During the past 25 years, eCommerce has grown from the first online transaction ever — the purchase of a Sting CD — to one of the largest revenue channels in the world. In fact, Statista predicts global eCommerce sales will reach $4.88 trillion by 2021, with an estimated 2.14 billion digital buyers. As the eCommerce market continues to grow, it’s imperative businesses keep up with the trends to stay relevant with consumers. Below are five of the most important trends to look for in the coming months.
Bought something on the internet lately? You wouldn’t be alone...far from it. In fact, this year 1.92 billion people in the world will shop online, and by 2021 - just 2 years away - that number is expected to be 2.14 billion. The number of online stores continue to increase to meet demand, as does the amount these stores net (now in the trillions), along with the percentage of total retail market share they take (currently one-tenth of all sales, but that’s changing quickly).
As the years roll on and our mobile phone usage grows and grows, many of us will start to forget - if we ever knew - what life was like before the internet. The phenomenon that is eCommerce, AKA the ability to buy just about anything at the click of a button, has so firmly embedded itself in our lives that we now do it every day. In fact, research shows that the up and coming generations have little desire to go into bricks-and-mortar stores; simply preferring to buy almost everything online and leading to the closure of more than half of America’s shopping malls.
So ingrained is online shopping in our lives that few of us stop to think why we actually do it. Is it just habit? Is it as easy as we think? Do the benefits really stack up?
If you’re a retailer in this day and age, there’s no doubt that things aren’t quite what they used to be. For starters, the current generation of shoppers - millennials - have far less disposable income than their parents, so much so that they just can’t afford to amass impressive clothing collections like their predecessors may have. Add to that the fact consumerism, in general, is on the decline and the US economy is predicted to slow down, if not enter a recession by 2020, it’s fair to say retailers need to pull out all stops to encourage customers to buy.
If you’re a retailer, tis the season to be jolly. But what...wait? Only if you’ve got a top-notch mobile shopping experience, apparently. This year, more than 50% of Black Friday bargains were snapped up on a handset, up from 40% last year, and less than 10% just 5 years ago. And this isn’t a standalone trend...experts predict that at least the same percentage of people will do all of their holiday season shopping on their mobiles this year as ‘it’s just easier, quicker and more convenient.’
But is it?
The idea of a ‘smart home’ has been around for some time. Far before any of us had the who-will-turn-off-the-light argument, engineers around the world were making our home lives easier and more convenient with dishwashers, refrigerators and clothes dryers; the forerunners of home automation.
Yet it was only with the advent of the internet and IoT that the idea of a fully functional ‘smart home’ began to blossom. Suddenly, no one had to get up to turn off the light anymore – you could control as many devices as you wanted from the comfort of your armchair. Convenience was only limited by connectivity, so to speak.
Let’s say that you’re in the market for some new sunglasses. 30 years ago, you might have seen the pair you wanted on a billboard, headed to your local shop, tried on that pair (and 20 others) and then made your decision. Job done. Sure, it might have taken you anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but hey, it was the ultimate experience, right?
An ‘Instapocalypse’ would imply that Instagram basically took over social e-commerce (or even e-commerce, in general) but for that to happen, retailers would need to have no problem in using it. But that’s just it. ‘Shoppable Posts’ are actually a major pain for retailers (at least to begin with), and here’s why.
Nearly a year ago today, we provided you with the latest and greatest about all things social commerce. In case you’ve forgotten, though, a quick recap: social commerce allows users to purchase products directly from their social media platform of choice, whether that be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or even Snapchat.
In the not too distant past, filling out a form was an arduous task indeed. So arduous, in fact, that many of us could expect to spend days, if not weeks of our lives doing it. You’d basically sit there with a pen for many long minutes, and hope against hope that a) you didn’t make a mistake (hello whiteout!) or b) that the postman didn’t steal your details.
It was awful, and we’re all glad those days are (mostly!) over...