One of the most prominent e-commerce trends that you should be watching out for in 2019 is the state of offline retail establishments. Experts predict that they will either die or get better. In fact, globally, the retail industry is slowly perishing because too many businesses have refused to evolve the way need to in order to face up to e-commerce. They are only interested in engaging with their customers at the level of transaction and providing them with occasional discounts. This is where the bigger online players are gradually taking over.
Ever since the advent of the Internet in the late 1980s and 1990s, how we shop, work, study, spend our leisure time, and communicate has changed dramatically. Companies have had to adapt to this change. The ones that have resisted change have fallen, are falling, or will fall by the wayside.
Consumers are forcing the retail sector to innovate
When it comes to e-commerce industry trends in 2019, we can see that this is a year of major upheavals. Since the beginning of this century, what consumers expect from retailers, especially those that operate online, has changed significantly.
Businesses that are sensitive to what consumers require are adapting rapidly. In 2019, many brands across the world have become much closer to consumers than they have ever been. Today, marketing professionals see consumers, customers, and prospects as people they must interact with. A prospect is a consumer who could turn into a customer.
Consumers today want to be more involved with products, services, companies, and brands they like or are interested in. This is especially the case since social media marketing got off the ground. A brand is the image and personality that a company, product, or service protrays. They convey a promise that the product or service that you purcahse will meet the standards that the seller strives to deliver.
Chatbots will become a major part of the e-commerce toolkit
Chatbots are making sure that you – the consumer – have a better experience of shopping online. It is expected that in 2019, this particular trend will continue. In fact, it will also gain strength.
A chatbot is a piece of artificial intelligence software designed to simulate a conversation or chat with humans. They are used almost exclusively over the Internet. Put simply, a chatbot is a computer program that chats to people.
Hubspot says that 48 percent of online shoppers find chatbots are their favorite way to interact online. According to Ubisend, 35 percent of online shoppers would like to see more brands using chatbots.
A shift towards D2C
D2C stands for direct-to-customer/consumer; it is a term most commonly used in the world of advertising and marketing. D2C is also expected to become one of the biggest e-commerce trends in 2019.
Companies such as Quill and Away have already proven how successful a business can be by using this particular model in their respective industries. There are plenty of benefits to be had for businesses that are prepared to go down this route. For starters, they can create deeper and closer relationships with consumers. This marketing approach also allows businesses to get their new products to market more quickly.
E-commerce brands setting up bricks-and-mortar stores
Bricks-and-mortar stores are physical shops, i.e., traditional shops that humans physically walk into. Although the trend over the last couple of decades has been to move from bricks-and-mortar to online stores, some successful online retailers are also moving back to the offline world.
As their brands are already well established, they believe that there is a profitable market for them offline.
Headless or decoupled commerce and content systems rising
Among all the e-commerce industry trends for 2019, headless commerce is right up there. According to experts, headless e-commerce provides brands in this domain the flexibility and freedom they have been seeking for quite some time. It allows them to personalize and deliver to consumers a level of user experience that is unprecedented.
Headless e-commerce growth will lead to the emergence of new organizational models, such as cross-functional teams in the not-to-distant future.
Voice recognition systems and smart home assistants – e-commerce’s new battleground
eMarketer says that in 2017, 35.6 million people in the USA used a voice-activated device at least once in a month, which represented a growth of 128.9 percent compared to 2016. This year, we expect the market to continue growing rapidly, as well as next year and the year after that.
Amazon Echo, Apple Homepad, and Google Home are leading the field. Whether they continue in their current top positions remains to be seen. For the time being, experts do not see any major rivals entering the scene in the world of voice recognition devices.
We have touched on but a few trends that are gaining strength in 2019. AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning are making headway and will probably continue growing faster each year.
Automation, blockchain technology, augmented reality, cloud computing, cybersecurity, technology convergence, and IoT (the Internet of Things) are other trends that are worth mentioning.
Video – What is E-Commerce?
E-Commerce stands for Electronic Commerce. The term refers to business transactions that take place in electronic networks, i.e., the Internet.