In the ever-evolving eCommerce landscape, retailers must stay current and adopt new technologies and strategies ahead of their competition. From Chatbots to video and on-site personalisation, 2019 brought many new eCommerce trends to the market, allowing retailers to connect with customers on a deeper level.

As we embark on a new decade, 2020 brings new challenges and opportunities such as drone delivery, flexible payments, and so on. Discover our recommendations of which trends to focus on and incorporate into your strategy for a prosperous year ahead. 

Responsible and Sustainable Shopping

A company has a corporate and social responsibility to minimise the adverse effects they have on the environment, whether that be through the way they manufacture products or ship deliveries. Consumers have also become more mindful of the impact they are having on their environment and the economy, and as a result of this, brands who advocate sustainability or have invested ethically will see a rise in popularity. 

Attract a new age consumer by shouting about the use of recycled or upcycled products, streamlined shipping procedures, sustainable manufacturing processes, thoughtful packaging or how you are giving back through charity or community work such as planting trees. 

In a bid to reduce its environmental footprint in the fashion world, & Other Stories offer a simple in-store recycling program – recycling their beauty packaging in stores worldwide and textiles in the UK and the US (via partners I:CO). Users of the scheme, receive a 10% discount on new purchases as an incentive, plus the ‘feel good’ factor. 

Voice Search Queries

It was reported by Shopify, that just over 20% of search queries are now made via voice and experts predict that 50% of search will happen via voice in 2020. As more and more consumers make purchases from an Alexa or Google Home device, an unmissable opportunity for eCommerce presents itself.

Remember, voice search queries are generally longer than typed search queries, so concentrate on long-tail keywords to ensure your product or service presents itself to the consumer. Without the use of product images, voice devices solely rely on product descriptions, so ensure that they are as descriptive, compelling and as clear as possible to maximise the chance of a conversion. 

As early adopters, Esteé Lauder is currently dominating the beauty market when it comes to voice search queries. The global makeup and skincare brand partnered with Google Home to create a voice-activated skincare expert name “Liv”. Liv can answer all beauty related questions while recommending an Esteé Lauder product within her response. 

Social Commerce

We’re all guilty of too much scrolling on social media, lusting over influencers and being sucked in by those perfectly targeted ads. Social Commerce allows brands to target customers across social media and offers customers the ability to make purchases conveniently via social platforms such as Instagram. 

Having released its Beta Checkout feature recently, Instagram Shopping is sure to lead the way in 2020. The feature which is available in the US and will soon be available in the UK, allows the entire eCommerce process to happen directly within the Instagram app rather than directing the user to an actual eCommerce website.

Adidas, Nike, H&M, Uniqlo, Zara and Warby Parker are among the 20+ brands working on the beta rollout of Checkout on Instagram.

In the meantime, take full advantage of Social Commerce, by considering the following: where are your customers the most active, when are they most likely to make a purchase, i.e. payday or end of the week, and how you can use a platform’s current features and functions to spur conversions? To help with this, we recommend investing in engagement tools such as Yotpo, Buzz Zumo and Storyheap, which allow you to better connect with your audience on social. 

Google as an Online Marketplace

In 2019, Google unveiled a redesigned shopping destination in the hopes to take on marketplace giant, Amazon. Google Shopping will now act as a marketplace, allowing consumers to discover and compare products from thousands of stores in one location, then check out instantly within their Google account. Shoppers will have a personalised home page where they can filter products based on features.

For merchants, it combines ads, local and transactions in one place. Google is not only the search engine but will also provide support if the customer has any issues, or if they need a refund. This new design is not yet available in the UK, but it’s worthwhile merchants preparing for this and to be ready to treat this as another lucrative selling channel. 

Ultimately, 2020 will be another year of extraordinary growth in the eCommerce space and staying on top of the latest trends will be an essential key to growing your business. We don’t yet know where technology will take us over the next decade, but we do know the factors that are shaping consumer shopping habits today, including sustainability and convenience. If you’re looking to start the year with your best foot forward, chat to our Professional Services team to see how these trends and technologies could work for you.

If you’re looking to start the year with your best foot forward, chat to our Professional Services team to see how these trends and technologies could work for you.