Sellers, marketers and consumers are preparing for a year for e-commerce innovation. The changes are going fast and if you want to keep up with the competition, you have to follow the latest trends. These are the expected six e-commerce trends in 2019.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Chatbots and artificial intelligence are making a huge leap this year. The large companies such as Pizza Hut, Spotify and Mastercard have already successfully tested with it abroad. In the Netherlands we see that smaller amounts of chatbots mainly use to answer frequently asked questions.
The expectation is that Artificial Intelligence this year goes beyond answering questions. Customers are taken into account in the ordering process. By delivering a unique experience, your company becomes even more valuable to the customer.
2. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Last year IKEA already came up with an app with which you can see in Augmented Reality how furniture would look at the customer's home. Customers take a photo and then place a lamp on a side table. Great progress, which improves the shopping experience.
This year also comes to other companies Virtual Reality Bee. With VR glasses on, you can view a product exactly in 3D, as if it were in front of you. It could well be that we will shop later without having seen the product first. This makes e-commerce even bigger.
3. Order today, next day delivery
From the NOBO reach figures Vinex shows that Amazon is causing a furore in our country. With a Prime account, the customer already has his order in two days at home. It is therefore not surprising that more and more web shops are getting started with their delivery times.
In 2019 it will be possible at more web stores to receive your order quickly. In fact: "Ordered today, delivered the next day" is already becoming the standard. Bol.com is currently even experimenting with a delivery within two hours in Amsterdam.
Incidentally: consumers naturally also expect that speed from the webshop itself. The loading time of the website has a direct influence on the conversion. Slow site = less revenue. Therefore, as a webshop, do not opt for the cheapest hosting provider, but also look at the speed. And do you use specific software solutions such as the favorite Shopware from Germany? Then choose Shopware Hosting from the Netherlands, such as Hipex for example.
4. Corporate social responsibility
Nowadays, consumers are increasingly considering where products come from and the impact of their production on the earth. The so-called 'consumer activist"will refuse to buy certain products if they are not produced sustainably.
The values of consumers will have a major influence on purchasing behavior. Companies must consider how they handle packaging and how they are sent. "Order today, delivered tomorrow" is the trend, but what impact does this have on our environment?
In the e-commerce industry it is important that you can be seen everywhere and that you can be reached everywhere. Omnichannel means that you are present everywhere and that you can help your customers everywhere. It should not matter which platform, device or medium they use. Each contact is a continuation of the previous contact.
This means that customers can see their own information such as orders and service questions everywhere. Their behavior and preferences are also recognized in the marketing expressions, so that they become even more personal. For this, the customer must be recognized every time, just as would happen in a local store. Because of privacy (GDPR now and e-privacy regulation later) there is still a challenge in that.
6. Customer loyalty based on subscriptions
Some products can be offered as a subscription. In the Netherlands, for example, there is a company that sends razor blades to you every month. There is even a company that provides you with new underwear every month. An e-commerce platform such as bol.com now also offers this. We will see this trend much more often.
The idea is that it is easier to serve existing customers than to recruit new ones. Do you have a product that a customer would like to buy more often? Then consider a subscription service. That way you also build a strong relationship with your customer. As a subscriber you don't just switch to another provider.