The first quarter of 2019 has come to an end. Dominating business trends have started to manifest themselves and many e-commerce analysis have been written. In this article, SHOPLINE presents the areas of concentration that we believe will likely remain influential for the rest of 2019 to bring a guiding light to your business’s navigation.
1. The future is Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence has become more and more involved in e-commerce since early 2018, and it will become even more influential in the keystone year of 2019. In a time when website development is becoming more and more advanced, instant texting has become a staple to e-commerce customer service. Many merchants online have already adopted AI technology into their customer service, utilizing its versatile analytical abilities as a “Chatbot” to provide 24-hour automatic customer help. For merchants who lack the manpower to operate this type of instant-texting operation, this feature proves AI to be even more helpful and financially efficient.
Gareth Dunlop, CEO of customer experience consultancy company Fathom, predicts that by 2020, 25% of customer services will be aided by AI. As machine learning technology matures, it marks a measure of progression that is now far from AI’s beginnings. This year, Chatbot and AI will be more popular than ever before, especially among e-businesses.
2. Multi Payment methods
Diversity and simplicity in payment methods have always been a key element to success for e-businesses; it is a feature that e-merchants continue to take pride in promoting. Multi-card support, bank-transfer, and server saved credit information; these methods are now all fundamental elements to successful e-commerce.
Other than the methods mentioned above, the emergence of phone and electronic payment methods also changed up the market’s routine payment habits. Applications such as “FPS,” PayMe, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc., made it possible for consumers to purchase more flexibly and quickly. Ben Froedge, Head of Content at Underwaterpistol, predicts that 2019 will be a revolutionary year in e-commerce payment technology diversification – because merchants from around the world will be promoting methods such as “delayed payment” and such to encourage customers to purchase. The application of these payment methods will greatly lower the bar for purchasing, and increase sales in return. Ex. If customers don’t even need to fill in their credit information when they are online shopping: all they need to do is to release their shipping address, and pay when the merchandise is delivered; The chances of their purchasing would certainly increase greatly.
However, before these methods’ popularity becomes a reality, we should just keep an observative eye, but look forward to a future of “Pay-free” shopping!
3. Multi-Channel Marketing vs Omni Channel Marketing
Multi-Channel Marketing (MCM) refers to when brands use multiple channels (on and offline) to promote themselves: physical stores, websites, mobile apps, social media, phone calls, etc. Customers should be able to reach the shop by any means possible no matter what their online habits are.
Omni Channel Marketing (OCM) offers greater coverage and more intricate marketing and sales solution when compared to MCM. Metaphysically a higher level than “Multi,” “Omni” refers to the communicative interconnectedness between different marketing channels. Ex. Client A gets to know a brand from social media, is lead to the official site to view the merchandise, finds the phone contacts, purchases, becomes a member through it, and continues to receive promotional emails afterward.
Activating different channels cooperatively, plus utilizing techniques such as UTM to track customer origins and payment methods will allow merchants to understand and utilize each channel’s individual advantage to their full potential. For example, Social media is best for capturing younger customers’ attention and telephone calls provide a warm and personalized customer service experience. According to a research by Invesp, for shops using OCM, customer retention rates can go as high as 89%; and for the ones that don’t, they can only maintain a 33% retention rate. Drastic differences.
In 2019, more e-commerce merchants are expected to leap into the world of Omni Channel Marketing and become more involved in building a more interconnected marketing strategy. If you also are active in different marketing channels, study the ways of building relationships and synergizing them, and plan for a wider casting OCM network!
4. Videos are still trending
Video streaming remains prominent and the viewer base has been constantly growing throughout these years. To no surprise, videos have become the main source for entertainment, education, advertisement, and more.
With the live cast feature offered by Instagram Story, Facebook Live and other social media platforms, internet users are spending more time on streaming services. According to Cisco’s prediction, by 2021, 82% of internet data usage would be contributed by video streaming. Our advice to e-commerce merchants is to start investing time and effort in creating video content, whether it’s for advertisement, product introduction, and more.
If you’re thinking of making videos for your brand, here are few tips to keep in mind:
- Add subtitles so people put the video on mute or foreigners can understand.
- Control your video to less than 2 minutes, if the video is on facebook then keep it shorter to 60-90 seconds.
- Produce different video content for your product, such as unboxing video, live stream video, collaboration video and more to entice your audiences.
5. Watch out for voice recognition technology
In fact, the voice recognition market is stated to grow to $601 million by 2019. At present, the focus is primarily on voice-activated digital assistants like Siri, Google dot, Amazon’s Alexa and more. These speakers are the gateway to the proliferation of smart devices that can be categorized under the IoT umbrella. From a consumer standpoint, voice search is easier and faster than typing, if you want people to find your business more easily via voice control, here are few points to keep in mind:
- Don’t use puns, voice recognition isn’t too smart on identifying puns. Usually, long sentences are easier for the digital assistant to understand and more accurate. Also, SEO also plays an important part in being found, so make sure you have insert keywords into your website.
- Develop content that answers questions to drive conversions, and create content with colloquial wording instead of jargons, simply write in the way that you speak.
Grasping these 5 trends of 2019 e-Commerce trend can really help your business to keep up with the rapid changes in the e-Commerce landscape, and stay competitive among competitors.