E-commerce is a fluctuating paradigm that is constantly developing. One minute we’re using a one-click buy on a website, and the next we’re marvelling at the ability to shout at our Google Home to order a new bedside table. The future of e-commerce looks brighter than ever, here are some top growth trends we could see in 2021.
Gen Z and Millenials
The generation born between 1980 and 1994, also known as millennials, are high spenders, raking in trillions across the interconnected world. Swiftly behind them is Gen Z, with the oldest currently aged 25. Gen Z’ers also have high spending habits, thus should be taken into account when creating rich brand experiences via e-commerce.
Trends shaping the future of e-commerce
Automation & AI trends
AI has proven to be a heavyweight champion in the e-commerce field. Automation is a tool that makes way for tasks to be carried out with little to no human interaction at all. This includes the likes of scheduling emails in a CRM or using advanced technology to help recruit new staff members. Whatever the context of automation, AI has taken the world by storm and will continue to increase in manifold over the coming years.
Likewise, machine learning, which is known to optimise an array of processes that tend to take humans a lot of time and effort, to complete in seconds. This includes recommended items you may have had your eyes on based off of previous purchases. Machine learning captures your interests and personalises your time at an ecommerce site to make way for an improved store experience.
A Millennial Shopping Report from 2019 found that 45% of millennials used voice search via Google Home/Amazon’s Alexa whilst shopping. Users have now become increasingly prone to utilising voice search technology, which will most likely increase in the coming years.
It’s quite premature to say consumers could be ordering products without seeing it through voice search, however the process makes it much more easier to reorder, e.g. ‘Alexa, can you add a bonsai tree to my shopping basket’. What’s more is that voice search is extremely essential for SEO purposes too. Questions such as “where am I able to find a black dress?”. SEO experts should keep an eye on this trend to see how best practices change and how page rankings begin evolving.
Online checkouts are personalised
PayPal, Apple Pay and more, each time you go to the checkout page, there seems to be more ways to pay for products and services. As consumers become younger and more technologically advanced, payment options become wider. E-commerce stores now offer a multitude of financing, such as Klarna and Afterpay. This therefore makes way for a more personalised experience, with tons of ways to pay for things that help you pay as you please, helping the merchant and the consumer all in one go.
Ever sat watching Netflix and wanted to buy a shirt? Pretty soon, consumers will be able to find and purchase a product/service via their TV’s. Advertisers have been seeking for ways in which ad placements can become interactive, however the technology simply hasn’t been available. Shoppable TV is simply a newer way of curating product placement, with the likes of QVC having done it for years on end. The likes of NBC rolled out shoppable TV in which the audience connects a mobile to an app and viewers are able to purchase products on-screen. This sort of technology will soon become a norm and incorporated into smart TV’s.
A good point to note is that not every brand needs to capitalise on the new growth trends. For those with a B2B business, they wouldn’t need to make use of Instagram for a push in revenue or engagement. Whereas those selling small gifts, voice search wouldn’t be as beneficial. Thus, it’s vital to focus on usability and how well your products/services fit into new trends and then you can prioritise relentlessly from there.