By Ciaran Bollard, CEO at Kooomo
Innovation and changing consumer behaviour will determine the most important online trends for the year
As we move into a new decade, technology is continuing to make big changes in the way eCommerce businesses engage with their customers. To keep up with the changing demands of consumers, Kooomo, the leading Enterprise Cloud Commerce Platform, has put together a list of the ten key eCommerce trends that online retailers should be aware of:
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
Creating a satisfying customer experience (CX) is vital for any eCommerce business to be successful. AI powered chatbots are becoming increasingly popular for the way they can quickly interact with customers by providing fast, real-time support regardless of time or location.
A well-designed AI powered chatbot can learn from customer engagements to improve the accuracy of its responses. These smart interactions can significantly reduce response time and help to maintain customer satisfaction.
- Voice search optimisation
Voice search has become a necessary trend in the eCommerce world and will guarantee the success of online marketing campaigns in 2020. Customers are expecting relevant results for what they are searching and if products are optimised with keywords that have lots of searches, then you have a big chance of getting clicks.
With applications like Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri, you can optimise a website with voice search. Use long-tail keywords as customers’ tendency is to search for long queries.
- Augmented reality (AR)
AR uses existing reality and physical objects to trigger computer-generated enhancements over the top of reality, in real-time. The future of eCommerce growth will rely on AR as customers like to buy a product once they have had the chance to experience it. This innovative and exciting technology is giving customers an idea of what a product will look like and allows them to experience them before they purchase.
- Customised products
One of the most effective eCommerce trends to drive sales in 2020 is product customisation. Customers like to customise products based on their specific needs or wishes and appreciate a website that has these characteristics. Online retailers can add a feature on their website through which customers can customise the colour, size and pattern of a product to get the exact product they wish for.
- Video product descriptions
By adding videos on product pages, customers have better visualisation than by reading the text, and this transforms visitors into customers faster. Videos can be vital content for product description and marketing purposes.
eCommerce sites should include videos on each product but should ensure it also includes standard text description. For marketing purposes video adverts and unboxings can be uploaded and shared across social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- User generated content (UGC)
Influencer marketing works as a great product advertisement as it brings originality and authenticity. Genuine UGC convinces the customer to buy one specific product through personal endorsement and studies show it can be 9.8 times more impactful than traditional advertising.
Retailers can convince customers to write reviews, upload pictures and give feedback about their brand. This can be done through loyalty programmes or auto-email campaigns soon after purchase and then shared with other customers.
- Easier checkout
High levels of cart abandonment happen because of three main factors:
- Because of unexpected total prices, especially when they include taxes or shipping fees that were hidden until the last moment.
- When the online store asks users to create an account.
- Because customers find the checkout process too complicated.
This can be avoided by making the checkout process easier even if it requires switching to a new eCommerce platform.
- Newsletter personalisation
eCommerce businesses can automate sending personalised newsletters to their customers. Keeping them updated in a friendly way can help to earn their trust which will encourage them to revisit the website and make further purchases. Personalised newsletters can keep customers happy and make them loyal to a brand.
- Topic clusters
Topic clusters are a popular trend in SEO blogging. They are content pieces that exist on your website and are all linked to a common subject, known as pillar content. The pillar content is focused in a broad keyword with a high search volume, while topic clusters are focused on more specific keywords with smaller search volumes.
Retailers can create a long section on a main subject and as time goes on, keep updating it with more recent data, examples or tips to ensure it remains relevant. Gradually the keywords that are being used to define the topic clusters will start to gain rankings.
- Selling on niche markets
Nowadays, famous brands are displaying their products on social media due to their ability to reach niche markets so they can identify and target customers easily. Retailers are able to list products on Facebook Marketplace and promote them using with Google AdWords, Facebook and Instagram campaigns.
Ciaran Bollard, CEO at Kooomo concludes, “eCommerce in 2020 will be about innovation, creativity and focus on the customer. In our experience we are also seeing a big shift to more affordable, open and agile SaaS based commerce platforms. Retailers and brands want the switch to take 3 months not 6-12 months and to keep costs in the 10s of thousands not 100s of thousands.