By Rakesh Jain
The thought of buying something flashes in your mind, you search the online for relevant stores, browse, click, and buy, shopping has become that simple today.
With the passing of every second, the competition is grueling and so is the effort of the e-commerce store owners to serve the best among others. From heart-warming customer experience, instant service, hassle-free shipping to faster problem-solving, online retailers are leaving no stones unturned in attracting more and more customers online and why not, as people are raising the expectation bar and they very much enjoy getting what they want on their cozy couch today.
Guess what, the global retail eCommerce sales are expected to reach $6.6 trillion (AUD) by 2021, can you believe those numbers? Looking at the pace of e-commerce sales today, one thing can be said for sure that it will soon beat ‘The Flash’ in terms of speed. So, to check whether it will or not, we decided to do some research on how the online shopping culture is going to evolve in 2019 and here’s what we found.
Ecommerce owners are already giving experiences that are customized to the tastes and needs of users by peeking into their history, studying their shopping pattern and observing their search analytics. Well, the coming year, this personalization will definitely go one step further with the incorporation of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Many of the online e-commerce store app builders are making it possible for store owners to provide a realistic experience of their products and services.
Very much familiar in video games, Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image into the existing environment for a user to experience it first and then decide whether to buy it or not. While Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of a 3D image or environment where the user itself gets immersed in a digital world to experience things.
This kind of personalised shopping experience via AR and VR is said to have influenced online shopping a lot as they make decision making much personal and easier. For instance, Magnolia Market, a furniture selling app uses AR to help customers visualize how a particular furniture will look in their space before buying it.
Chatbots at Service
Shopping becomes easier when someone helps us out, isn’t it? Well, with the rise of chatbots, online shoppers now have a digital assistant, replicating the sales assistants of the offline store, who are always at your service. A chatbot is a computer program designed to communicate instantly with the users and help or guide them with whatever they need.
According to a 2016 Oracle’s survey report, 80% of businesses said they have planned to use chatbots by 2020. Since online stores are open 24*7 and a shopper can drop by anytime, there, chatbots act as an excellent assistant. The best part is that chatbots can do much more than just answering queries like they can be a personalised shopping assistant, make product suggestions, provide the right information and even help a customer in checking out from the shopping cart and assist in the post-shipping queries.
Social Media Purchase
We all know the influence of social media in our life and shopping is one such category which has impacted a lot. After the incorporation of e-commerce into social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, social media shopping has seen a fair amount of rising. They have turned into beneficial platforms for store owners to advertise and push customers to buy their products.
As per Statista, U.S. alone has 209 million social media users, who are constantly scrolling through social media feeds but hardly press and buy, which, will see a significant change in 2019. With features like product tagging on Instagram, promoted pins in Pinterest, infeed ads in Facebook, social media-driven shopping is only going to increase further.
Online shopping is not just limited to websites today, shoppers find mobile apps more comfortable than e-commerce websites. Mobile e-commerce sales are projected to make up to 63.5% of total e-commerce sales this year and by 2019, this value will surely double up.
Creating an online store app for your business means you are opening an extra gate for customers. In fact, a lot of businesses are now adopting the mobile-first strategy i.e. app before the website for their e-commerce sales. While there are others who prefer using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), a framework that enables you to create super-fast website pages across mobile devices to accelerate their conversions.
Typing and browsing the site for a purchase is also becoming old-fashioned with the rise of smart voice assistants. People now prefer asking Alexa or Google Home to make the purchase rather than typing it. In 2019, the use of voice technology will increase considering the present stats of voice commerce and the ability to interact with screens on smart speakers like Amazon Echo Show that allows users to see the goods on the screen before their purchase.
These are just a few trends that we mentioned will see a rise in 2019, Video Content, Advanced Product Filtering, Automated Checkout, User-generated Content, Multi-channel Messaging, Omni-channel eCommerce, Payment Options etc., are other trends that may revolutionise the online shopping experience to a whole new level. But, all of these is possible only if you have an experienced and efficient online e-commerce store app builder with you who can implement the latest trends into your app/website and develop the shopping cart in such a way that no customer leaves your store empty-handed.
Rakesh Jain is the CEO and cofounder of mobicommerce. Follow him on Twitter.
Online shopping stock photo by Kite_rin/Shutterstock