According to Statista, it is estimated that around 2.5 billion people made digital purchases in 2019 – a stat that validates the power of digital transformation slowly taking over our lives.
The advent of 5G and various other eCommerce elements (Dropshipping, Machine Learning, etc.) means many SMBs are breaking ground on the internet. With that, they are abandoning the legacy solutions of the past – that restricted sales, revenue & profits.
Businesses are taking in new developments & looking to stay ahead of the curve. A great way to prepare yourself for any changes is by recognizing the trends that arise from time to time.
By 2020, global retail eCommerce sales are expected to approach $3.8 trillion - eMarketer
Therefore, I’ve rounded-up all the main areas that are at the forefront of the eCommerce revolution in 2020. See how these pillars of eCommerce will shape the selling & buying in the current year. eCommerce conversion rate optimization should be a priority for online store managers in 2020.
We have reviewed the emerging trends from the end of the last decade & all the upcoming ones to compile a list of all the eCommerce trends in 2020 you’d expect to see.
The “eCommerce trends in 2020” will give you the best insight into how the eCommerce landscape will shape up in this calendar year.
Early eCommerce trends in 2020
Voice search cemented itself in 2019; many eCommerce brands have already started exploring it. As it got more accurate last year, more buyers started using this tool. The convenience & comfort for shoppers (millennials & boomers), in not having to type, made it more even more desired.
eCommerce brands with voice & visual search optimization will increase profits by 30% - Gartner
Purchases with voice assistants – such as Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant – will continue to gain traction in 2020. As such, all existing eCommerce stores will have to be optimized for voice searches. Voice will make the interactions more seamless & engaging for buyers.
Almost 23 million Americans will be using voice commands to buy products by 2020 - eMarketer
ROI is compelling, use cases are numerous, & companies are finally familiar enough with “voice” to make investments in enhancing their internal processes. Voice dialogue is shaping up to be the future. Brands need to focus on discoverability via Voice before they can implement it on a large scale.
By the end of 2020, 50% of all searches will be performed with the help of voice – Comscore
In Conversational Commerce, it’s easier to express intent. Thus, eStores must have a proper algorithm in place to capture this intent. Even look to create content around some of these frequently asked questions; to ensure your content gets triggered whenever a question is asked (Featured Snippet)
By the end of 2020, 30% of all searches will be done on a device without a screen - Gartner
Voice architecture will need to become more sophisticated – learn & comprehend better to serve better. So much, that if done well, Voice can be the differentiator for companies. The widespread use of smart speakers will also contribute heavily to Voice Commerce, becoming more dominant.
The use of the smart speaker in the US is predicted to hit 225 million in 2020 - Canalys
Augmented / Virtual / Mixed Reality
With AR, consumers will get better opportunities to get a sense of how they will interact with products in real life without having to leave their homes. AR being more immersive & interactive is likely to create more business. AR in 2020 will make the switch to wireless AR headsets coupled with 5G strength.
By 2020, AR-tech will increase the total profit of eCommerce by $120 million – Retail Solutions
AR also helps to streamline workflows, improve the efficiency of strategic company goals. AR is also proving to be increasingly beneficial for the healthcare industry. Using AR, healthcare professionals increase the accuracy & efficiency of medical procedures.The Automobile industry is also finding a great deal of usage for AR (as GPS), giving their consumers a virtual immersive AR experience to test drive cars. In the educational sector, AR is playing a pivotal role by making teaching more accessible & ready for use in the classrooms – making lessons more interactive.
By 2020, there should be 1 billion augmented reality users - New Gen Apps
Since PokemonGo, AR gaming is expected to grow further. More innovations in the gaming industry will try to accommodate AR tech even further. Businesses are trying to equip themselves with AR properties. Beyond this, AR is being heavily used for eye, facial expression & gesture tracking.
As seen in SnapChat, it is possible to combine AR & AI to create more entertaining opportunities that were once thought to be impossible. Some of these include real-time face-swapping, changing your age in real-time, etc. Create better 3-D representations that will change the way we see the world.
46% of retailers plan to add some form of AR or VR into their customer experiences by 2020 – Gartner
By the end of 2020 US alone will have 77 million AR users – Statista
WebAR is another use of AR in smartphones. All users must do is point their device to an object, and a 3D rendering will be projected above it. Besides the low cost, it also helps to create better engagement with your brand.
AR revenues will surpass VR revenues by 2020 - Digi-Capital
Beyond all this, AR helps in marketing as it helps consumers to view the product in real surroundings. AR helps to scan brochures/business cards & pulls up related info. AR also helps with remote assistance, as customer support can use live video streams & computer-generated images to guide the user better.
Social Media / Influencer Marketing
Social media helps to convey brand value, engage with customers, nurture trust & build a relationship. Using this channel, brands hope to improve business & become more competitive in their selling practices. Social commerce will transform how consumers discover & shop for products in 2020.
75.3% of U.S. businesses will use Instagram in 2020 – eMarketer
Instagram has a vibrant influencer community & a wide variety of tools for brands, including the option to checkout. Besides this, SnapChat, TikTok & Lasso will provide more fertile ground for innovative & entertaining content. Video content will rise & personalized narrative will take over in 2020.
Instagram will earn $12.32 billion in ad revenue in 2020 – eMarketer
The influencer marketing ecosystem is going to reshape, disrupt, & grow the eCommerce industry in 2020. Micro & nano influencers will use their connection with the audience to drive sales for brands world over. Companies are moving influencers to the core of their marketing strategy.
Social media influence is predicted to be worth between $5 & $10 billion by 2020 - Mediakix
Influencers moving up the priority lists of many brand marketers shows that there is no sign of slowing down in 2020. In 2020 brands will further the potential of integrated influencer marketing. Social commerce is poised to become more frictionless & intimate in 2020.
63% of marketers plan to boost their budget for influencer marketing – Influencer Marketing Hub
Omnichannel / Mobile Commerce
Mobile Shopping will hold an even brighter future in 2020; many US shoppers even believe that Mobile payments will surpass the traditional payment forms. In the Omnichannel era, mobile shopping will thrive with the help of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Native Mobile Apps.
Retail mCommerce sales will reportedly reach $338 Billion in 2020 – Statista
Mobile becomes integral to the looming revolution in eCommerce website development, which is why mobile is more crucial than ever to your digital strategy. Many brands have already adopted the “Mobile First” strategy, as the consumers go through multiple touchpoints for product discovery.
By 2020, the number of smartphone users is expected to reach 2.87 billion – Statista
Instagram & Facebook checkouts mean users are likely to shop via mobile even more. To boost the mobile experience further, brands integrated AR/chatbots, which improved the chances of mobile checkout. Voice Commerce will assist this growth even further.
Mobile eCommerce is poised to touch $2.91 trillion in 2020 & 3.56 trillion in 2021 - Statista
B2B mobile commerce is on the rise. A procurement officer nowadays goes through mobile to minimize the sales rep interaction. B2B buyers while commuting, get offline access to products, account information, order tracking, knowledge bases, manuals & more.
B2B search queries made on smartphones will grow to 70% by 2020 – Blue Corona
Mobile-first features such as barcode/QR code scanning, image search, speech-to-text, geolocation services, offline access, push notifications, chat features, touch login & integration with mobile wallets can optimize the B2B buying experience on mobiles, drive revenue & build loyalty.
In 2020, Chinese consumers will transact $45 trillion through mobile payments - Raconteur
Due to Mobile capabilities the Sales team can quickly access accounts, create discount codes/incentives, configure quotes, or place orders on the road (sales call/tradeshow expo). Support & technicians can order hardware, replacement parts, make account upgrades, apply credits on-site.
By 2020, the volume of mobile payments in the US is expected to reach $503 billion – Business Insider
Artificial Intelligence / Analytics
AI is poised to help brands derive maximum ROI & conquer their industry. Companies are relying on Predictive Analysis to understand their target audience & read the market better. That’s not it; more brands are willing to invest in an AI-powered bot to elevate customer service (24x7 access).
AI is projected to reach $70 billion by 2020 – PwC
Use chatbots to help navigate consumers from the landing page itself, address customer queries, help with follow up process, etc. As such, AI will expand the limits of what eCommerce sites offer as a shopping experience. AI empowers the brands by lending a more personalized experience to buyers.
30% of businesses will incorporate AI in their sales processes in 2020 - Gartner
AI in marketing can measure the performance, help to scale your content marketing & keep a central hub for all this. AI helps to target customers better & across different channels – not only that with AI, you throw better Upsell & Cross-Sell suggestions.
If businesses haven’t already, they will need to adopt & ride the wave of Artificial Intelligence to reap the maximum returns from their efforts. More than anything, AI boosts productivity, by automating a lot of tedious chores. It can’t be denied that AI represents a tremendous potential for early adopters.
Businesses with data-driven insights will grab $1.2 trillion from rivals without AI in 2020 - Forrester
The latest addition to the list of new-age tools that are disrupting business processes is Blockchain. The global Blockchain market will explode in the coming years, as more brands infuse this into their eCommerce ecosystem. These cryptographic blocks are all set to revolutionize the eCommerce sector.It is widely known that Blockchain can prevent chargeback frauds for merchants – who often find themselves with nothing after a bank forces a credit card transaction to be reversed. This loophole is often exploited by fraudsters, even after claiming goods & services.
US spending on blockchain solutions is projected to reach $4.2 billion by 2020 - Blockchain
Blockchain brings an immense amount of safety/security in transactions. Besides this, blockchain technology can also save billions of dollars by cutting the costs of data transfer & storage. The financial sector will also see a massive ROI & save up to $12 billion every year with blockchain.
77% of financial sector officers will adopt blockchain as part of their systems by 2020 – Fintech
Blockchain will likely mature & become even more integral to all eCommerce store operations. Blockchain-based currencies like Bitcoin, do not require 3rd party validation; therefore, the time it takes to complete a transaction is less. Beyond this, Bitcoins are not subject to any varying exchange rates.Blockchain also reduces fraud & can be used to assure the authenticity of goods & guarantee their quality. More transactions can be conducted without the need for a middleman. In a way; businesses can automate, accelerate & simplify payments between merchants & credit card companies.
In Russia, 99% of financial service companies are planning to adopt blockchain by 2020 - PwC
Less reliance on intermediaries means the overall costs come down for both retailers & consumers. Given that more brands believe in the speed/safety of payments to be the most vital issue in transactions - investment in faster & more simplified technologies is a logical next step for the industry.
Headless content and commerce are the future of eCommerce. For a simple fact that headless allows a seamless & painless omnichannel experience due to which you can repurpose your content with ease. Beginning in 2020, the industry will see a mature shift towards headless based commerce.
Headless CMS adoption rates are expected to double in 2020 - Pupuweb
Content & digital assets are found stored in a database & created on a Content management back end. API easily connects the content management back end to any device. Also, with headless, brands get to connect to any publishing front end, enabling owners to have the front-end technology of their choice.
86% of people feel positive about headless CMS - Pupuweb
Platform upgrades, performance fixes, applying new features, integration, heavy content, the addition of new features, the ability to make changes & measure these changes take less time in Headless CMS, because of the openness of the architecture.
63% of people who use a headless CMS love it- Pupuweb
The Headless “API only, UI anything” makes it possible to present the content on any device. As such, in 2020, many B2B/B2C brands will take to headless commerce to improve the way they handle eCommerce. Due to which, it finds a place in our “eCommerce trends in 2020” list.
Subscription-based eCommerce is slowly taking off & is expected to consolidate itself this year. One of the main reasons, this appeals to a lot of brands is the idea of repeat business & locked memberships with customers. Subscriptions will transform the way people procure the necessary goods/services.
New software entrants & 80% of existing ones will offer subscription-based business by 2020 - Gartner
From weekly food boxes to monthly grooming accessories (Blue Apron, Dollar Shave Club, Birchbox, etc.); all are now shipped regularly. The idea of your favorite item arriving on a set date periodically is the USP of this. Besides, saving customers valuable time in browsing for these items.
Digital audio subscriptions will reportedly hit 208.7 million in 2020 - eMarketer
Packages also include a few fun & quirky add-ons to keep the buzz & excitement around this alive. Even the money is automated and requires no intervention from the customer end. For many brands, Subscription-based selling is a lifeline to retain a dwindling buyer base.
Many US consumers are still hooked to their TV on demand (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) & music services (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.), which they look to retain going ahead in 2020. They are also looking to add many F&B and beauty subscription plans to this. For 2020 - the subscription economy appears solid.
Summary – eCommerce trends in 2020
eCommerce saw a meteoric rise over the last decade and starting 2020; it will hit more significant milestones & become an even bigger entity than ever before.
The above listed “eCommerce trends in 2020” will resonate with many brands that are either yet to embark on an eCommerce journey or are already running an eCommerce store but are yet to realize their true potential.
Although trends essentially come and go, eCommerce companies must pay attention to ones that are having significant impacts on the customer experience & conversions. Look to accommodate your business around these changes, & you might see some incredible returns.
Regardless of how 2020 looks, what you need is an ideal eCommerce partner to navigate the sea of changes that lie ahead. Virtina, with its years of expertise in 10+ eCommerce platforms across many business types, is the perfect ally to guide your business towards top revenue, profits & sales.Based on these “eCommerce trends in 2020,” what do you think this year will introduce into the eCommerce world? Do let us know.
Virtina can help you to increase your revenue, improve profit and enhance customer experience.