More than just a new year, 2020 ushers in a new decade and a new era. For an industry like ecommerce — so intrinsically tied to technology — that means an entirely new wave of trends and best practices for appeasing customers with new mindsets and expectations.
That’s not to say you should abandon your old model and start from scratch. Trends like chatbots and voice searches, which we mentioned last year in our 2019 ecommerce trends, are still viable and recommended. But 2020 will bring forth a batch of new and less common best practices for improving your ecommerce business.
Below, we list the 7 most useful 2020 ecommerce trends.
1. Messaging Apps
For the last few years, one of the most successful ecommerce trends has been messaging with customers, whether through AI chatbots or live customer service. But as ecommerce moves away from private websites, so too do the chat windows.
Specifically, more and more ecommerce brands are using messaging apps to fulfill the need for customer interaction. Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, which have on-hand staff, ecommerce must make the most out of remote chat. In 2020, that means messaging apps — Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber, not to mention direct messaging on sites like Twitter or Instagram.
Just be sure not to message first; that’s seen as an invasion of privacy. Rather, publicize that your brand is available on a messaging app and encourage customers to drop you a line — adding incentives like discount codes or special promotions won’t hurt either.
2. Shoppable Posts
Ecommerce is headed away from private sites and more towards social media, to the point where some platforms let users complete entire transactions without having to leave the social platform. We explained earlier how Instagram is leading this trend, but Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest also have their own checkouts, with more social media outlets following suit.
Shoppable posts are a revolutionary idea for ecommerce. Every click a customer has to make increases their chances of abandoning the purchase, so ideal ecommerce UX involves completing transactions as quickly as possible with as few steps as possible. Checking out through social media makes the process so much faster and more convenient for shoppers, thus increasing sales rates and conversions.
3. Optimized Product Pages
Traditionally, an ecommerce site’s home page is thought to be like an online storefront. But much of modern online shopping revolves around social media and content marketing, with links that send shoppers straight to the product page. A lot of customers never even see the home page!
That’s why the latest ecommerce trend is to optimize product pages in the same way as home pages. Not only should you reduce loading times and perfect the layout of product pages, you should also consider setting aside sections to promote other products — just like on your home page. For new customers, the product page is an introduction to your brand, so be sure to make a good first impression.
Technology is your friend (nevermind how hard it is to switch inputs on your TV). One of the greatest technological changes to ecommerce is how easy it is to automate the tedious and time-consuming tasks.
Automating ecommerce tasks not only frees up more time for managerial work, it also prevents human error, which can hold back your online store. For example, automated ecommerce software like our own Ecomdash automatically updates stock levels on all your channels to prevent overselling, as well as alerting you when it’s time to reorder stock. For more about how Ecomdash can automate your ecommerce business, take our product tour now.
5. All Devices
Ecommerce veterans may be used to the idea of customers shopping mostly on desktops, but younger shoppers have their own ideas. Ecommerce trends show increasing usage of mobile devices for ecommerce, and not just for product research. According to Statista, mobile ecommerce surpassed desktop ecommerce in 2016, and is projected to make up 70.4% of all ecommerce purchases by 2020.
Having an optimized mobile site or app is no longer optional. Brands are ensuring that customers can easily make purchases wherever they prefer: mobile, desktop, tablet, or even gaming devices.
6. Advanced Product Visuals
One trend that never changes is to have your product visuals look as amazing as possible. What’s changing in 2020 is how you make these visuals look good: 3D imaging, virtual reality, augmented reality, and more.
The better your product visuals, the easier it is for shoppers to imagine what the product is actually like. Enhanced visuals take the risk away from online shopping. For example, 3D imaging shows shoppers what a product looks like from every angle, while AR views show what a piece of furniture will look like inside the shopper’s own living room.
If you take advantage of this tech now, it makes your brand seem cutting-edge and advanced, whereas in a few years it will be the new norm. Better to implement it as soon as possible to be seen as a forerunner.
7. Marketing to Gen Z
In 2020, Generation Z will start graduating and entering the work force, becoming one of the most lucrative consumer demographics. In fact, some sources predict Gen Z will make up 40% of all consumers in 2020 and account for $4 billion in sales.
If you’re marketing to younger customers, you’ll need to change up your strategies to appeal to Gen Z. The first generation to grow up using the Internet deviates in their styles and preferences, so marketers have to switch things around for them.
In particular, Gen Z is more socially-conscious — they appreciate brands that stand for something, even if it means paying a little extra. Gen Z is also the most diverse generation to date, and look down on media that doesn’t portray this diversity. Moreover, their sense of humor is a bit different as well, so it’s better to hire someone who understands the humor.
These 2020 ecommerce trends are only the beginning. The deeper we get into the new decade, the more sophisticated and nuanced ecommerce will become. Keep checking back to our blog for the latest news on ecommerce trends, like our list of the hottest ecommerce niches for 2020. If you want more direct ecommerce tips, subscribe to our newsletter for new advice and tips every week. Just enter your email in the box below.