4 Pillars of The New E-Commerce Frontier Entrepreneurs Need to Embrace
Even though change often comes at an unexpected time, the most constant phenomenon in the world is change. Change is bound to happen one way or the other, and history has shown that the world changes when it experiences huge events such as a pandemic. Going by history, pandemics have brought about changes in health, hygiene, fashion, housing, finance, and lots more. Now, in the modern world, pandemics affect all the mentioned aspects of life as well as technology and e-commerce. An example is the 2003 SARS pandemic that affected mostly China.
In response to SARS, e-commerce giant Alibaba had to quarantine its employees because one of them caught the virus. As a result, Alibaba had almost no staff on the ground to attend to customers and run the regular operations of the company. To tackle that, Jack Ma had to find an alternative to serve buyers and continue regular business operations. He improved the Taobao website and launched the group’s first consumer-to-consumer platform. Other e-commerce companies then also tried to create alternative avenues to reach consumers, and this shift caused the Chinese e-commerce industry to grow. 2020 is no different, we are already experiencing important changes in the health sector, travel, work culture, e-commerce, and others.
So, we know that e-commerce is going through a change because of the pandemic, the question is what should entrepreneurs take from this? The purpose of writing this article is to highlight the four e-commerce frontiers of the changing e-commerce space. Every e-commerce entrepreneur should be open to new ideas because, frankly, there is increased competition in the industry, and reluctance to adopt new systems might harm your business in the long run.
So, what are the current trends shaping e-commerce in 2021?
Video Marketing Has Become More Popular
Gone are the days where marketing in e-commerce focused solely on words, and SEO marketers would create copies using keywords to target buyers. While SEO keywords and text marketing generally are still relevant today, over the years, e-commerce marketing went from text to image, and now video marketing is beginning to gain prominence.
We can see why video marketing became so popular; customers would prefer to watch a video showing details of a product and how it is used than reading text. It just makes it easier for them to grab without putting a burden on them to read — stats show that people are four times more likely to watch product videos than reading product descriptions. Product videos also tend to answer possible questions buyers might have about products, and after watching a product video, 73% of buyers are more likely to make a purchase.
Another interesting result from including product videos on your site is that your bounce rate will drop drastically.
Voice Commerce Is Growing Rapidly
In the last few years, voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant became popular on smartphones, smart home devices, and other devices. This technological trend is also part of the influence on e-commerce because (potential customers) use them. People use voice assistants to search for music, to ask Google questions, and to do lots more. E-commerce is all about finding the avenues people use to reach them, hence why there is voice commerce. With the rapidly growing use of smartphones and other smart devices in the world, voice commerce is bound to experience more growth. For example, by 2025, 75% of America’s households will have smart speakers. Not to mention that voice commerce sales are expected to reach a whopping $40 billion next year. If you have not already started optimizing your website for voice commerce, now is the best time to start.
Social Commerce Is Here to Stay
If you have paid attention to e-commerce trends over the years, you will find that the industry follows the tides, and every technological trend ends up influencing e-commerce as well. Social media has been around for more than a decade, and we can assume that so is social commerce, however, this time around, social commerce is beginning to gain massive prominence. China for one has already moved far ahead of other countries in this aspect — transaction via instant messaging apps, transaction via live streams, and payment via social media. For example, WeChat is a stand-alone instant messaging app where buyers and sellers transact and the app also provides payment processing, thereby making it easier for buyers and sellers to finalize their transaction entirely on the app. In the US and other parts of the world, Instagram and Facebook are prominent for social commerce, although they do not provide payment processing. Pinterest and Tiktok are also noteworthy.
AR Is the Newest E-commerce Trend
A few years ago, there was a huge buzz around virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Both were out in the e-commerce playing field to test their use and value and we can conclude from results that AR is the next big thing. Companies such as Sephora and Ikea are already using AR to show their customers how products would look on the customer or in the customer’s space. Social media platforms such as Snapchat and even games like Pokemon, show us that AR will eventually become mainstream in e-commerce. By next year, buyers spend on AR mobile apps will reach $15 million, and by 2023, the AR industry will be worth $18 billion.
AR will become big in e-commerce because it makes it possible for online buyers to see how a product will look, so they kind of experience the product before buying it. It fills the vacuum on-site shopping leaves. Soon, several e-commerce businesses will see AR as an important tool for selling, therefore, e-commerce businesses that do not use AR will lose to the competition.
Be proactive! Proactive entrepreneurs win where others are struggling.