E-commerce websites have been booming since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and have drastically changed consumer habits to the point of no return. Some businesses adapted and skyrocketed while others sank. Now is the time to embrace the innovations and developments even as life continues and things slowly start falling back to normal.
These changes, created out of necessity, have revolutionized our approach to commerce and built exciting, personalized digital marketplaces that are convenient and enjoyable to the shopper.
The time to upgrade your business and reap the benefits is now. Working with a professional website design & development agency in Dubai is the way to go, as they can advise you about these new trends that will put you right on the cutting-edge of commerce. There are a lot of fish in this pond, but you can still come right ahead if you are willing to invest in the future of your business.
Even if you have an e-commerce platform, due to rapid changes you can’t go wrong with a website revamp. Talk to a website design agency in Dubai to get a professional opinion about the effectiveness of your website.
Meanwhile, read our blog to learn about the latest trends that will define the trajectory of e-commerce development in the future.
1. Mobile Shopping
The beauty of e-commerce is that shoppers can buy your products from anywhere. It seems that many prefer to do it over their mobile devices, as some of the recent statistics show – over 70% of e-commerce sales take place on mobile phones. Customers also use phones to research and review products they consider buying, even if they end up purchasing through a different platform or in the store, which emphasizes the importance of an appealing digital product display.
This means that a mobile responsive website design is not an afterthought, but the focus when building an effective UX. Only 12% of consumers find that the websites they frequented offer convenient mobile commerce, so this is a huge opportunity for a business to stand out.
Some of the trends that serve to ensure a seamless mobile user experience are payment options that include mobile wallets, usage of Progressive Web Apps (PWA), push notifications and more. Mobile apps also play a big role in engaging and convincing customers and should be worth serious consideration.
Now is the time to look into and improve your website’s mobile user experience because e-commerce shopping through mobile is about to reach an all-time high in 2021 – worldwide mobile retail revenue is expected to reach $3.57 trillion (up from $2.91 trillion in 2020).
2. eWallet Technology
To expand on the previous point, enabling your customers to use the eWallet functionality (also known as eWallet) is a gamechanger in creating a seamless mobile commerce experience.
The pros are too great to ignore – eWallet options boost sales and conversion rates. Digital payments are projected to reach 6.6 trillion USD in 2021. This is beneficial for both sides – the customers appreciate the convenience of use and increased security. No longer being required to enter credit card information on websites is a relief, and a lot of eWallets offer dual authentication before use.
3. Shopping in Marketplaces
Customer behaviour always favours convenience. Because many e-commerce websites lack the backend infrastructure to manage traffic and shipping requirements, many shoppers are flocking to online marketplaces rather than going through multiple e-commerce stores.
Big e-commerce companies like Amazon offer value to consumers, low entry barrier for brands selling online, and user-generated content which perpetuates search rank and content relevance.
What to take away from this is that if you’re going with an e-commerce website, you have to do it right. The bar is set high and if you can’t offer the shoppers a seamless experience, it might be wiser to join an online marketplace. Even if you have your platform, you could gain good exposure by joining a marketplace, taking advantage of the high traffic reach and convenient shipping.
Consult with a professional web development company in Dubai that can give you advice about the best course of action for your brand.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The charm of bring-and-mortar shopping experiences is being able to interact with in-store assistants eager to help with their product knowledge, recommendations, and personalized guidance.
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are now making this possible on digital platforms by boosting personalization. Intelligent algorithms, customer segmentation and identification of patterns based on browsing history enable personalization which improves sales gains even up to 25% and reduces bounce rates by as much as 45%.
They also help companies learn more about their target’s behaviours, connect customer data with real-time insights that improve the UX, generate timely promotions, optimize pricing, boost demand forecasting for more informed digital ad investments, and more.
Through AI, data about each customer is gathered in their profile, providing retailers with meaningful insights and customers with an excellent personalized shopping experience. It’s simple – people want to buy from brands that care about them. That is something your brand should aspire to!
5. Hyper-Personalization & Localization
Adding to the previous point, access to customer data and preferences enables brands to let their customers personalize and customize the products they want online. Through empowering customers in product creation, the UX is improved and with it the conversion rate, customer satisfaction and brand loyalty (sidenote: talk to a branding agency in Dubai to ensure your brand identity is well represented on your e-commerce platform for guaranteed brand recall.)
Personalization goes beyond making a purchase – it builds a meaningful bond with your customers and enables meaningful communication as 72% of customers only engage with personalized messaging. This also means that the likelihood of upselling and cross-selling grows dramatically with personalized product recommendations.
A form of personalization worth a special mention is Localization which allows for alteration of the website’s content based on the customer’s IP address. That is just one of many customer data your website can respond to including search queries, purchase history, shopping cart, social behaviour and more.
Take a good note – 97% of marketers report a positive impact on their brand after personalizing the buying experience.
6. Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR & VR) for Product Visualization
Augmented Reality is changing the rules of the game in the online shopping experience. It should help online shoppers visualize products before purchasing them, for example, see how they’d look in certain clothes or how a piece of furniture would look in their apartment. This increases shoppers’ confidence, which in turn increases sales and reduces return rates.
AR is the future of online shopping, as about 35% of people claim they would be more likely to shop online if they had the option of virtually testing a product.
If you aren’t quite ready to invest in AR technology, your agency that does website design in Dubai can use other design tricks from excellent images to 3D technology that help the shopper visualize the project better. Take the first steps, but stay tuned because rapid developments are expected.
7. Voice Search/ Conversational E-commerce
Did you know that some studies imply that around 75% of households will own a smart speaker by 2025? This is based on US research, however, the trend is global. As is, nearly ⅓ of internet users have used voice search to either shop or research a product, and the number is growing. Consumers rely more and more on voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa for many tasks, including online shopping.
The convenience of quickly ordering items with a simple voice command through the conversational interface of an online store saves the shopper from browsing, entering information and having to manually place the order. As the voice assistant starts gathering data from past purchases, repeating orders will become a piece of cake.
The use of voice-enabled buttons can lead to more conversions from smart speakers, and voice assistant apps are getting more and more prominent. This technology holds amazing potential for e-commerce businesses and is the one to keep your eye on!
8. Chatbots as Personal Assistants
Chatbots are programmed to simulate human conversation and instantly respond to customers to help them out and resolve their challenges. They are practical because they are active 24/7 and use AI to infer customers preferences, leading to more personalized and improved online shopping experiences. They allow retailers to communicate with numerous customers at the same time while giving them the feeling of personal contact and offering relevant information.
What customers love about chatbots is that they can interact with them in a similar way that in-store sales assistants would, making the search easier and making up for that personal interaction that is lacking online.
Many experts predict they’ll become one of the most important marketing tools in online sales.
The technology is already very intuitive with access to past data and the ability to suggest products of interest. Predictions are that their growth will reach $1.25 billion by 2025, getting rapidly cheaper, smarter and more user friendly.
9. Subscription-based Models
As digital payments become increasingly more convenient and relevant, we are witnessing a rise in subscription-based business models.
Subscriptions are what keeps the customers coming back. They can be tailored to the offer and made attractive to the specific target. They also help customers plan for inventory and pre-locked sales.
Three main models of e-commerce subscription are replenishment subscription (automatized purchases), curation (personalized experiences) and access (lower prices & members-only perks). The model depends on the needs of your target audience and the nature of your product or services.
The e-commerce subscription market is projected to grow by as much as 68% by 2025, while we witnessed a 403% growth in subscription services in the last 8 years.
10. Online to Offline (O2O)
O2O commerce is on the rise as a business strategy that draws in potential customers from online platforms into brick and mortar. Many retailers such as department stores and supermarkets are using this strategy to compete with the tech sector, and some of the world’s largest e-commerce businesses already responded to this by moving into offline commerce.
Talk to your branding agency in Dubai about implementing the branded experience online and offline, thereby reaching out to more customers and opening up more channels.
A trend to be mindful of is ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) – thrifty shoppers and bargain hunters use the online search for the best possible deals and research products, before making an offline purchase. As much as 82% of customers use mobile devices to research local businesses. Furthermore, 18% of local searches result in a sale within 24 hours. Therefore even if your sales happen in the store, your website plays a bigger role in attracting customers than you might think.
Offline sites can be adapted with smart solutions (IoT), allowing them to blend the onsite experience with the online one. Talk to an advertising agency in Dubai that have experience with event branding and brand activation, as they might be able to help you fight the right solutions for your store!
It’s time to modernize your e-commerce and revamp your website to get the most for your brand. Talk to a website development agency in Dubai to make sure you’re ahead of the game, and invest in your digital marketing strategy too further promote your platform.
Next week, we will continue our list of the most important e-commerce trends you need to be aware of, so stay tuned!
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