This decade has seen a transformational change in the way how retail works, all thanks to the growing e-commerce industry. E-commerce has allowed customers to widen their horizons whilst seeking the best deals for their purchases without even having to step out of their houses. These platforms have seen unprecedented growth which could only be possible by turning our very imagination into their innovation. These innovations have comprised both fads and trends and the smarter platforms have managed to analyze the trends which are here to stay, incorporate them, and turn themselves profitable in no time.
Let’s see some of these trends which have proven their mettle and are here for the long run:-
- Personalization and Virtual stores
E-commerce has given each one of us the power to start their own business by launching the stores virtually and taking orders. One of the key features behind the success of these virtual stores is that they offer personalized services which most of the traditional business models lack. E-stores like Bare Anatomy, which offer personalized hair care products based on your hair type and texture, are the perfect example of how a sense of belongingness in these stores can drive sales.
2. Product Launches on social media platforms
To create traction of the online audience, various brands have moved towards the e-launch of their products. E-launch is mostly done through a trailer or a short movie of the product range, which introduces the product in the picture to the consumers and if that strikes a chord with them then the brands benefit from the sale.
3. Using Artificial Intelligence
Gone are the days where using AI was a dream. AI is helping e-commerce industries grab consumers’ sentiments and capitalize on the same. It also allows the customers to enjoy additional features like AI integrated CRM, giving a personal touch to the chatbots, give useful recommendations, and solve problems ranging from different domains.
4. Virtual Reality
It is said that by 2022, over 1,00,000 stores would adopt Virtual Reality to enhance their e-store customer experience. VR would also allow the customer to have a life-like view of the products and this would help them make optimum and informed choices.
E-stores like Amazon, Flipkart, and Big Basket to name a few have adopted a subscription-based model in conjugation to their services that allow the customers to enjoy some additional privileges like free delivery, selection of premium delivery slots, faster shipping, and much more just by paying a one-time fee. This generates an additional revenue stream for the brands as well as gives the customer the perks listed above.
A new array of category stores has made their way into the e-commerce world. These virtual malls have various well-known brands on their platform which are categorized into various sub-segments like electronics, fashion, accessories, and basically, everything that you will find in a shopping mall. These e-malls have allowed customers and brands to bridge their gaps logistically. One such example of it is Tata Cliq.
7.Chatbots as a personal assistant
Just like a store executive, chatbots help customer queries. They are equipped to answer a wide range of questions ranging from payments to logistical queries. It is one of the best forms of human-machine interaction and is likely to grow more in the future.
8. Versatile Payment Gateways
Ditching the old-school cash-on-delivery system, e-commerce platforms now allow the customers to pay by any payment method be it Debit or credit cards, mobile wallets, UPI, or Netbanking. This eases the time and effort required from customers and also mitigates the risk of fraud.
9.The pathway from e-commerce to pop-up stores
Kylie cosmetics is the biggest living example of how to lead with an ecommerce store and then use pop-up stores to popularize the brands. The traditional approach of going with a retail store first is now a thing of the past. Pop-up stores are temporary spaces where you physically display your products. These are a great way to engage with your loyal audience and also launch new product lines without having to pay huge rents.
10.Snap, search and shop
More and more brands are investing in IMAGE search for the products so that the customers looking for a product can just simply take a snap of it and visual search will lead them to the same or similar product, making the whole process of searching for your favorite stuff online easier. Even sites like Pinterest have partnered with various e-commerce websites so that their visual searches can lead to the sale of those products.
Well, the list does not end here. Innovation on these platforms is a dynamic process and just as we speak someone somewhere has started a new trend that can multiply the business of such platforms in numerous ways.They key is just to distinguish between these trends and fads and make use of the strategy that suits your brand the best!