Top Online Shopping Trends of 2020: Ecommerce Development
From artificial intelligence (AI) to voice search, the online shopping trends in 2020 could result in a strong holiday sales season. Does your ecommerce development platform allow you to utilize these tools for enhanced personalization and profitability?
Top ecommerce development trends of 2020
Today’s ecommerce developers face a crowded space, as online shopping continues to grow and even traditional brick-and-mortar retailers may have shifted to an enhanced focus on online sales to stay competitive during the pandemic. A report from Forrester forecasts online shopping to grow by 18.5% this year, reaching 20.2% penetration across North America.
To stay competitive and finish strong in 2020, ecommerce developers will need to stay on top of the latest trends. Online shopping only promises to grow, and consumer expectations for a streamlined, personalized experience from their favourite ecommerce sites will rise.
Artificial intelligence, enhanced personalization through big data, voice search, chatbots, and mobile shopping are just a few of the trends online shopping will bring into the new year.
AI leads other online shopping trends
Artificial Intelligence excels at spotting patterns with lightning speed. What would normally take a human being a day, or days, to identify now happens in seconds. Similarly, AI can learn based on past experiences, sift through mounds of data to make decisions quickly, and constantly improve its algorithms to deliver a better user experience. Ecommerce developers can use AI to:
- Make more relevant product recommendations: By integrating inventory management systems with your ecommerce platform, you can also leverage AI to make recommendations based on what’s available at the moment — no disappointed customers seeking out-of-stock products.
- Deliver promotions at the time the customer is most receptive to buying: Aggregating past purchase behaviour, AI algorithms can determine when to offer a coupon, and how much of a discount to provide, to lead to a sale. AI can also provide customized product recommendations based not only on that user’s past behaviour and preferences, but on the actions of “look-alike” customers, or consumers with similar buying habits and preferences.
- Tailor omnichannel campaigns based on where consumers are spending their time online: AI may, in fact, represent the leading ecommerce development trend of recent years, driving a host of other trends to deliver online shopping experiences that far exceed the personalized service consumers may get in brick-and-mortar retail stores.
Personalization makes shoppers feel welcome
AI and personalization go hand-in-hand to deliver a better online shopping experience. Personalization takes many forms, from greeting shoppers by name when they first enter your site to product recommendations based on past browsing history, wish lists, and items abandoned in shopping carts. AI helps take personalization tools to the next level with more accurate recommendations delivered faster than traditional methods allow.
Big data drives relevance
Just as AI improves personalization on your ecommerce site, big data drives the accuracy of AI recommendations. The more data your AI app can sift through, the more relevant recommendations it can make. Remember, the beauty of AI is that it can make decisions and spot behaviour patterns at lightning speeds and, the more data you feed it, the more accurate its conclusions will be. Machine learning thrives on accurate, timely data that would be too much for the human brain to even comprehend.
Chatbots get cozy with shoppers
Many ecommerce developers have added 24/7 chatbots to their sites in recent years. This technology would not be possible without AI to drive it; ecommerce sites would require having people at a desk 24/7 to respond to inquiries in real-time. AI enables chatbots to deliver information about pricing, sizing, delivery times, and more 24/7/365, providing the level of customer service and personalization today’s retail shoppers expect.
Flexibility is driven by API-based headless ecommerce development
Behind these ecommerce development trends — and others — sits the platform to make it happen. Creating your ecommerce platform on a headless ecommerce architecture enables you to add the APIs and tools you need onto a unified tech stack to deliver a seamless experience to your customers.
The right ecommerce development platform can help your organization deploy:
- Augmented reality to help customers make more informed decisions
- Mobile shopping to reach customers wherever they might be
- Voice search to support mobile shopping and smart speakers or AI assistants
These online shopping trends of 2020 all strive to bridge the gap between the in-store and in-home shopping experiences. You can leverage them with the right ecommerce platform to ensure your brand stays top-of-mind for shoppers.
Augmented reality to help shoppers make decisions
From trying on glasses to choosing hair dye, or even redecorating a home, shoppers often hesitate to make important buying decisions without being able to interact with the products. Augmented reality makes this possible, leveraging their smartphone camera to view products on a real-world, real-time background.
- 61% of online shoppers would prefer to use a site that offers augmented reality capabilities
- 49% would pay more for a product they could preview via AR
- 45% say AR helps them make buying decisions faster
Is that paint colour right for the living room? Will that sofa fit under the window? AR can help online shoppers discover the answers to these questions, potentially leading to more sales, and fewer returns, for your ecommerce site.
Voice search makes online shopping seamless
Just as AR drives faster decision-making and added convenience for online shoppers, voice search enables consumers to shop online in a more natural way. Voice search can deliver relevant, timely, personalized product recommendations and insights to consumers through their smart speaker or mobile AI assistant.
Optimizing your ecommerce site for voice search can help increase sales in a crowded marketplace, so consumers will find you first.
Mobile shopping to reach customers at home and in stores
Voice search and mobile use seem to be growing hand-in-hand. According to a recent report by Comscore:
- 51% of all time spent online in the U.S. takes place on mobile devices
- 63% of online traffic in the U.S. comes from mobile devices
- 40% of all people search only on a smartphone — not a desktop device
It’s clear that if you want to increase sales, you want to develop a strong mobile presence with a responsive website that enables shoppers to make a purchase wherever they might be.
Online shopping continues to grow driven by these trends, but bringing together the online shopping experience with a brick-and-mortar presence and leveraging mobile technology to reach consumers on their devices, even when they’re in your store, can set you apart from the competition.
It’s more important than ever that ecommerce developers use all the tools at their disposal to deliver a seamless customer experience online and in stores, with integrated inventory capabilities, enhanced personalization, and an easy check-out process, all driven by state-of-the-art ecommerce architecture.
Learn more about how an ecommerce site built on Drupal can help ecommerce developers create a successful ecommerce strategy in 2020 and beyond. Talk to one of our ecommerce experts now.
Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer specializing in technology, ecommerce, and finance, and is the owner of boutique content marketing agency Allcot Media.