2018 is now behind us, and 2019 promises to be another great year for e-commerce. In the second part of this series, we’ll be taking a look at 5 more trends that are set to be big this year.
Last week, we shared five trends that are set to be big in 2019. We discussed artificial intelligence, which online retailers are still struggling to integrate into their strategies, and social networks that now occupy a prominent place in the market and the consumer buying journey. Their behaviour is also now showing shopping as becoming closer to entertainment than to a primary need. We also looked at the development of the PGC market, as well as the Europe’s bid to clean up the e-commerce market by setting up new regulations.
Today we’ll be looking at a new selection of trends that are set to be prominent in 2019.
6/ Physical commerce is reinventing itself
At a time when consumers no longer make a clear distinction between online and offline whilst shopping, digitalising points of sale is an issue that retailers must respond to in order to offer a single and interconnected sales space. By integrating a digital aspect into their physical commercial strategy, they broaden the accessibility of their offer and thus avoid missing out on sales opportunities.
Already well established in China with the concept of “New Retail” or O2O (online to offline), this trend has gradually won over industry players. “New Retail is a concept developed by Alibaba to provide consumers with fluid, unique and memorable buying experience both online and offline, using the latest innovations and shaking up the way we shop” says Laura Pho Duc (Ali Baba).
Phygital commerce thus improves the customer experience by offering an intelligent purchasing path adapted to different types of consumers.
7/ New ways to show off your products
Long promoted through just a simple image, products are now presented in many forms to attract the attention of buyers and remove a maximum of brakes on the purchase.
Video has now become an integral part of retailers’ product pages and consumers’ shopping experience. According to Invodo, 52% of consumers say that watching a video of a product makes them more confident in their decision to buy it online. You can use video to help shoppers get a better idea of the product, highlight its strengths or explain how it works.
Augmented reality and virtual reality are also making their way into online shopping. It didn’t make much of a debut in 2018, but we should be seeing more of it in the beauty, furniture and automotive industries in 2019.
8/ Faster and simpler deliveries
To date, free shipping remains a crucial factor for all generations and markets, according to Global Web Index. Delivery by appointment, in 30 minutes, or to your door while you’re out… delivery continues to change to keep up with developing consumer buying behaviour. According to a report by Metapack entitled “2018 State of Ecommerce Delivery”, 24% of respondents are ready to try more futuristic options such as delivery by drone, robot or a self-driving vehicle.
More and more businesses are introducing new initiatives to stay in the race, and Amazon is among those who have had a good head start, with Amazon Key (which opens doors remotely). Available only in some cities in the United States, it allows products to be delivered to their home, in the trunk of their car, or even very soon in their garage.
To meet the many constraints that delivery poses, businesses must continue to double their efforts to provide a quality customer experience for consumers. For example, the warehouse robotics market is expected to reach $22.1 billion by 2024. In 2019, delivery will have to be faster, more convenient and more timely.
9/ Working towards more sustainable commerce
E-commerce continues to grow, and is estimated at reaching $2,734,414 million by 2023 according to Statista. At the same time, consciences are evolving and trade is shifting towards a more sustainable economy.
This transition to a sustainable economy is reflected, among other things, in the emergence of new economic models such as used marketplaces, rental and repackaging. In this new economy, usage is prioritised over possession.
In an interview with FEVAD, Remy Lemoigne, founder and CEO of Gate C, said that “one of the opportunities that this sustainable economy presents is for online retailers to substitute the sale of products by the sale of their use”.
10/ Marketplaces will continue to evolve their shopping experience
This year, marketplaces will continue to offer even more choices and categories of products and services within their platform. At the same time, the specialisation of these platforms will be even greater. Hyper-localisation or hyper-verticalisation will rub shoulders, with generalist marketplaces focusing only on a category, a function or a specific sector.
After spending years devoted to e-commerce, marketplaces will also continue to follow the path of the physical world in 2019. Like Amazon and its Amazon Go stores, the sector’s key players will incorporate an offline dimension into their strategy to offer a more thorough and well-rounded experience to consumers.