Key eCommerce Trends for 2019

Global ecommerce sales will reach £3.5 trillion by 2021. There’s a lot of money to be made. There are even more customers to engage with.

The opportunity exists, online retailers, of any size, need to ensure they are meeting the current market demands and staying on top of relevant technology by keeping up to date with trends.

Here is a look at what trends we should expect to see in 2019 in the ecommerce space, as CEO Today hears from Ian Blackburn, MD of ecommerce platform Hidepark Leather.

Shoppable video

It’s common for us as consumers to look at products within a video and think “I wonder where they got that from?” but with shoppable video on the horizon, we can genuinely see this being implemented more in 2019 as commonplace, for larger brands, anyway.

Eddie Tomalin, VP Marketing at WIREWAX discussed shoppable video with me and stated that shoppable video allows “brands to seamlessly build in the entire shopping experience right into their video creative, meaning viewers can watch and shop all within the video environment with no requirement to redirect people to another location.” This notion of redirecting is why this technology is so powerful. Users do not like to be sent around the web to hunt for their favourite item, this shortens the conversion path and should increase conversion rates for key items, especially fashion and technology. Whilst this technology may be implemented further in 2019, it almost certainly won’t be widely accessible for smaller businesses.

Users do not like to be sent around the web to hunt for their favourite item.

Financial constraints get tighter

With the recent news that ecommerce giants, ASOS, spoke out against the state of the industry with “unprecedented discounting”, it’s no surprise that all online retailers are feeling the constraint on finances.

Consumers want to pay less and less every day as their own finances are being tightened alongside the industry. This could mean that some features we take for granted in ecommerce will change. For example, returns increased 53% over the last few years as we have developed a culture where people try things on and return and standard. This is a customer’s right and arguably encourages sales that would not have happened otherwise. This, however, could see retailers ending free delivery or returns in a bid to decrease the number of returns and cut costs.

Delivery of your products will change

Budget, however, does not just directly affect retailers, it can also put pressure on the delivery companies. Carl Baars, director at Storm Car Covers discussed his own personal experience with delivery companies. “They are the last person to represent your brand and pass over the product. This isn’t always a positive experience as some packages arrive damaged.” Baars continued saying “to tackle this challenge we have been using DPD which has drastically improved our delivery service. They give the customer an hour window which really helps with the customer service point of things but also helps us best keep track of our parcels and their status.” Budget constraints may force more parcel companies to keep delivery times tighter, but this puts pressure on the personnel and could end up with more damaged packages arriving. It’s a dilemma that all online retailers face, the only way to discover who is best is, unfortunately, to just try them out.

Social media purchasing options

Whilst shoppable video might seem inaccessible, most brands understand social media and its benefits and are using them to their advantage in their current marketing strategies. Patrick Tonks, creative director at GreatBeanBags discussed this and how he sees the space developing. “Consumers used to be far more wary of buying through social media than they are now.

Keeping the purchase journey short and efficient is something that spreads across a whole array of marketing decisions for online retailers.

We expect more direct purchasing options to become available, encouraging customers to ‘buy now’ whilst they scroll through their feed. Instagram has made leaps into this technology allowing users to tap to discover items featured in the image, but we can see this being taken much further and hopefully allowing businesses more avenues to reach customers. This will help to keep the purchase journey to the smallest number of steps as possible making buying a new product as simple as liking the ad in the first place.”

Keeping the purchase journey short and efficient is something that spreads across a whole array of marketing decisions for online retailers. Whether you’re deciding upon the type of online advertising you’re investing in, or improving your website’s user journey through something like conversion rate optimisation, 2019 will see business owners utilise the latest tech to make the customer’s decision making process as simple as possible. That’s at the heart of everything in terms of 2019 ecommerce.

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