eCommerce is and will remain a growth sector in 2019. For the current year 2018, the German eCommerce and Mail Order Association expects a market growth of 8.3 percent to approximately 67.3 billion euros. In order to survive in dynamic online trading in the future, you must pay attention to the most important developments in eCommerce. We will dare to take a look into the future for you and present the megatrends of eCommerce for 2019.
#Trend 1: Personalise your online shop
2019 will be the year of personalised shopping experiences. According to the Accenture Personalisation Pulse Check 2018, 91 percent of customers currently prefer webshops that provide personalised services. In return, 83 percent of customers are willing to disclose their data, but only if the online retailer is transparent about the data it collects. It is therefore indispensable to offer our own customers a product range that is as individually tailored as possible.
There are several ways to use the usage data on your own site to provide the customer with a more personalised shopping experience. For example, onsite personalisation collects usage information and evaluates it in user profiles. In the ideal case, through the actions of your customer, you offer exactly the products in which they are interested. This can be achieved through detailed product searches or personalised filter functions. Another option is collaborative filtering. This function is used to generate suitable product proposals for the customer according to their own user profile.
#Trend 2: Offer social shopping to your customers
You give your customers a high degree of individuality if they are allowed to choose the virtual location (e.g. app or website) of their online purchases. An important eCommerce trend in the coming year will therefore be to expand your trade to various platforms. The possible trading places are diverse; in addition to your own web shop, there are large sales platforms or, increasingly, social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.
With so-called social shopping offers, you can easily reach your customers in the places where they spend their leisure time. To do this, you should first know your target group in order to be able to select the appropriate social network. Their products should also be embedded as far as possible in the respective ecosystem of the social medium in order to provoke interaction. If this is successful, interested parties can make a product purchase with just a few clicks. Social shopping provides quick and creative access to your target group.
Social shopping is already possible on different social media. Among other things, Instagram introduced a new feature in March 2018. Up to five products can be marked with tags in one post. These provide information about the product and include a sales link. On Facebook, a “Shop” tab can be added to any business page. As in an online shop, products with pictures, prices and information can be offered from there. Pinterest also provides a convenient social shopping function with its “Shop the look” function. The tool allows, similar to Instagram, the direct linking of products to images.
#Trend 3: Automate processes on your webshop with artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been an advancing trend in eCommerce for years. There are areas where the use of AI in the industry seems particularly promising. Automated systems collect detailed information and contribute to a better customer experience on your website through self-learning algorithms.
AI is increasingly penetrating the assistant area with new solutions that improve the shopping experience in online retailing. The eCommerce giant Amazon recently introduced the intelligent camera Echo Look – a kind of digital fashion consultant. On the basis of information about the user, Echo Look suggests new outfits and sorts them according to seasons, for example.
In addition to digital fashion consultants, chatbots will continue their successful march into eCommerce in 2019. Chatbots are personal assistants who provide your customers with round-the-clock support for their shopping experience. Through self-learning algorithms, assistant systems constantly optimise their interactions. According to IBM, they will soon be unavoidable for eCommerce. According to the study, 85 percent of all interactions on websites in the USA by 2020 will take place without human service personnel. Respondents to the 2018 State of Chatbots Report see the advantages of chatbots in round-the-clock availability and quick answers to simple questions, among other things.
Digital fashion consultants and chatbots provide your customers with a particularly pleasant shopping experience. This positive customer experience can be further optimized by pricing in line with the market – here, too, AI like our blackbee software offers a forward-looking solution.
#Trend 4: Automate your market observation with self-learning systems
When it comes to optimising your web shop, the trend in eCommerce in 2019 will continue to be to keep a constant eye on the market. This is particularly important if you need to determine adequate pricing for your products. Artificial intelligences like the blackbee solution support you in this. With the help of blackbee you can find out which prices are currently being called up for certain articles. You will also receive information for your webshop about which of your products have the potential to increase prices and which pricing strategy different market participants follow.
Would you like to get your online shop ready for 2019? Test our intelligent solution for market observation blackbee now!