6 Ecommerce Trends You Need to Keep an Eye On
The past few years have seen unprecedented changes in ecommerce.
The COVID pandemic dramatically escalated ecommerce growth while causing serious supply chain and workforce disruptions, Brexit continues to disrupt shipping to and from the UK, and the iOS 14 and 15 updates triggered the rapid decline of third-party data.
It's time for us ecommerce owners to do what we do best: adapt.
Here are 6 Ecommerce Trends You Need to Keep an Eye On.
Adapt. Evolve. Scale.
The Growth of Mobile Ecommerce
Mobile ecommerce sales as a share of total ecommerce. Source: Statista.
Ensuring that your Shopify store is optimized for mobile is step one in keeping up with the rise of mobile ecommerce. Check your site speed on mobile. Visitors won’t put up with slow loading times.
To keep up to date with the competition, consider launching an app for your ecommerce store. Fashion mobile apps are especially popular. In 2021, Shein was downloaded 190 million times. Other trending online shopping apps include Shopee, Meesho, and Amazon.
Tapcart is a fantastic platform for creating mobile apps for your ecommerce business. It doesn’t require any complicated coding, it’s affordable, and it’s super easy to use.
The Rise of Social Commerce
Social commerce is the process of selling products directly on social media. Product advertising on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, therefore has a ‘Buy Now’ button that allows customers to buy your product within the app.
Total US social commerce sales are expected to reach $79.64 billion by 2025. In China, social commerce sales are already exceeding $300 billion annually. Social commerce or ‘social shopping’ is a rapidly rising trend that all e-commerce store owners need to keep their eye on.
Social Commerce Forecasts for US and China. Source: Insider Intelligence.
We can’t talk about the rise of social shopping without mentioning TikTok. In Q4 2021 alone, worldwide consumers spent over $824 million on TikTok.
Knowing your audience is fundamental to keeping up with new marketing trends. If you have a Gen Z audience, for example, TikTok Shopping could be highly lucrative for your ecommerce store - 60% of TikTok users are Gen Zs.
Instagram shopping is also emerging as a popular online shopping trend. The launch of Instagram reels hasn’t slowed TikTok commerce, but it increased the popularity of Instagram. Instagram had 656 million downloads in 2021.
If you’re selling affordable products for a younger audience, invest your time in TikTok and Instagram shopping.
Facebook is currently the top social commerce in the US, boasting 56.1 million buyers in 2021. It’s well worth checking out Facebook Shops, especially if your audience consists of older millennials.
Social shopping often includes links that lead to a product page with an instant purchase option. However, taking customers outside the social media app disrupts the customer journey, thereby decreasing the chance of a conversion. In social shopping, buying within the app or video advertisement is your best option.
VideoWise is a fantastic tool for bringing the social shopping experience to your Shopify store. VideoWise leverages user-generated content (UGC) such as TikTok or Instagram product review videos, to create shoppable videos.
To find out more about using video marketing and UGC, check out our podcast episode with the Founder and CEO of VideoWise, Claudiu Cioba: How to Use Video on Your Shopify Store Without Slowing Site Speed.
The Increasing Importance of Conversion Rate Optimization
The increasing importance of conversion rate optimization (CRO) follows the decline of third-party data and cookies.
Why is third-party data declining?
The iOS14 update allows users to prohibit third-party data tracking
Google has pledged to block third-party cookies in Chrome in 2023
Facebook and Google ads heavily rely on third-party data. So before you even think about paid advertising, you need to ensure that your CRO is top-notch.
The best thing about CRO is that it allows you to track what works and what doesn’t in Google Analytics. Test, test, and test again to see what your customers respond to. Conduct in-depth data analysis, because it’s not worth spending lots of money on ads when you don’t know anything about your return on investment (ROI).
Check out our podcast episode with Florens Bach from Monkeys.Digital to see how to improve your ads with CRO.
Zero-Party Data and Personalization
Zero-party data and personalization are here to stay.
The iOS 14 and 15 updates turned digital marketing upside down. With the decline of third-party data, zero-party data took center stage.
Unlike third-party data, zero-party data isn’t collected by pixels or third parties. Instead, it's collected through permission-based marketing. Customer information is retrieved through survey questions, quizzes, and pop-ups.
Product Quiz Example. Source: Octane AI
Direct questions collect customer information that third-party data would never be able to obtain. In a skincare e-commerce store, for example, Shop Quizzes can ask customers about their skin type and goals. The answers to these questions enable ecommerce owners to hyper-personalize and customize every step of the customer journey.
Personalized marketing is particularly effective within an omnichannel marketing strategy. To create a seamless customer experience, all marketing channels, whether they’re website conversion rate optimization, email marketing, SMS marketing, online ads, etc., need to be connected.
Beyond building trust and brand-customer communication, omnichannel marketing is highly useful during sales and product promotions. During Black Friday, for example, your site will direct visitors to email and SMS marketing. In turn, SMS and email marketing will continue to remind customers about the sale, incentivizing with urgency and scarcity along the way.
If you’re getting started with zero-party marketing or otherwise looking to amp up your personalization, Octane AI is your best option. Octane AI makes it easy to create Shop Quizzes, Conversational Pop Ups, and build seamless personalization and product recommendations in SMS and email marketing.
Personalized Email Flow Example. Source: Octane AI
Post-purchase ‘Thank You’ emails are especially effective in optimizing personalization and expressing appreciation for your customers. According to Klaviyo, a post-purchase ‘Thank You’ email has an open rate of over three times the average marketing email. Use that opportunity to upsell and provide top-tier copy and design. Klaviyo personalizes your recommended product feed, so make sure to take full advantage of that in your email marketing.
Check out our podcast episode with the Co-Founder and President of Octane AI, Ben Parr, to learn more.
The Subscription Model
The ecommerce subscription model has drastically increased in popularity within the past year. 54% of online shoppers have subscribed to an ecommerce subscription box.
Dollar Shave Club, for example, became so popular that Gilette had to reduce had to launch its own subscription service and reduce its razor prices by a 12% average.
So why is the subscription model so effective?
Subscription sign-ups collect zero-party data
Subscription sign-ups often collect valuable zero-party data. Ecommerce owners can learn a lot about their customer’s age, gender, and buyer preferences.
This data can be used to hyper-personalize brand-customer communication, marketing, and product recommendations.
2. Subscription data allows e-commerce owners to develop customer incentives
As subscriptions collect zero-party data, ecommmerce owners will collect enough information about purchase behavior to build an effective VIP tier system to reward their most loyal customers and create offers that their customers actually want to claim.
3. Subscriptions are fantastic for customer retention
Subscription-based businesses can retain over 65% of their customers after one year. They encourage continuous brand-customer communication and build a more personalized customer journey.
Plus, subscriptions are sticky. If you run a low-cost subscription service, customers will often not feel the need to cancel their subscription if they take a break from your product for a few weeks or even months.
So, what’s next?
Subscription-based models are most effective for ecommerce stores that sell short-term products, e.g. food, razors, or skincare. If you sell luxury furniture, for example, the subscription-based model may not be right for you.
As with all new trends in ecommerce, maintaining a good subscription model necessitates thorough data collection and analysis. Metrilo is a great tool to connect subscription-based data to your Google Analytics account.
Supply Chain Issues
Supply chain issues dominate the latest trends in ecommerce. With the onset of COVID, Brexit complications, and varying restrictions and regulations between borders, ecommerce owners all over the world are having difficulties finding the right materials for their products.
Here are three ways to manage supply chain issues:
1. Allow customers to track their product
It’s simple and easy to add tracking codes to your Shopify store. It’s even simpler for your customers to use them.
Customers are more likely to be forgiving of delays when they know where their parcel is.
2. Set expectations around shipping
Be as transparent as possible about shipping times and costs.
Put shipping times and costs on both your product page and checkout page. Transparency goes hand in hand with conversion.
3. Use SMS and Email Marketing
Use SMS and email marketing while they wait for their shipping. Be available to answer any customer questions and have a clear and extensive FAQ page for store visitors to refer to.
When dealing with new trends in ecommerce that have the potential to slow your growth, always remember to keep up that brand-customer communication and honesty.
Ecommerce Trends: The Lowdown
Scaling is guided by the latest trends in ecommerce. From trending online shopping apps that have been around for years to brand new marketing trends less than a year old, it’s all about understanding your customers.
Never be afraid to hop on any new digital marketing trends. They most likely reflect recent trends in online shopping in the best possible way.
Zero-party data, for example, rose in popularity in response to the increasing distrust of third-party data and its subsequent decline. While the decline of third-party data was a huge cause for concern among many digital marketers, it signaled a brand new opportunity for a revolutionized customer experience.
The rise of zero-party data and hyper-personalization testifies to the incredible ability of ecommerce owners to adapt, evolve, and scale. As new marketing trends evolve, so do you.
For more information on how to scale your ecommerce, visit https://www.thebudaimedia.com/.
Ecommerce Trends FAQs
What are shopping trends?
Shopping trends refer to purchase behavior in both online and in-store retail. Keeping up to date with how people shop is crucial to remaining competitive. Essentially, store owners need to understand online retail trends to understand their customers’ changing preferences.
Recent trends in online shopping, for example, include the rise of mobile ecommerce, personalization, and social shopping.
What are Ecommerce Trends?
Ecommerce trends include consumer behavior trends in online shopping and digital marketing trends.
Digital marketing trends affect and are affected by consumer behavior. Recent trends in marketing include the rise of zero-party data and the increasing importance of conversion rate optimization.
How do I find shopping trends?
Market research finds the latest shopping trends, customer research shows you how to use them. If you’re straining your eyes reading article after article about recent trends in online shopping, consider a podcast instead.
Daniel Budai’s Master Show is a great place to start. Daniel dives into the latest trends in ecommerce as well as how to best harness the most recent trends in marketing. As part of your research into ecommerce trends, take a look at your customer data analytics. They’ll show which of the latest shopping trends are most relevant to your audience.
Calculating what percentage of your store visitors are on mobile, for example, will demonstrate the importance of mobile ecommerce to your store.
How have shopping trends changed?
One of the most noticeable shopping trends forecasts the rapid growth of ecommerce against the slow growth of in-store retail.
The latest shopping trends indicate that US ecommerce sales will exceed $1.5 trillion in 2025.
According to a report made by Suzy Davidkhanian, Blake Droesch, and Andrew Lipsam, for Insider Intelligence, US ecommerce sales will grow by 15.9% in 2022. In-store retail sales, on the other hand, are expected to grow by 0.3%.
US Total Sales by Channel 2019 - 2025. Source: eMarketer
What are online buying trends?
Online buying trends indicate purchase behavior online. When lockdowns set in across the globe at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, online sales rapidly increased and ecommerce growth skyrocketed.
Leading Business publications such as Forbes predict that consumer behavior will continue to favor the convenience of online shopping long after the pandemic is over.
When ecommerce growth accelerates so rapidly, consumer behavior trends in online shopping evolve just as quickly. Many recent trends in online shopping, such as social commerce and hyper-personalization, only rose to prominence in the past two years.
What are the best ecommerce growth trends?
The best ecommerce growth trends for your business often depend on what you’re selling and who your customers are. Many of the latest trends in ecommerce, however, affect all online store merchants.
The aforementioned 6 ecommerce trends will affect your growth in different ways. Let’s take a quick look:
The Growth of Mobile Ecommerce
As 72.9% of all online sales happen online, the growth of mobile ecommerce is highly likely to affect your ecommerce store. Check what percentage of your store visitors are on mobile - that should tell you everything you need to know about moving to a mobile-first approach.
Trending online shopping apps affect most ecommerce stores, especially those in the fashion niche.
The Rise of Social Commerce
The rise of social commerce is happening quickly, so it's best to hop on this train sooner rather than later.
The value of each social media platform, however, will vary from store to store. TikTok and Instagram reels will be more relevant to ecommerce stores selling affordable products to a Gen Z or millennial audience than a high-end luxury brand.
The Increasing Importance of Conversion Rate Optimization
The increasing importance of CRO is crucial to the growth of any ecommerce store. Naturally, the larger the brand, the more they can spend on CRO. It should, however, be a marketing priority for any budget.
Zero Party Data and Personalization
Zero-party data and personalization is the new default for the smart consumer. Most recent trends in marketing reflect this strategy.
In a post-third-party data world, permission-based marketing and hyper-personalization are what every ecommerce store needs to keep up with the competition.
The Subscription Model
The subscription model trend is rapidly rising as a highly effective way to boost customer retention. It is, however, more relevant for ecommerce stores that sell perishable or short-term products, such as razor blades, skincare, or food.
Supply Chain Issues
Unfortunately, supply chain issues are one of those online retail trends that will affect most ecommerce businesses.
If your online store relies on international shipping, make sure that you check out our tips for optimizing your supply chain.