The e-commerce industry in India is on an unprecedented growth trajectory with the sector witnessing the emergence of several new players and a boom in business prospects.
According to Redseer, a consumer Internet business consultancy, "India’s e-commerce industry is estimated to clock $55 billion in sales during 2021 with the addition of 40 million new online shoppers. The number of online shoppers for CY2021 is pegged at 190 million compared to 150 million last year."
This makes it essential to understand the emerging trends to gain an in-depth knowledge of the e-commerce industry. Here are a few listed below-
1. Hyper-Personalization to Engage with Customers
Personalization demands by customers are steadily increasing and it is apparent that personalization should and will become a norm for e-commerce. Print on demand has been one of the best use cases for personalization where users can pick and choose their merchandise and attach graphics to it. Several brands are promoting the next level of personalization where customers get the option to pick and choose the contents of an order. Additionally, a gifting personalization layer is available for the brands as well. There is also an emerging trend of using digital personalization technologies to enhance the user experience while buying goods from e-commerce.
According to statistics, customers spend 48 percent more on individualized experiences. Personalization has always resulted in great outcomes for marketers. Let us give you an example of custom emails. Research shows that personalized emails produce a 6x greater rate and conversion than cold emails. Now similar personalization experiences are being created for online shopping to engage the customers better and provide an awesome experience.
2. Sustainability and Green Consumerism Driving Brand USP
In recent years, the sustainable and active promotion of ethically made things has become a priority for businesses given several global initiatives for the protection of the environment. A number of brands, small, medium alike, are following the carbon-free footprints and spreading green consumerism.
In e-commerce, it translates to reducing plastic waste in packaging, using more sustainable packaging materials, and also using natural ingredients to make the products that you sell. Such things tend to become USP for the brand.
3. Rising Social Media's Role in E-Commerce
Social media has impacted and altered our daily lives. Social media has become an integral part of the user journey for any e-commerce brand. Customers are using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc to discover new brands, engage with them over time, and also transact as needed.
With features like Instagram Checkout and Facebook Buy, it's evident that social media plays an important part in the e-commerce sector. Interaction with social media platforms becomes a crucial part of running a successful e-commerce business given this is where the potential consumers spend the majority of their time.
4. Voice and Video Commerce is on the Rise
The usage of speech in the search and purchasing process is certainly one of the most prominent e-commerce trends. Voice trade is the phrase used to describe a transaction that happens with a voice device with a company. Wonder when this style initially became popular? Amazon debuted its smart speaker Echo for the first time in 2014. And it's rising now. A new study shows a growth of 83 percent over the year in the number of customers reporting to be investigating things on voice support devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home.
One of the biggest trends in e-commerce is video-based. Platforms like Youtube are immensely popular with consumers for watching videos. Imagine being able to click on a shirt an actor is wearing and buy it right then and there. An option to do this was labeled a dream not long ago but is a possibility now and the likes of Google are doubling down on that trend. Google recently bought Simsim to enable e-commerce via video for global audiences.
5. Chatbots Driving to the Point E-Commerce
Chatbots have immensely improved the consumer experience, and this trend will continue. Chatbots are the primary choice for customer support inquiries for more than 60 percent of all end customers. More and more businesses should employ chatbots to improve customer service, provide faster and more accurate responses, and collect data so that they can provide a better consumer experience the next time around. You will undoubtedly gain from developing chatbots and incorporating them into your e-commerce strategy. WhatsApp, WeChat, etc now come equipped to handle commerce and payments from within the apps. This will further change the way people buy things from businesses.
6. Deploying Artificial Intelligence in E-Commerce
From automated marketing platforms to chatbots that reply to consumer concerns promptly, there are several AI solutions that can benefit your organization. Hence, retailers invest in areas like customer service or tailor-made buying suggestions where AI can be quite valuable. The role of AI will only grow stronger with time since it allows eRetailers to create and promote more tailored experiences for their customers.
7. E-Commerce Subscriptions
Did you know that during the last five years, the subscription e-commerce market has risen at a rate of more than 100 percent YoY?
Customers receive products on a recurrent purchase basis with subscription e-commerce, which might include everyday things. The model can also work around product discovery where you send your consumers great products from lesser-known brands. If businesses want customers to return to their stores, they must ensure that the things they sell are of high quality and that the user experience is pleasant.
8. Need to be Mobile-First to Win in the E-Commerce Game
Mobile buying is certainly on the rise. India as a country has leapfrogged the 'laptop era' and the majority of the population is going live directly via mobile. This opens a whole new door of possibilities for brands if the e-commerce experience for mobile-first or mobile-only clients is improved upon. This will make you accessible to the next 500 million internet users who are coming online for the first time.
9. Omnichannel Selling
Be where your customers are! Omnichannel selling implies employing every possible channel for your products to sell including your own web store, offline stores, marketplaces, and social media. The omnichannel approach helps you enhance the customer experience ensuring repeat purchases and hence customer loyalty in the long run.
10. Augmented Reality (AR) is a Game-Changing Technology for E-Commerce
When it comes to e-commerce trends, the last but certainly not the least is augmented reality (AR). One of the primary concerns individuals have when shopping online is not being able to view or sample the product in person. That is why AR exists. Its technology allows internet customers to get a better visual representation of the things they're interested in.
With all of the technological advancements that are occurring today, it would be prudent to keep up with these e-commerce trends. Enhanced personalized customer experience is going to be the key marker for e-commerce in 2021 and beyond.