In 2020, retail sales worldwide in the eCommerce sector surpassed $4.2 trillion. Analysts project the industry will grow even more, especially as purchases by older generations have increased. Penetration rates are also forecasted to increase to 25% by 2025, marking a 67% increase in five years.
With these growth figures, one wonders what the eCommerce sector is doing to see such success. It turns out that in 2021, there were several trends impacting eCommerce, just as we reported there were in B2B marketing in 2019. These innovations have allowed the eCommerce sector to attract and retain users in high volumes this year.
Current eCommerce Market Trends
A good customer experience is vital in eCommerce. When done correctly, it can help to retain customers and build brand loyalty. It can also be free marketing as happy customers tell their friends and family about their experience. eCommerce platforms use chatbots to achieve this as they offer quick responses to customers through text or speech.
There are two types of chatbots, the first being task-oriented. These are used for business transactions. The second is data-driven chatbots. These learn customer preferences to provide accurate suggestions. Artificial intelligence has allowed chatbots to develop considerably, and the global chat market is now forecasted to grow to $10.5 billion by 2026.
Social commerce is another powerful industry tool, combining eCommerce with social media. For instance, platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow consumers to purchase products they see on the apps. In particular, eCommerce companies in the fashion sector have benefited the most from this trend. In 2021, social commerce is projected to account for 4.3% of all retail eCommerce sales.
Video marketing has increased in popularity over the years, with 86% of businesses in 2021 using video as a marketing tool. For perspective, only 61% of companies used videos in 2016.
Videos are a great way to interact with consumers, and there are many variations. For instance, businesses use product close-up videos when they are trying to showcase features that viewers might not see in pictures.
Similarly, eCommerce companies use customer testimonial videos. These videos feature past customers sharing their experiences with a company. Customer testimonials are often a key persuader for hesitant shoppers.
Trends of the Past
When the first eCommerce company launched, the industry was already using specific techniques to attract consumers. For instance, machine learning helps to offer personalised products. These recommendations, which increase conversions and sales, are based on individual behaviour, such as previous products a visitor has purchased or looked at.
eCommerce companies have also long offered discounts and bonuses to consumers. These promotions increase sales and brand loyalty. Discounts and bonuses encourage consumers not to abandon their carts while motivating new consumers to make their first purchase.
Have Other Industries Taken a Page from eCommerce?
The world’s digital shift has made traditional marketing strategies obsolete. As a result, it can be difficult to know how to navigate this transition. However, the eCommerce industry has demonstrated innovative ways to remain competitive in the online landscape.
That’s why we see a lot of trends used in eCommerce in other sectors, including social media and iGaming. For instance, apps like TikTok also utilise personalised recommendations. Rather than product suggestions, TikTok builds a ‘For You’ page that features videos the app thinks users will like based on their history.
As for the iGaming industry, it offers discounts and bonuses to new and returning players. According to the review site Oddschecker, casino bonuses are the most common marketing tool used by online casinos because bonuses aid acquisition and encourage loyalty. For instance, an online casino bonus can include a deposit match bonus, which doubles the money a new player has to play games with. There are also loyalty bonuses, which reward users for how much they play.
It seems reasonable to think other industries will capitalise on the current trends moving through eCommerce. Personalised recommendations could help other sectors like sports betting. For instance, if a user primarily bets on football, the sportsbooks could only display football banners or promotions. The pharmaceutical industry could also benefit from investing in eCommerce trends as the elderly continue to favour purchasing pharmacy products online.
The eCommerce industry has changed retail. It has also changed how other industries market their products to consumers. With a new focus on social commerce and video marketing in the sector, it wouldn’t be surprising to see more industries adopt similar interests.