E-commerce is one of the most competitive industries in the world, especially when you consider how easy it is to start a dropshipping business. We’re not saying it’s easy to start a successful dropshipping business, just that it’s easy to enter the field and mess things up for people with prospects to make it in this game.
So, with so much competition, how do you get ahead in e-commerce? Here are the top five predictions of trends that e-commerce industry leaders are warning us about.
1. Focus more heavily on mobile commerce
“M-commerce remains attractive because of the fact that people carry their mobile phones with them at all times.” – Miles Lee
First, you must understand that people buy using their phones more than ever. You see, a responsive website is already great for desktop and laptop users; you don’t have much to sacrifice by making an extra effort to make it mobile-friendly.
You may want to go a step further and make your design mobile-first. This design type emphasizes load time, a sleek, touch-friendly user interface, and simpler navigation. More whitespace is also preferred since it increases the simplicity of scrolling (without fear of clicking on an interactive element by accident).
Much more importantly, you want to develop your app. While a great mobile browser experience is always positive, people spend most of their time on your site in an app. An app sends notifications, and it’s a constant reminder (since an icon is usually your logo). Overall, if you have this option, always develop your app.
Next, you want to streamline the checkout process. Your mobile phone probably already has all the access to your payment information, so you don’t need to inquire too much. Give your customer the simplest checkout possible, and don’t insist on registering. This last part is what drives a lot of people away and drastically increases your shopping cart abandonment.
Third, make sure that you include all the mobile payment options like:
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
If you don’t support their preferred payment method, they’re more likely to look for the product elsewhere than look hard for a way to still buy from you. In e-commerce, there’s always elsewhere to look.
As e-commerce trends continue to transcend geographical boundaries, it’s imperative to optimize the user experience for global customers. A pivotal element of this optimization involves confirming that your Shopify store displays the appropriate local currency based on the visitor’s location. To achieve this, consider using a VPN service or proxy to simulate browsing from different regions. For enhanced accuracy, opt for the best residential proxy service available. These proxies utilize real residential IP addresses, ensuring both a precise understanding of currency representation and a heightened level of anonymity, aligning with the evolving trends in e-commerce.
User behavior is sometimes unpredictable, so consider user testing and analytics. A/B testing usually gives the best results.
2. Invest in augmented reality
“I think that a significant portion of the population of developed countries, eventually all countries, will have AR experiences every day, like eating three meals a day. It will become that much a part of you.” – Tim Cook
One of the biggest problems with e-commerce is that people can’t try a product until lit reaches them. Before that, they were at considerable risk. You have entire pages on social media dedicated to memes that came into existence due to false advertising on e-commerce sites.
With augmented reality, you can organize virtual try-ons. You’re interested in what a necklace will look like on your neck? Use this filter to find out! Do you want to know what a lazy bag you’re ordering from our site will look in the middle of your living room? Point the camera at the location and see it on display! These virtual try-ons can revolutionize the game, and the best part is that the customer just needs a smartphone. Since 6.9 billion people already have smartphones, this is your entire audience.
An interactive product demonstration also greatly boosts the project’s appeal.
The same goes for instructions. How many people have a problem following LEGO instructions? What about assembling a chair that they’ve bought from IKEA? If you’re selling something with complex assembly, the best way to make it appear more appealing is to offer this kind of a guide.
This last part is especially important since many people refuse to buy an item without an assembly (either assembly on delivery or if it’s delivered assembled). This puts many e-commerce businesses in a problem since they lack the infrastructure to deliver this service.
Many people love going to the store, so what about the in-store AR experience? Sure, it’s never the same, but it can still be an interesting concept.
Lastly, the impact of AR advertising and marketing can help increase immersion. This is the next thing you must consider when creating a great marketing campaign.
3. Fraud prevention is the most significant factor
“In a way, fraud in business is no different from infidelity in marriage or plagiarism in scholarly work. Even people committed to high moral standards succumb.” – Miroslav Volf
People often fear doing business with you because they fear sharing their info. If you allow them to buy without registering, that’s great, but even then, they may feel uncomfortable sharing their credit card number with your platform.
The best way to make them more comfortable is to increase your investments in identity theft prevention. People need to trust you. This doesn’t just mean they should trust that you won’t do anything sketchy with their info. They also need to know that you’re up to protecting it.
Now, from the perspective of an e-commerce business, you want to keep track of your:
- Chargeback rate
- Dispute resolution success rate
- Repeat offender rate
- Refund request rate
By improving in these four fields, you’ll reduce the costs caused by fraud prevention. Of course, there are many more tips to prevent ecommerce fraud that you could try applying.
At the same time, you also want to approach this matter from your customers’ perspective. With that in mind, you want to reduce the:
- Fraudulent application rate
- Average time to detect fraud
- Fraud loss
- Rate of account takeovers
- False positive rate
- Account recovery success rate
By reducing these numbers, you’ll make your e-commerce business sturdier. You’ll get a chance to promote these impressive statistics, which will be especially effective when you compare them to the inferior industry averages. A content idea (ideally an infographic) is hidden here.
Customers who suffer from fraud on your site are unlikely to return. This is not that big of a problem, especially when you expect 20% of your customers to make 80% of your profit.
4. Optimize for voice search
“Moving forward, it would also be wise to optimize your content for voice search because marketing statistics predict voice queries to continue to grow in popularity.” – Derek Miller
People are constantly on the move and using their phones; therefore, they’re constantly using their phones on the move. This is why voice search is so popular nowadays.
This popularity boost happened for several reasons. You see, there was a need for voice search in the past, but the technology just wasn’t there yet. Today, these algorithms can pick up the context, your accent; you’re location, analyze your search history, and more to understand what you’re talking about.
So, where does this fit in e-commerce?
First, you must understand that voice search increases your reach to all voice search users. This demographic is quickly becoming the loud majority among the mobile user community.
Next, by adding an extra feature/option, you’re enhancing the user experience without actually sacrificing anything. You would be surprised to learn how little extra effort it takes to make this optimization happen and how much you’ll gain in return.
Since many e-commerce businesses are still behind on this feature, it’s a chance for you to gain a competitive advantage.
One last thing worth mentioning is that voice search works perfectly with local mobile search. This means it allows you to position your e-commerce business in the local market. For you as an online retailer, a local market is a market that your delivery system can reach.
5. Start a subscription model service (if you have that option)
“If you’re not shifting to this business model now, chances are that in a few years, you might not have any business left to shift.” – Tien Tzuo
This is one of the things that many businesses in the video game industry are doing. For instance, video games like EUIV have so many DLCs and expansion packs that it would cost roughly $500 to get all the content in the game. Now, the subscription is just $3 per month, and you can play an entire month for this money.
How is this worth it for the retailer?
Well, it’s not if you assume that if people can’t subscribe, they have no other reason to buy. In reality, if they can’t afford the product, they can just not buy or consume it. They could also just buy a base game for $20 and stop there. This is about seven months’ worth of subscription.
Another great example of this is EA Play, which gives its subscribers a massive library to use. They even offer an occasional code with a discount on the games you play most often. This means that the subscription serves as a loyalty farm and a trial period for products that people would otherwise avoid.
While it’s the best example, a subscription model is not exclusive to the gaming industry. Sure, it works best with intellectual property, but it’s still not exclusive to it.
Also, just because you offer subscriptions to some services doesn’t mean you have nothing else to sell conventionally. We’ve already talked about the importance of attracting and retaining customers. This subscription service is one of the ways to attract the right audience.
Spearheading innovation is the only way to stay ahead in e-commerce
Your audience is all about convenience and transparency. So, start by ensuring they have a more pleasant mobile experience and can check the products out via AR and improve their voice search options. Also, improve your cybersecurity measures and consider starting a subscription model for at least some of your services.
By Srdjan Gombar
Veteran content writer, published author, and amateur boxer. Srdjan is a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and is passionate about technology, pop culture, and self-improvement. His free time he spends reading, watching movies, and playing Super Mario Bros. with his son.