(This is a guest post from our friends over at Shipmonk, a pick, pack, and ship fulfillment solution for eCommerce.)
eCommerce is evolving at a rapid pace. If you want to continue boosting sales and conversion rates over time, it’s important to stay ahead of the latest online shopping trends. In this article, we’ll cover 13 top trends for eCommerce in 2019. Read on to learn what they are and how to implement them in your online business.
Trends for eCommerce in 2019
Motion on an otherwise static screen will always attract attention. This is one reason auto-played videos are so popular on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Use animation and movement on your website or email marketing campaigns to draw attention to specific details and engage viewers. Don’t overdo it, and be careful not to distract attention from the most important actions you want a customer to take (such as completing their purchase).
2. Social shopping and native shopping
Popular visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are continuously improving ways in which ecommerce brands can market to customers in creative, organic ways. In-app shopping modals can allow your customers to purchase products without having to leave their preferred platform, promoting a greater sense of trust and security for shoppers.
The more tasks your business can automate, the more easily scalable your business model becomes. Many aspects of targeting, marketing, customer service, and fulfillment can now be automated to take pressure off your human resources in 2019.
4. Influencer marketing
While this isn’t a new trend, it’s continuing to become more prevalent and more profitable. Social media influencers are getting savvier, forming creative partnerships that allow burgeoning brands to connect with niche audiences and create trust through word-of-mouth marketing.
5. Artificial intelligence
The rise of conversation AI (commonly known as chatbots) is one of 2019’s most popular ecommerce trends helping brands interact with customers at scale. In addition to answering common customer questions, messenger bots are also able to facilitate the buying process for online shoppers.
This ecommerce trend provides massive value to busy consumers who demand immediate answers, regardless of the time of day or the platform they choose to contact a company. AI allows ecommerce businesses to support customers on all platforms simultaneously.
6. High-quality photos and videos
Stock photos can make it difficult to differentiate your brand. Use branded photography and videography on your website, email, and social media to create a memorable experience for shoppers. 360-degree product videos are another popular ecommerce trend in 2019.
7. Diversity in representation
Perhaps better late than never, more e-commerce brands are finally beginning to understand that they can appeal to customers by using models who look like real people.
Aerie, a division of American Eagle, recently one-upped the lingerie industry by launching their new #AerieReal campaign: an inclusive marketing campaign featuring models with various disabilities, conditions, illnesses, and even body hair. Their efforts were so shockingly refreshing that their campaign went viral, and Aerie received publicity from news outlets across the globe. More importantly, women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and life experiences were able to see models who actually looked like them for the first time ever. Unsurprisingly, American Eagle’s stock price jumped considerably in the wake of the campaign.
8. Augmented reality and virtual reality (AR and VR)
Imagine the ability to design your home or office without having to purchase the items first. With augmented reality and virtual reality, that’s becoming a common application for innovative ecommerce companies. Magnolia Market is a great example of how to convert shoppers into buyers through the use of an AR-enabled shopping experience, allowing app users to visualize home products before they buy.
9. Machine learning
AI-based ecommerce is still in its early development, but 2019 is definitely the time to begin utilizing its superpowers. Unlike simple automations, advanced machine learning allows you to deeply customize how individual users experience your brand.
Beyond personalizing specific fields according to customer data, email marketing campaigns can be triggered by patterns of customer behavior such as purchase history. For example, if a customer habitually orders a product every few months, the system can send reminder emails prompting future re-orders.
10. One-click purchasing
In 2019, your ecommerce store must be mobile-friendly. And, of course, your checkout process should be as simple and easy as possible. But if you really want to keep up with e-commerce trends in 2019, aim for one-click ordering. This can increase impulse buys, boost your conversion rate, and satisfy busy shoppers.
11. Voice search
As Google Assistant and Alexa become more popular, voice search on mobile devices is being used more often to make purchases. Optimizing your ecommerce shop for voice search can position your business to receive more traffic in 2018. For best results, be sure to mirror the language your target customers actually uses.
12. Image search
Search engines like eBay, Pinterest, and Google are now allowing users to search for products by taking or uploading a photo. Visual search makes it easy for users to find similar products and compare options.
13. Next-day delivery
How can your business compete with Amazon Prime’s 2-day shipping? Offer next-day delivery. If your company is not able to fulfill orders quickly at scale, outsource shipping and fulfillment to a third-party logistics company that can accommodate fast delivery. While there are many challenges to last-mile delivery, advances in technology are helping merchants overcome them.
Which of these eCommerce trends will you begin implementing?
Start with the trends you believe will bring your company the best return on investment. Whichever you choose, be sure to test and retest your shopping experience constantly, and continuously analyze your results to optimize performance.
About the Author
Augustin Kennady is the media relations director for ShipMonk and has been working at the intersection of technology and commerce since graduating from Columbia University.