Setting up an online store alone will not give you magical sales numbers. eCommerce stores are an essential part of our day-to-day lives. You cannot survive in the market by doing the bare minimum. Offering a seamless and delightful experience to your customers every single time should be your goal. For that, you must leverage the latest innovations to keep your customers invested in your brand.
Let’s look at some of the innovations in eCommerce that will bolster the industry for the year 2023 and beyond:
- Cookieless eCommerce:
- Sensory shopping:
- Livestream commerce:
- Improved attribution models:
- Subscription-based eCommerce:
- Advanced analytics to monitor sales and track progress.
- Support multiple payment options that include digital wallets, global payment options, and credit cards.
- Recurring billing and invoicing setup.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- The ability to integrate with different platforms.
- The platform should offer 24*7 support.
- Buy Now Pay Later:
- Loyalty programs:
- Visual Search:
Google, Firefox, and other internet giants promise to ban third-party cookies, thanks to legislations such as GDPR and CCPA. For the uninitiated, cookieless tracking means the business will not know what users do on their site, where they came from, or what their previous behavior on the site was. eCommerce companies will get little insights on attribution, demographics, or purchase funnels. Unfortunately, we are looking at a cookieless future.
In the absence of data from 3rd party cookies, eCommerce stores will depend on first-party data. Such data can be collected from customers with exclusive incentives. For example, promotional offers, early access to new products, in-store and online discounts, and loyalty programs, to name a few.
Online retailers will soon be offering sensory experiences through VR, AR, video, and conversational AI. For decades, some of the biggest retailers in the world have used multi-sensory atmospheres to create a perception amongst their clientele. The same will be a regular fixture in eCommerce stores too.
In Livestream commerce, videos of products are streamed, which can be bought by the audience directly from the site. Livestream eCommerce sales were estimated at $17 billion in 2022. It is expected to reach $55 billion by 2026. This method is great at selling products that are available for a limited time or quantity. Audiences can also get answers to relevant questions posed to the retailers in real time. McKinsey says that Livestream eCommerce conversions are 10x higher than other platforms.
The buyer’s journey is never straightforward, isn’t it? Your customers traverse through a variety of marketing channels, like emails, Facebook, Instagram, etc., before they buy from your store. So who do you attribute the sale to? Most eCommerce retailers attribute the sale to the last channel that the customer clicked before the purchase. The chances are that it might not always be the one that heavily contributed to the sale.
The problem with the above scenario is that the eCommerce site ends up spending ad money on the last-clicked channel. Thankfully, there are on-platform attribution modeling platforms that send real-time attribution tracking to a dashboard. It helps the business see the emails, ads, videos, SMSes, etc., that the visitor viewed and track them through to the point of conversion. This level of accuracy helps marketers spend their ad dollars on channels that create the most impact.
Research by Kearney says that 50% of people who purchase weekly are open to the concept of subscriptions. This is a good enough reason for eCommerce stores to invest in infrastructure for subscriptions. The best thing about subscriptions is that it is convenient for the customer and promises recurring revenue for the eCommerce store.
While not every store will be able to sell its products via subscriptions, the ones that can afford to do so should study which products are best for it. Below are the following features that you must add to the subscription eCommerce setup:
A constant flow of orders also helps you build deeper relationships with customers. It will be easy to upsell and cross-sell as well.
Another trend that has taken the eCommerce industry by storm is the “Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL) feature. BNPL allows customers to purchase goods in interest-free installments. It is expected to reach $680 billion worldwide by 2025. For customers who were frustrated with the high fees and complexity of credit cards, BNPL came as a lifesaver.
The target customers for BNPL are millennials and Gen Z. For customers, BNPL is an affordable way to finance purchases and offers a flexible and convenient way to buy. PayPal’s Pay in 4, Sezzle, Klarna, and Stormy Kromer are some of the most popular BNPL providers in the market today.
Even though loyalty programs aren’t new, you will see them evolving as the years go by. Loyalty programs are extremely beneficial for eCommerce stores since loyalty is finicky. According to a Bain & Company report, the ability to earn rewards changes the spending behavior of customers. This is where loyalty programs come in.
Most loyalty programs fall into four categories: points, tiers, social media, and paid programs. The most popular loyalty program is Amazon Prime. From one-day shipping on millions of products to a variety of other perks, Amazon makes sure that you get more from its Prime subscription than the dollar value that you pay. No wonder it has 200 million plus members. Loyalty programs are effective at driving customer retention, boosting customer lifetime value, and increasing loyalty. Once you have a greater idea of your customers by using data, identify perks that work best.
In eCommerce, sustainability refers to processing orders in such a way that it doesn’t harm the environment while supporting local communities and employees. It mainly focuses on eCommerce aspects like waste, transport, raw materials used, and packaging. There has been a 71% increase in online searches for sustainable goods globally, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. Consumers these days want to be associated with brands that care about the environment.
If your eCommerce is still dilly-dallying on the importance of being a sustainable brand, here’s a stat that will force you to make changes. According to a survey from McKinsey, 66% of all respondents and 75% of millennial respondents remark that they consider sustainability when making a purchase.
Reverse-image searches have been popular amongst savvy internet users. It has become a revolution of sorts in the field of online buying, thanks to a simple twist. You have Google’s Multitask Unified Model (MUM) algorithm to thank.
You can upload an image of something that you would like to buy. The search results will be replete with similar items that are for sale. MUM is integrated with Google Lens for a seamless visual search.
Some of the most popular eCommerce platforms have begun to offer visual search capabilities which can be embedded in your website and mobile app. It is also a great way to attract millennials and Gen Z shoppers.
In the world of eCommerce, there is nothing constant. What is new today and considered innovative might become obsolete. A case in point is Amazon’s Dash Button, an electronic device that was designed to make product ordering easy. Innovative? Yes. Did people love it? Not really. At the end of the day, that’s what matters. Your innovativeness should be lapped up by your target audience.