E-commerce has come a long way since the early days of Amazon. Today, it is more complex and nuanced than ever before. In India, the e-commerce sector is growing rapidly, and will account for 7% of the entire retail market by next year – worth a whopping $60 billion.
Every year, new trends and technologies emerge to define the e-commerce landscape. For retailers to stay ahead of the game, it pays to pay attention to these changes. While some transformations made by the pandemic in consumer psychology and behavior were permanent, others are momentary. Here are five predictions we’ve narrowed down for the upcoming year.
1. Optimized operations and real-time data analytics will remain vital.
Data reveals everything. Smart retailers today use data to identify which products are selling well and which ones aren’t. They use it to improve inventory and supply chain management, and understand what customers are searching for – all in real-time. With data analytics, you can get actionable insights on essential focus areas to best determine promotions, sales, and discounts. Analytics can even get you ahead of the curve. If you know that a certain trend is going to become more popular in the next few weeks, you can anticipate higher demands and tweak your purchasing decisions accordingly.
2. Upselling and cross-selling will become smarter and more advanced.
Smarter tools such as data analytics and artificial intelligence are a boon for cross-selling and up-selling. Almost two-thirds of smartphone users show increased tendencies of purchasing from a company whose apps and mobile websites offer recommendations. In fact, one out of two consumers have admitted to buying a product they never intended on purchasing, thanks to personalized product recommendations.
With better tools like these, e-commerce brands can now make more accurate predictions of consumer behaviors and patterns, and find smarter strategies to cross-sell and upsell their products. With highly accurate product suggestions as well as complementary items, your brand can do more than just rely on past data and search histories.
3. Social shopping and live shopping will take a larger slice of the cake.
Digital shopping is evolving every day. Social media and live streams are becoming a hotbed for e-commerce – with consumers and brands frequenting social shopping platforms such as Instagram Live, TikTok Live, TikTok Shop, Amazon Live, and Twitch to make purchases. Many consumers today rely on their social feeds to search for products, get recommendations, and make purchases. Gen Z in particular depends more on TikTok than Google for product search and recommendations. It is estimated that global sales made from social media platforms accounted for $992 billion this year. By 2026, this number is expected to reach $2.9 trillion!
Why has this happened? As opposed to older generations, younger people prefer authenticity and trust when making a purchase. They would rather listen to a friend or an influencer they like and trust instead of an ad pushed by a company. So if you’re a brand considering foraying into social commerce, align your marketing strategy with the platform in question. What products would you sell? How would you sell them? Who are the best spokespeople for your brand? These are a few starter questions that will put you on the right path.
4. With inflation on the way, research will become paramount.
Global recession forecasts are casting dark clouds over every industry and sector, and e-commerce is not immune to it. What does this mean for e-commerce businesses? Consumers will spend more time on research and less money on shopping. Brands that prioritize marketing and ensure that all the necessary product information and promotional content is easily searchable by consumers will gain an advantage. If you’re putting in the work to make decision-making an easier and faster process for the consumer, you win.
That’s not all. Since inflation comes with greater costs for businesses too, it might be prudent to keep an eagle eye on the expenses of digital fulfillment. Owing to the rising costs of shipping and delivery, e-commerce businesses will have to rethink their fulfillment strategy to optimize costs.
5. Voice search will contribute more to e-commerce
When it comes to making online searches, voice commands are becoming commonplace. At the 2021 Google for India event, it was revealed that Indians use voice search at almost 2x the global average. In fact, queries through voice search are growing at a stunning 270% every year. In addition to the increasing penetration of internet access and smartphones, the reason for this quick adoption is the integration of regional languages in voice assistants.
Voice search opens up new paths for customers to find products, especially when they’re not exactly sure what they’re looking for. While still in its nascent stages, voice search will become more advanced and more accurate. So if you’re keen on adopting the latest trends, it is wise to consider optimizing your e-commerce listings to voice search.
Ready to get ahead of the trends and change the game? Get in touch with the experts at Tenovia today and take your e-commerce business to the stratosphere!