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The year has already progressed and it is time to think about preparing your online shop for the coming year. Which e-commerce trends can be expected in 2020 and the years beyond? The developments range from an increasingly individual customer experience to the concrete implementation of augmented reality when shopping. We take a look at some innovations that will change online trading forever.
According to recent studies, major developments await us in the e-commerce sector and they affect (almost) all countries in the world. Starting with the introduction of 5G to the use of artificial intelligence and the management of inventory, the sector is experiencing an unprecedented wave of technological innovations. No matter whether B2B or B2C: It is time to move on to the 3.0 trade era and to prepare for the 2020 e-commerce development trends.
In the e-commerce sector, it is extremely important to keep up with developments and future trends. Prepare yourself now for the exciting future of e-commerce by implementing the emerging e-commerce trends in 2020 and the in the forthcoming years.
According to the last Gartner study, by the end of 2020 100 million consumers will be making purchases online and in shops using augmented reality. Augmented reality technology allows buyers to integrate products directly into their future environment. The products are almost physically tangible and purchases are significantly easier. Here are a few examples:
Sephora: Well-known for its excellent customer experience – the brand has recently started using augmented reality with the Sephora Virtual Artist. This allows customers to try out different make-up looks or take pictures with items of clothing that work like a virtual try-on.
IKEA: With IKEA Place, IKEA launched an app on the German market in 2018 that also uses augmented reality and enables users to try out furniture and accessories before buying. In this way, buyers get an exact idea of the product. Customers no longer have to try to imagine what a particular sofa would look like in their living room – they can see it realistically!
Augmented reality therefore expects a great future and has made great strides to date. Augmented Reality is therefore definitely one of the e-commerce trends that will have a major impact on 2020 and the years ahead.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence already have a considerable impact on many areas of activity. The algorithms used make it possible for a computer-controlled system to a certain degree to adapt its analyzes and its behavior accordingly, based on the analysis of data from a database or from sensors. Put simply, online shops, for example, will be able to use machine learning to offer potential buyers a better user experience based on existing data and shopping behavior. It is the ‘Recommendations’ or ‘Suggestions for You’ tabs that you can find on numerous websites today. Based on previously purchased, viewed or complementary products purchased from other customers, other items are suggested.
Here we will see further developments that enable an increasingly personal and personalized shopping experience. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are two of the fastest moving e-commerce trends in 2020 and the upcoming years.
People spend several hours online every day these days. Much of this time they use social media, making the topic of “social commerce” increasingly important. So more and more sales take place via platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. The choice of the most suitable social media platform naturally depends on your product range.
Social commerce immensely shortens the customer journey of your customers (from the first inspiration to the final purchase). The number of consumers who want to discover and buy products via social media has recently increased significantly – especially among millennials and digital natives. Visual content leads to an even more appealing shopping experience and social commerce enables the customer to find everything in one place, from the first inspiration to the final purchase.
Efficient e-commerce sites are the basis for online trading, no question. But that’s not all. As more and more users access online shops on the go, online retailers have to undergo profound changes. Here are some numbers:
5G should also become increasingly available in U.S in the course of 2020. The new technology will open up numerous opportunities for the e-commerce sector. Thanks to the faster download speed, video content and augmented reality can be offered on an unprecedented scale. Marketplaces could become real shopping centers where online shoppers can look to find the products they want. 5G and mobile commerce – an e-commerce trend 2020 that you definitely shouldn’t oversleep!
Chatbots are a smart technology based on machine learning. Customers chat in a virtual environment using an algorithm rather than a real person. For your customer, this initially makes no difference: Questions guide him through a predetermined process and lead to the desired result, such as service inquiries or product searches. As a rule, Chatbots are integrated into Facebook as messenger bots and can thus act as the first point of contact with the company. Sephora, EBay, SnapTravel, but also H&M are some well-known application examples for Chatbots to attract (new) customers. 47% of online shoppers would buy products from a Chatbot and 37% would prefer buying via Facebook to the online shop.
45% of all online shoppers would prefer to shop in an online shop that is able to make personalized recommendations. And 56% of online shoppers would order again from an online shop that made personalized recommendations. Amazon has already understood the opportunities of personalization in e-commerce very well and is making countless recommendations based on the previous shopping behavior of its online customers. Amazon offers shoppers comprehensive personalization using “Your wish list” or “Your collection”. But personalization doesn’t end there. Thanks to Big Data, which analyzes shopping behavior, various e-mails with offers tailored to the profile are sent. Large amounts of data are processed by customers in order to achieve an appropriate personalization.
Blockchain is one of the most hyped trends in recent years and allows data to be encrypted securely without the need for a central control point. As the safest technology for databases to date, Blockchain has made the well-known cryptocurrency Bitcoin possible. Many companies conduct research in the Blockchain area and technology is undoubtedly one of the major e-commerce trends in 2020.
Advantages of the Blockchain
Online retailers thus benefit from greater trust and can offer more transparency. Online shops are faster, run more smoothly and offer their customers a better shopping experience.
Around ten years ago there was much more skepticism in online retail. Customers often feared a lack of security and therefore the risk of fraud. But this looks different today. According to the trade association, the number of (selective) online shoppers in the U.S is 56%, with 20% of all Americans enthusiastically shopping online. And which payment methods do people commonly prefer?
In the United States of America, 28% of purchases are still made by invoice, although payment services such as Apple Pay, Walmart Pay, Samsung Pay, or Android Pay have seen encouraging growth in recent months. The wallets (or digital wallets) make transactions easy, quick and secure thanks to Touch ID or other technologies. It is therefore clear that these payment methods have a bright future ahead of them, especially in the e-commerce sector. So it is important to always point out the different payment methods. This is the only way a shopping cart can display all current options – and the online shop is a pioneer.
But which payment methods should your online shop offer?
This question cannot be answered generally. It is advisable to get an overview of the most common payment systems on the online market and to evaluate them after a thorough research. But, it is a fact that the introduction of virtual currencies will definitely open up a whole new world for online trading. We cannot yet foresee how e-commerce trends will be affected in 2020. Facebook has announced that it is working on a cryptocurrency for the users of your WhatsApp application. So we can expect many new developments by next year.
The rapid growth in the e-commerce sector requires appropriate measures from the various players. For online retailers and partners in e-fulfillment, the workload increases because they have to make more and more orders ready for dispatch as quickly as possible.
In addition, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find new employees. Robotization can therefore be a way out. A lot of research is currently being done in this area and large sums are being invested in further research.
There is a lot of experimentation with drones with regard to the delivery of parcels. UPS is already authorized to perform drone deliveries in the United States. Who knows what will happen in this area in the future.
In retrospect, no topic will determine 2020 as much as the corona pandemic. Due to the acute risk of infection, governments and official agencies across the world are currently ordering store closures. All businesses that do not sell basic goods are facing an economic disaster. Stores that run an online shop in addition to their brick-and-mortar stores are initially protected from this.
But online retailers are not entirely immune to the consequences of the corona crisis in the e-commerce industry.
For example, due to the cancellation of the leading e-commerce trade fair Internet World Expo 2020 in Munich, companies in the e-commerce sector are missing a variety of networking opportunities with which they could build a profitable partner network. Companies that want to expand therefore have to look for alternatives.
The upcoming e-commerce trends in 2020 are diverse. However, some technologies are still in their infancy. But developments in the field of e-commerce are happening faster and faster and only those who have a look at current trends understand the requirements of tomorrow. Online retailers should always put user-friendliness and added value for their customers above technological possibilities. Do we really need augmented reality apps that show us what a rice cooker will look like in the kitchen? And will we eventually only order pizza via voice commerce and then pay for it in cryptocurrencies? We don’t know what the future holds, but the way we shop will certainly change fundamentally.
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