If we talk about the industries that excelled during the pandemic, eCommerce will be among the top three industries. The percentage of people who used e-commerce applications surged during the pandemic. As the userbase increases, service providers can best serve following user behaviour. Albert Houllou, a passionate marketing trends analyst, would like to know and share informative insights as a guest writer. In this blog, we shall explore the top six e-commerce trends that every player in the e-comm industry can use to drive more sales and traffic that surge the ROI.

Each year, we have witnessed e-commerce applications develop new features. Technology acting as the catalyst for improving the shopping experience is challenging for e-commerce players to stay ahead of the competition. Amazon, Flipkart, eBay and many other international e-commerce platforms started investing more into research and development to understand user behavior and build features accordingly, says Albert Houllou.

Six e-commerce trends to watch out for in 2022.

  1. Implementing augmented reality into online shopping apps.
  2. Adopt artificial intelligence to understand users.
  3. Provide new ways to pay.
  4. BOPIS – Buy online, pickup in-store.
  5. Chatbots are built on user behaviour analysis.
  6. Websites and applications to adopt voice search.

Apart from these six trends, Albert suggests several other ongoing trends that will significantly impact the e-commerce industry to be the best, which we discuss in the latter part of this blog.

1. Implementing augmented reality into online shopping apps.

Augmented Reality(AR) and Virtual Reality(VR) have been leading the gaming industry for the past few years, and now they have started showing their mark in the e-commerce industry. Most e-commerce applications have already started working towards integrating AR-VR into their applications, allowing users to try products. This trend has been revolutionary for e-commerce, especially for the following areas in recent times.

  • Apparel stores provide an option to check how clothing and accessories look on them without actually wearing them.
  • Beauty product applications adopted this feature to show how cosmetics like lipsticks look on them, trying different shades without visiting the stores saving time for the users.
  • People have started using AR to shop for furniture products, allowing users to experience the product at home.
  • The education sector is skyrocketing after the pandemic, and AR helps providers keep it simple for learners to understand the subject quickly.

Research and development show much scope for the AR-VR in the years ahead.

2. Adopt artificial intelligence to understand users.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping every sector to provide the best to users. AI in the e-commerce sector helps providers understand user behaviour with the application, targeting their interest in products. Albert Houllou also talks about Big Data’s role when your application has a vast user base and needs to target users with specific products. Artificial intelligence helps stores focus on the following areas that improve user interactions.

  • Targeted marketing has shown 40% more sales for almost all the areas of e-commerce, resulting in a new trend to adopt retarget users with their favourites.
  • Stores can optimise their product pricing by analysing the product demand, which has a proven record of driving more sales by offering minimum discounts to the users.
  • Logistics is the crucial area where artificial intelligence can be a game-changer. Manual updates to track product delivery can be a bottleneck for microscale stores. We have seen new startups go live using AI to automate logistics for new stores is appreciable.
  • Artificial intelligence helps stores serve the users and enables store owners to automate specific tasks where they can eliminate unwanted hassles, like CRM integrations and post-sales support.

Artificial intelligence, when integrated with supporting softwares, can be very productive to the e-commerce industry, improving every area of service.

3. Provide new ways to pay

The stores and applications must improve their trust and credibility while user shops online. Users can sometimes pay no revisit to the application if they find any hassle while processing any payment. Providers must understand users’ interests and preferred payment options and adopt current payment trends to their applications.

In the generation of tap and pay for offline shopping, we are also about to witness new ways for them. 

  • A few years ago, there were no UPI payments, but every application in the market today provides an option to pay using UPI. Another significant revolutionary mark is that authorities are now allowing UPI for the credit cards, for which experts anticipate a significant boost in credit card UPI sales.
  • Another central area to look out for is allowing users to “Pay Later”. Many applications and third-party providers have already got into this business of providing credit to the users while shopping, where users are provided with an option to pay later in easy instalments.
  • Cryptocurrency is the most buzzing payment option globally. Virtual money that has the potential to disturb the economy of nations is now considered the new token of purchase. Many MNCs and global stores are in trials to accept these currencies, but experts’ differential opinions on this subject may delay this trend from taking over the world.
  • Research says that people are more interested in doing tasks with voice commands. Alexa is the best example of this trend, and the number of users interacting with Alexa is real-time proof that the trend is soaring. Voice-activated payments will significantly increase e-commerce revenue when the stores prove no margin for error while transactions use this trend.

We may anticipate more advanced and secure payments when the research for adopting biometric payments starts to play in real-time.

4. BOPIS – Buy online, pick in store.

As the name suggests, this new trend saves users time and reduces their fear of missing out (FOMO) on grabbing the product they like. The E-commerce industry, especially among retailers, has already seen a significant rise in adopting this trend. BOPIS trend is like a win-win approach for the users and stores where each of them will have real benefits like:

  • Users can avoid hefty shipping fees levied. In most transactions, users show lesser interest in shopping when the shipping fee is higher than anticipated. 
  • Assurance of the product is what relaxes the users. Once the purchase is made online, users can pick up the product at their convenience, avoiding the FOMO.
  • There seems to be no delay in owning a product you love. Logistics can be a tough job for the stores, especially when the user is in a hurry to try or buy a product.
  • Stores report more sales from the customers when they visit the store to pick up the products they have already purchased online, which implies more sales.

BOPIS also helps stores in better inventory management and reduce shipping delay.

5. Chatbots are built on user behaviour analysis.

Chatbots are the new trend every industry is adapting to serve the best to their customers. Most websites use this feature to address users’ common queries to interact with the store. Each store will have to work on customising its chatbots to assist users with hassle-free relations. Chatbots can boost e-commerce sales by:

  • Personalising services to the users. Navigating the user to the desired service provides a smooth online session, which implies customer retention.
  • Lead capture rate has increased using chatbots as the users tend to provide details to someone who can process their requests on the go.
  • Chatbots reduce the cost of the customer support team, reducing the human resources involved in addressing the most common concerns of the user.
  • Data captured through chatbots are real-time and provide insights into improving enhanced support in future.

Apart from providing the services, they help service providers and stored to collect feedback from the customers and process the data to upgrade the quality they serve.

6. Websites and applications to adopt voice search.

Google, the top most used search engine, is now adopting this new feature of voice search and recommends every other website to make the websites compatible with voice search. Insights show that this new trend will stay with us, as the people adopting this trend are rising YoY. Statistics say that around 55 per cent of Americans will have gadgets that allow them to shop online using voice commands that could hit $40 billion in revenue. It is high time for the online retailers and stores to align with the market and integrate voice search to the users for a better shopping experience. 

Conclusion

With all the trends Albert Houllou has observed impacting the eCommerce industry, he suggest adopting the ongoing trends is the only way to keep stores beating the competition. Keep tacking the new and innovative research by markets and take insights from the reports and try to find a way to apply the new strategies to deliver the best products and services to the users.

Author:  Albert Houllou

As President and Chief Executive Officer of F&E Trading LLC, Albert Houllou is responsible for the extensive growth of the company since it was founded in 1999 in a small New York storefront. Albert Houllou  strategic business acumen and dedicated focus has led  F&E Trading  into new areas of expansion, with a focus on the future.