Winners in retail consistently show that by promoting positive disruption and innovative ideas they are able to build a stronger business from the inside and out. The B2B market has taken note and already leaders have emerged. With it being clear that the fundamentals of what, where and how buying is taking place is evolving at a rapid pace, which technology and strategies should your brand consider? When looking to the future of e-commerce and making our predictions for 2020, we focused on ways that can be truly helpful and meaningful to the consumer and recommend taking a holistic approach to overall commerce development.
9 Predictions for the Future of E-Commerce in 2020:
- The partners you choose will be more important than ever. We have learned that a successful digital strategy doesn’t require an entire system overhaul, but instead finding your gap areas and creating solutions to fix them. By partnering with the right technology partners you will be able to utilize best-in-class solutions that can integrate well with one another, are agile and allow for collaborative workflow and communication across the organization.
- Create a hyper-personalized engagement for your brand by mapping out buyer personas to create the best customer experience for each individual. Ultimately, experiences should be personalized to meet the needs of the buyer, seller, company, channel and all the various support roles involved in the buying cycle. There is no such thing as a finished product in this case - instead, continual, dynamic improvements must be made to evolve with your visitors needs.
- Hone in on your strategy with Amazon because they aren’t going anywhere. Maybe that includes learning how to utilize technology to meet your customer needs and keep them coming back to you vs the giant or working with Amazon to focus on improving your positioning within their marketplace. Whatever path(s) you decide to choose, don’t simply ignore them.
- Consider progressive web apps. When discussing seamless end to end user experiences, many brands are re-considering their responsive web apps or native apps and favoring PWA’s. Many looking to take a competitive edge in their markets have already made moves or started a strategy to update to this powerful app-like browsing experience.
- The subscription e-commerce market is not slowing down. As more people turn to the convenience of digital payments, it will continue to rise for those who take the right approach. Curation subscriptions are the most popular model to consider, which is all about high personalization and surprise to the consumer. This goes to show buyers are seeking that highly personalized service even in subscriptions, with replenishment models following closely behind.
- Chatbots will continue to rise in popularity among buyers. Gartner expects that within the next year, 85% of our engagement with businesses will be done without interacting with another human. Chatbots will play a big role in this to help fuel customer-centric strategies. While not only mitigating frustrations the customer has over being able to get information when they want it, chatbots also help back-end business process by automating tasks so employees can focus more on new opportunities and innovation.
- Buy-now / pay-later is nothing new, but innovators will take a close look at this strategy for their digital operations growth. With today’s technology, buy-now/pay-later will become an important piece of the e-commerce success puzzle, especially for those marketing to the 18-30 buyer age group.
- AR and VR will become more prevalent and expected in user experiences. By being able to offer the consumer a more personalized and interactive experience both in-store and online, augmented reality and virtual reality will continue to make waves. These technologies offer the ability for brands to really differentiate themselves to buyers.
- The consumer phenomenon “Research Online, Purchase Offline” (ROPO) will steadily grow, especially for big-box retailers. Leveraging ROPO in your sales and marketing strategy will also allow you to better understand your customers and improve the journeys they are taking with your brand. With this information you can truly understand the real effectiveness of your online channels, improve advertising campaigns, and increase sales and profits through all channels.
The winners in retail and B2B e-commerce for 2020 will realize the user experience gaps their customers are experiencing and work quickly to close the gaps with the right technology, processes and teams. Your focus going into 2020 should be to take on a customer-centric mindset in order to see success now and in the future. Showing customers that you are not just here to sell them something, but help them out in other ways is key to seeing growth- as shown from our top insights for the future of e-commerce next year. This type of strategy will require continuous innovation. It means continually reviewing and adding capabilities, features, and optimizations to your commerce business. The end result means you will remain competitive, build upon your customer experience, and be ready for the future. Does your commerce strategy and e-commerce technology support future readiness? Read our report to learn more about finding the right e-commerce technology and if you are looking for help in building your e-commerce business, start a conversation with our experts at Echidna today.
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