In the past five years, e-commerce sales in the U.S. have doubled, totaling nearly $150 billion in Q2 2019. According to some research, e-commerce is now growing approximately 23% year after year.
The numbers for digital retail are stacking up from all directions, while brick-and-mortar stores face an uncertain fate. Consumers are accepting the “convenience proposition” hand over fist, with technology at the center of it all.
Around half of online shoppers say they still prefer the in-store experience. We salute those who support local businesses and will continue to do so. That said, online retail is not only convenient for local shoppers in between store visits, it also allows businesses to reach a dispersed audience in different states or even across the globe. And with the way things are going, the safe money says that in-person frequency will continue to decline, despite the comforts of visiting your favorite store.
Fortunately, you can recreate that experience online, in mobile apps, and through other digital channels thanks to modern technology. In other words, you can bring your store right to the shopper, wherever they are and at whatever time they feel like shopping.
Digital tools such as e-commerce platforms are empowering consumer brands — even boutique mom-and-pop shops — to sell online and tap into this juicy well of opportunity without sacrificing quality or customer service. Developmental dollars are pouring into the e-commerce space, and continued advancements are transforming what it means to shop.
Current and future business owners would do well to keep up with these trends. Even if you don’t go “100% futuristic” with your product sales, it’s essential to stay in tune with customer habits and preferences, which are changing at the speed of status updates and profile pics.
With help from various tech experts, G2 compiled a list of the top e-commerce trends for 2019. Below are a few highlighted topics that it covered in the post:
Each of these bullets could be (and will be) the focus of think pieces and in-depth coverage as the year barrels forward and another record year for e-commerce is in the books.
The power of mobile in today’s retail is especially evident, from location-based marketing to mobile payments to customer support. Approximately 77% of shoppers currently use a mobile device to search for products, and 62% of smartphone users have made an online purchase through their mobile device in the pats 6 months. Mobile sessions account for 59% of all sessions on e-commerce sites and that number should continue to creep upward.
It takes more than a pretty website to impress this modern marketplace and their scrolling thumbs. It takes a unified shopping experience that accounts for their preferred devices and the ever-increasing pace of communication and decision-making. The mobile shopping experience can no longer afford to be an afterthought — for many, it will be their primary interaction with your brand. The quality and efficiency of this experience can be make-or-break factors in their relationship with your products.
Our smart devices and computers are also paving the way for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to become a routine part of the shopping experience. This immersive technology is no longer just for games and simulators. More and more brands are investing in “immersive commerce,” which leverages AR, VR, and 3D for realistic product visualizations and interactions on company sites or mobile apps.
Why look at a static photo of shoes when you can virtually try them on? Then, with the snap of your fingers, adjust the color combinations, size, or inspect the design from all angles. This is the new “at-home shopping,” and it is only the beginning.
According to one study, AR is 2.6 times more engaging than static images, and 2.1 times more engaging than video. Enterprise brands from IKEA to Jaguar are going all-in on AR, to help customers outfit their dream homes and test-drive their next car, respectively. One in ten brands are actively using AR in marketing, but 45% are in experimental stages. And the word is out: approximately 70% of consumers expect retailers to launch an AR app in the next 6 months. Like hard cider and electric scooters, the immersive commerce trend is poised to take over and become the new normal in record time.
For retailers, keeping up with technology — especially in 2019 — can be an exhausting chore. From social media to digital wallets, running a business sure isn’t as simple as it used to be. But for those who are game to play, and work to craft a winning e-commerce experience, there is no ceiling for success or the number of customers you can directly impact.
To help you on your journey, you might consider reaching out to an e-commerce development company for a consultation on designing, building, and maintaining your online store. Retail modernization is an endless battle, as technology changes the conversation and moves the goal posts on a near-daily basis. Stay informed, continue to put your customers first, and know that help is available when you need it!
Continue to follow our blog for more on data privacy, culture, and LocatorX. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for company updates and industry insights.