Australia’s online shopping industry is worth $23 billion and is outstripping traditional retail with its exponential growth. To stay competitive in such a rapidly expanding arena, it is important to stay on the front foot by monitoring the varying needs of online shoppers and the ever-changing landscape of the online retail marketplace. Here are the 7 Top Ways E-Commerce is Changing for Business.
7 Top Ways E-Commerce is Changing for Business
- Amazon and eBay
- Voice commerce
- We embraced Click & Collect, now get ready for Snap to Shop
- 2020’s critical e-commerce concern
- Automation will become increasingly necessary
- Chatbots, AI, AR & interactive product visualisation
- Personalisation will outdo discounting in the longer term
1. Amazon and eBay
Australian consumers will ultimately benefit from the battle for Australian marketplace dominance between Amazon and eBay.
As they compete against each other to provide the customer with the lowest prices, innovations, slicker shipping options and not just better but the very best customer service, the Australian consumer will come to expect more from online retailers than we have been receiving in the past.
This is important for e-commerce store owners to note as it will change Australian consumer expectations, which every online retailer should prepare for heading into 2020.
2. Voice commerce
Voice commerce will become a priority for retailers in 2020. eMarketer predicts there will be 76.5 million people utilising voice assistants in 2020, and it is predicted to increase to 50% of all mobile searches by 2020.
If any doubts remained that this is a rapidly expanding segment, data released this year by OC&C Strategy Consultants calculate voice shopping to skyrocket from $2 billion at the beginning of 2018 to $40 billion by 2022. To sell to this growing market, retailers must optimize their product catalogue for voice search.
Marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay are one way for retailers to be found through voice channels. Retailers will need to research connected applications that integrate with currently available voice offers to properly position themselves for the uptake of this newly available technology.
3. We embraced Click & Collect. Now get ready for Snap to Shop
Social commerce is expected to continue to grow, and we will likely see a new trend go from strength to strength. Playfully called the ‘Shazam for clothes, “Snap & Shop” allows online shoppers to use their mobile’s camera to order from online stores.
Already a favourite with young Aussie fashionistas, The Iconic was the first Australian retailer to use this new technology. If a user uploads a screenshot of an item they have seen someone wearing on Instagram, the app will deliver a populated feed of similar buys.
4. 2020’s critical e-commerce concern
With so many people now using their mobile devices for online shopping – whether it be voice commerce, social commerce or utilizing new technology such as Snap to Shop’s photoshopping – mobile responsiveness is a legitimate concern for many e-commerce businesses moving forward into 2020, and beyond. It is absolutely critical e-commerce website owners are confident their websites are mobile-responsive.
For this reason, numerous businesses are now focusing on redesigning – and many are totally rebuilding – their websites purely with mobile responsiveness in mind. Experts envisage this trend will only increase in 2020 and will continue well into the next decade.
5. Automation will become increasingly necessary
Businesses hoping to continue manually managing their inventory and fulfilment across e-commerce, physical shop-fronts and major marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon will struggle.
Automation across all sales channels will become necessary for online retailers in 2020 to succeed in such a rapidly growing, competitive environment.
6. Chatbots, AI, AR & interactive product visualisation
With the arrival of AI, AR and Chat Bots, 2020 will see consumers using these technologies for the uppermost try-it-before-you-buy-it experience, all within the privacy of their own homes. Augmented reality will be featured in more practical applications that will drive more excellent online sales.
Chatbots have already taken over from customer service staff to manage basic enquiries for many businesses. Chatbots are expected to take on more than just frontline enquiries.
Heading towards 2020, chatbots are anticipated to be handling even more of the customer service workload, such as answering shipping tracking enquires, providing order status updates and updated point totals within reward programs.
7. Personalisation will outdo discounting in the longer term
Creating a brand experience for customers will deliver long-term rewards in 2020, with ignoring still expected only to deliver retailers’ short-term wins. As the focus shifts to the customer experience, building a unique, personalised shopping experience will be the aim of savvy e-commerce stores.
Low-cost personalisation solutions will allow the smaller retailers to compete with the giants such as Amazon and eBay by utilising technologies that have seen AI integrated with machine learning. There you have it – 2020 is set to be a year where e-commerce embraces improved product visualisation, AI for increased consumer engagement and for providing helpful analytics and the continued rise of photo-shopping apps.
The bottom line is that consumers expect 2020’s e-commerce trends to provide an innovative, futuristic and rewarding customer experience. As e-commerce grows, new technologies will continue to emerge to cut through the competitive online marketplace. Our advice is to be ready to embrace technologies that assist your business in providing a great user experience for your customers. If you want to learn more about how to optimise your e-commerce store to grow your business, contact us.
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