When you think of cherry on a cake, eCommerce is not about it. Rather, eCommerce is a new cake. It is a relatively new field in digital marketing. It started way back in 1972 and has now boomed after the COVID-19 pandemic.
A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong notes that the Electronic Data Interchange spearheaded the foundation of eCommerce in 1960. It was designed to replace email and fax for data exchange and trading. In 1972, a team of Stanford students made the first online trading. They sold cannabis to MIT students via the Arpanet. In 1992, the first eCommerce site, Book Stacks Unlimited, was created. It eventually became Barnes and Noble today. Five years later, Dell became the first eCommerce site with online sales of $1 million.
Since then, there has been no stopping in the developments and trends of eCommerce. Modern technology has put online shopping on the map. Top eCommerce websites like Amazon, BigCommerce, GoDaddy, Shopify, Wix, and WooCommerce have organized eCommerce categories. PayPal has made the online shopping process seamless in 1998. Social media websites have also allowed the integration of eCommerce sites within the pages of modern brands and businesses. Below, let us check the key eCommerce trends to watch out for today!
WHAT IS ECOMMERCE?
eCommerce stands for electronic commerce. It is the buying and selling of goods and services using the internet. It is a substitute for physical stores. Modern business typically maintains both brick-and-mortar stores and eCommerce shops. eCommerce covers four major categories. These are:
- B2B (business to business)
- B2C (business to consumer)
- C2B (consumer to business)
- C2C (consumer to consumer)
eCommerce is a digital version of mail-order catalog shopping. Businesses and consumers can transact using computers, desktops, smartphones, and tablets, via eCommerce. It offers a wide range of products and services. The line can be anything you can imagine – from books, financial services, music, plane tickets, to unique offerings. As such, eCommerce is considered a very disruptive technology.
Many brands and businesses were able to establish a wider market presence through eCommerce. A social media agency Hong Kong highlights that eCommerce stores have connected to the world. They make the discovery and distribution of goods and services cheaper and easier.
KEY ECOMMERCE TRENDS TO WATCH OUT FOR
- AI powers personalized experience among eCommerce shops. Most brands and businesses today use artificial intelligence (AI) such as big data, chatbots, and machine learning. They are becoming a mainstream element of eCommerce sites. Big data provides effective purchase recommendations. Chatbots make it possible to provide customer support 24/7. Machine learning helps brands and businesses segment their audiences based on demographics and online activities. All these factors make online shopping highly targeted. As such, brands and businesses have increased conversion making the return on investment highly positive.
- Consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious. Today, modern consumers are becoming conscious of how their purchases affect the environment. As they become exposed to the impacts of global warming, the more they become environment-conscious and socially responsible. A big impact on eCommerce is that 73% of global consumers would change their shopping habits to reduce harm within the environment. They are even willing to pay a premium price for eco-friendly brands. As such, brands and businesses should support sustainable development goals.
- Mobile eCommerce is enormously becoming an omnichannel experience. Today, around 7.1 billion access the Internet using smartphones or mobile devices. In 2021, around 73% of eCommerce sales are expected to take place among mobile devices. It is because of the ease of payment and shop integrations between social media apps and mobile shopping apps. A video marketing agency Hong Kong even notes that product tags added on video ads direct viewers to a checkout cart. By making the buying experience faster and seamless, mobile eCommerce is a key trend to watch out for among brands and businesses.
- Social Media users are increasingly engaging in branded and shoppable content. eCommerce has now conquered social media networks. Modern consumers, especially millennials, discover brands, products, and services through their social media feeds. In fact, 113 million users tap on shopping posts to learn more about products and services. As they do not interrupt the reading and viewing experience, images and video ads significantly boost conversion and sales among brands and businesses.
- Voice shopping is creating a significant impact online. Modern mobile users are using voice commands more often. They are an effective alternative to text and word search. Voice assistants like Alexa and Siri offer personalized shopping recommendations. As such, voice shopping is creating a significant impact on eCommerce. It allows faster search and checkouts with less screen time. Voice search is powered by automation. It also makes shopping more convenient and seamless. For most eCommerce brands and businesses, they are the key to a positive buying experience.