to see how a product fits the size and aesthetic of the room.
In fashion, retail brands let customers virtually wear or sample clothes, accessories, and makeup with virtual try-on (VTO). This technology gives customers the chance to visualize how the product will look on them.
How does it work? Thanks to AR, the product superimposes itself over the customer’s photo. Filters can also act as virtual clothing.
Style.me brings the in-store experience to online shoppers through a virtual fitting room. Shoppers can enter their basic measurements like height and weight, bra size, body type, and body shape to visualize how a piece of clothing will look on them.
7. Multichannel Customer Support
Many online retailers use multichannel customer support to give customers different ways to reach the brand.
Different channels include:
Direct messaging on social media
Every customer has their own preferences for interacting with brands. So, you can respond by providing different support options.
You can even take things a step further with an omnichannel strategy. This strategy differs from multichannel because it provides a seamless and consistent experience across all channels. On the other hand, multichannel support doesn’t integrate the channels.
For example, imagine that a customer reaches out for support via a chatbot. If their issue is going to take a while to resolve, you might give the customer the option to receive their response as an email.
Or, you can refer them to a live agent they can talk to via chat or phone. This is omnichannel customer service.
Multichannel customer service may provide different ways for customers to get support. But if customers were to use these different channels, they might have to repeat their issue to each agent.
8. Subscription Models
Some brands offer subscriptions to boost revenue and customer loyalty. Why is this so effective?
Think about it.
When you offer something of value and give customers a way to save, they’re more likely to return again and again.
There’s a reason the subscription e-commerce market is projected to grow beyond $450 billion by 2025
Amazon Prime is an example of a retail subscription that provides a wide range of benefits to its members. For a small monthly fee, subscribers can enjoy free and faster shipping, video streaming, and exclusive deals.
Offering perks and conveniences with subscriptions keeps customers hooked. You can go even further by empowering customers with more autonomy in managing subscription services.
For example, you can allow them to make adjustments without having to cancel their existing subscription.
You can also provide personalization, like hair and skin care brand Function of Beauty. Its subscription platform offers made-to-order custom skin care and hair care formulas based on their unique hair, body, or skin goals.
Customers take a short quiz about their history, goals, and preferences and get a custom product shipped to them.
Set up recurring payments with customers with OpenCart. This feature gives you more control over how customers are charged for your product or service.
9. Flexible Payment Options
You may be thinking, “What type of payment options can I add for customers other than credit and debit cards?”
Enter mobile wallets. Many e-commerce brands allow customers to pay through mobile/digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Pay, Venmo, and Samsung Pay. 53% of Americans use digital wallets more than traditional payment methods.
Why? Digital wallets offer a level of convenience that paying with a credit or debit card doesn’t. When making a purchase online, customers don’t have to manually enter their credit or debit card information. They can just pay with a few taps or clicks.
How does this work? Digital wallets generate a one-time token that’s made up of random numbers. And the customer’s personal information remains secure because the digital wallet uses the token to process the payment.
With OpenCart, you can choose from any of the 36 integrated payment methods (or choose from hundreds more in the marketplace).
10. Voice and Visual Search
Emerging technologies are giving customers new ways to conduct searches online.
With voice search, consumers can look for information they need without having to physically type in the question or keyword. They can perform a search using their voice, thanks to voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or built-in assistants on mobile devices like Apple’s Siri or Android’s Google Assistant.
It offers a highly convenient way for people to shop online. Whether they’re driving, cooking, or performing any everyday task, shoppers can restock their essentials with just a few words: “Alexa, reorder laundry detergent.”
While voice search adds convenience to the customer experience, visual search brings a new level of product discoverability. How does it work?
Let’s say a consumer is browsing their social media feed and comes across a photo of a product they’ve never seen before.
However, the person who posted the image doesn’t mention the product’s name. How can someone discover a product they’ve seen if they don’t know the name of it or the brand that created it?
Sure, they can take a guess and try to describe the product in a Google search.
But there’s something even better: They can take that photo and enter it in a search. And they’ll receive results that either show that exact product or something similar.
This reduces friction in shopping because it eliminates the need to type, refine keywords, and scroll through lists.
Visual search also allows for more accurate results, especially for products that are difficult to describe in words. It’s no wonder why the global visual search market is anticipated to grow at a 17.50% CAGR to reach a value of $32 million in 2028.
Screenshot provided by the author
11. Conversational Commerce
AI chatbots have been around for some time. Online shoppers can interact with chatbots to ask questions about a product, get product recommendations, or request customer support.
But in their infancy, chatbots felt robotic and awkward. In an era where customers want to feel more connected to brands, this poses a problem. 75% of consumers prefer an authentic, human voice when interacting with brands.
Thanks to generative AI and large language models (LLMs), conversational commerce is getting an upgrade. Chatbots now feel more human and personalized, giving customers a more engaging way to inquire about a service, get answers to product questions, and more.
These e-commerce trends all have one thing in common: convenience and personalization. Customers want to be able to buy products online easily and seamlessly.
And they want a personalized shopping experience that’s tailored to their unique needs.
Following these trends can help you achieve this, giving way to a memorable customer experience that makes online shoppers want to purchase from your brand again and again.