The pandemic isn’t the only factor influencing e-commerce these days. While it’s true that the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a massive increase in online shopping, there are also major new technology trends that are changing the way consumers make purchases.
Given the increased numbers of e-commerce shoppers this year (a trend that isn’t going away any time soon), it’s more important than ever to adapt your business to the new tools and strategies that consumers want to see. In that forward-thinking spirit, we’ll cover the rising new tech trends to be aware of in 2020 and beyond.
Digital wallets, such as Apple Pay, Venmo, and PayPal, have officially joined debit and credit cards among the top three most popular payment methods worldwide. Digital wallets appeal to consumers because they allow for convenient, one-click checkout processes every time.
Juniper Research predicts that as much as 50 percent of the global population will use digital wallets by 2024 – and that prediction was made in February 2020, before the coronavirus accelerated the shift towards e-commerce.
Most e-commerce website building platforms are already offering integrations with popular digital wallets like PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay, so this is an easy trend to keep up with. Just make sure to pay attention to which digital wallets your audience is most likely to use. Take the two largest e-commerce markets in the world for example: China’s popular AliPay method has around 1.3 billion active users annually, while Apple Pay in the USA has 441 million active users.
Personalization and Localization
Changing payment methods aren’t the only e-commerce shift we need to be aware of. Certain advancements in technology have also raised customers’ expectations when it comes to browsing online stores. Basically, customers want a more personalized experience from e-commerce websites.
90 percent of American consumers find marketing personalization very or somewhat appealing – which means this strategy pays off for merchants, too. In fact, companies using advanced personalization report a $20 return for every $1 they invest in the strategy.
Personalization means tailoring product recommendations and offers based on a customer’s browsing history and past purchases. Similarly, localization means adapting a website to better suit local markets – this includes everything from translating a website into a different language, to displaying prices in a local currency.
When implementing personalization and localization, it’s important to think beyond the obvious. Of course, product pages and pricing information are the first elements we’ll want to adapt, but there are also other places where customers will be looking for a tailored experience. For example, customer support articles and user reviews are extremely relevant content for localization.
As we know, the customer journey begins long before anyone reaches your checkout page. And an increasing amount people are experiencing that journey from multiple devices – which makes sense, considering that US households each own an average of 11 connected devices, and the average number of social media accounts per person is now 8.6.
87 percent of retailers say that an omnichannel marketing strategy is critical or very important to their success, and customers value the opportunity to view different types of content on different platforms. For example, 92 percent of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising – and many people look to social media to provide that kind of user-generated content, as opposed to onsite user reviews.
So, what can you do to engage customers beyond just your online store? Three main channels to utilize are social media, email, and text messaging – but it’s not enough just to have a presence on these platforms. You also need to tailor your marketing strategy to fit each platform specifically. After all, no one opens a text message hoping for a lengthy status update, just as no one scrolls through Instagram looking for urgent CTAs.
With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to get you started:
E-commerce has become more important than ever in 2020, as digital merchants are dealing with a massive increase in online shoppers due to the coronavirus outbreak. This e-commerce growth means that merchants should prepare to attract and retain this influx of customers by keeping up with the latest trends that consumers are expecting to see.
From payment methods like digital wallets, to marketing strategies like personalization and localization, there are plenty of new tech trends that you can adopt to help keep your e-commerce website competitive in this new climate. There’s always room to grow, and now you have the knowledge you need to get started!