ECommerce Trends for 2020


Following trends might not always seem like the best path. However, in eCommerce, you need to know what is working, what is driving sales and attracting traffic. You need to follow trends so that you know which to adopt and which to drop so that you can stay ahead in this competitive digital marketplace that sees entrepreneurs rise and fall daily.

1. The “re-commerce” market

The online market for used products, or re-commerce, has never been bigger. The second-hand market is primed to explode in the next few years, according to some US researchers.

This trend is attributed to factors such as:

  • An increased focus on sustainability
  • The desire to attain sought-after products at a lower price
  • The need to keep ahead of trends in fashion and other industries

Niche sites like Poshmark and general platforms like Facebook Marketplace are facilitating the growth of eCommerce.

However, as a sustainable business, you would need to provide value to your customers and generate a profit.

If you launch a site to host sales, your value proposition might be focused on sustainability or access to couture fashion for a reduced cost. It is a difficult balance to get right, but if you provide a marketplace people love and feel connected with, it can be profitable.

2. Fulfilment options expand

Consumers abandon their cart for many reasons, but one of the most common reasons is fulfilment issues.

  • Lack of delivery options
  • Shipping costs
  • Lengthy shipping times

It is a challenge to solve these problems to remain profitable. However, for eCommerce companies with brick-and-mortar locations, there’s a simple solution.

You can offer your customers a buy online, pickup in-store (BOPS) option.

For brands without a physical location, you might consider partnering with existing brick-and-mortar businesses to cater to BOPS customers, as Amazon and Kohls have done.

If these options are not available, clarifying your shipping, cancellations and returns policies and making them easily accessible and understood can reduce cart abandonment as people feel more confident about their options.

 3. PWA for eCommerce to expand

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a mobile website that looks and feels like a native mobile app, like Twitter and Gmail.

Aliexpress is now using PWAs in eCommerce very successfully. PWA technology is used to ensure optimal usability of your eCommerce site on all mobile devices.

Your users should have a seamless experience across devices that do not require them the download an app. This is part of offering the customer service experience that will become vital to the success of eCommerce businesses.

 4. eCommerce-first companies go brick-and-mortar

Brick-and-mortar retail overall is experiencing a minor rise. This is because the retail experience can offer something that people cannot get online. However, it only works if you do offer something that is truly unique.

For eCommerce-only companies, pop-up shops, co-sponsoring events, or partnering with established retailers might be the way to access customers who are looking for a hands-on approach. The experience needs to be personalised and really appeal to your customer in a way that traditional shopping and online shopping cannot.

5. Dynamic pricing to drive optimal sales and profit

Keeping track of seasonal sales, pricing and demand is more important than racing to the bottom by undercutting your competitors.

You need to determine a formula so that you know the price at which you have the best chance of selling your product while making the most possible profit from the sale. To do this you need data including competitors’ prices, market demand, and perceived value of your products. This data needs to be delivered and acted upon in real-time to be useful at all.

6. Adopting the fast-fashion mindset

The fast-fashion eCommerce industry has exploded in recent years. A report by McKinsey&Company predicted that the industry would grow from 3.5-4.5{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} throughout 2019.

The reasons for this growth include:

  • Influencer endorsements
  • Social sales
  • Speed and agility (in terms of product development and order fulfilment)
  • Sustainability

Sustainability in this regard does not mean environmental care, it means business. Fast-fashion churn cheap materials that are poorly crafted into items of clothing that often lasts only a few washes. This lack of concern is a sustainable business model that sees billions of tonnes of waste dumped annually. However, for the business, it can leverage its influence and manipulate trends to ensure that customers continue to purchase products at an alarming average rate of about 30 items per year.

7. Provide a multi-platform journey with platform-specific messaging

“Platform-specific messages” means getting the right message to the right person at the right time. To do that you need to know how they will best receive that message at the moment in question.

While some customers, particularly in B2B sales, are happy to receive a long-form, informational newsletter via email, most B2C customers prefer quick-hitting information such as push or SMS notifications.

8. Purposeful content repurposing

Your high-quality content should be updated and reposted. Quality content is much sort after and gives your brand credibility. However, creating such content is time-consuming. Repurposing your most popular content is one way to ensure that you reach your audience.

You also need to consider reworking content into different forms. Deliver information to your individual customers in a format that works best for them.

This trend is likely to see an influx of influencer marketing on social media platforms. The recreation of blogs that include infographics and work that is edited and presented in a professional manner should see posts that offer no value deleted.

 9. Subscription services will continue to rise

The demand and prevalence of subscription-based services are bound to increase. The personalisation of services using AI technology means that consumers are increasingly drawn to offerings like Netflix and Spotify.

As a business, offering a subscription service platform can be lucrative:

  • Repeated, scheduled purchases allow for streamlined transactions
  • Focus on retaining high-quality customers, not acquiring mass amounts of one-off consumers
  • After the initial set-up, only general updates and site maintenance is required

Your main options:

  • A curation service provides collections of highly-personalised products to customers on a scheduled basis
  • A replenishment service regularly delivers consumable items to the customer
  • An access service sees your customers pay a recurring fee in exchange for access to your products or services

10. A focus on Direct-to-Consumer (D2C)

Companies like Away and Quill has used the Direct-to-Consumer model to thrive in their respective industries. They have done so because they offer:

  • The ability to forge a closer and deeper relationship with your customers
  • The ability to get products to market quickly, allowing you to capitalise on trends
  • Complete control over your brand’s products, as well as its reputation

The model removes the wholesaler and the retailer, meaning that traditional methods are cut from the equation. With online sales potentially accounting for 18{21dc2fe1b43c4cf57a2e25a56b286f09fbb32a45ddf34dcf04be366972dd7b06} of total sales by 2022, a D2C fulfilment model is a sound prediction, and easy industry to enter.



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