Volatile – could be the apt term to describe the modern e-commerce market. With trends coming in and fading away thick and fast, it is really hard to predict what the e-commerce world has in store for us. Online shopping has become the primary mode of shopping for many and with the increasing number of online stores, it is only going to grow even further. Customers’ expectations are higher than before from their online stores, and the business is going the distance to meet the same.
Gone are the days when just having an online store for your business was enough to drive success. The modern customers are smart and a lot fickle. They are no more interested in finding an online store that sells the articles they need and making the purchase from that. They want their online shopping experience to be enjoyable, realistic, and satisfying. And in the urge to meet the customers’ expectations, the e-commerce trends keep on changing on a regular basis.
So, we thought we will predict some of the trends that will drive business in the year 2019 for the online shopping stores. These trends are already taking shape in the e-commerce world, but in the coming year or so we might see them on a much larger and noticeable way. So, let’s get started.
Advanced Product Visualization
If you’ve ever dropped an item from your online shopping cart, you will agree that product visualization had contributed in one way or the other in that decision of yours. Product visualization plays a significant part in helping the shopper make the purchase decision. A well-visualized product on the website has a higher chance of attracting the customer than one with a dim lit picture.
This is applicable throughout the e-commerce sector. Be it clothing, luxury or electronic segment, the lack of physical feel is substituted by the product visualization in the online world? It assures the shopper of the authenticity of the product and puts the seller under good light.
Some of the technological developments which have helped better product visualization include the seamless zoom feature, which now a day is available with virtually every online store. Customers can zoom on to the product to get a better understand of the product even without touching it. Even the online shopping marketplaces are encouraging the sellers to upload high-resolution images of their product to make sure that they can be magnified without any loss in image quality. On the tech end of it, they are making sure that the images are not taking a lot of time to download, which if in case, could result in the customer bouncing to another page. Some merchants also have demo videos to help the customers understand the product functionality in detail.
As the next step in product visualization, we are seeing the rise of 3D imaging. Now, 3D imaging has a long way before it establishes itself as the mainstream product visualization medium; however, the recent development in the 3D technologies suggests that we are not far away from it.
So, to sum things up, 3D technologies together with the seamless zoom capabilities and other configuration options, the year 2019 might bring us a futuristic shopping experience and will be a decisive factor in driving success to any online business in the year 2019.
Artificial Intelligence FTW
We have spoken at length about how artificial intelligence is the future of e-commerce in our previous posts on numerous occasion, and we stand by it even now. The incredible ability of AI to gather the data, analyze it and draw patterns from it to drive sales is just amazing. Be it the virtual shopping assistance or the virtual fashion advisors, AI in every possible way is at the peak of the ongoing e-commerce revolution?
In addition to the virtual shopping assistance or virtual fashion advisor, AI will be heavily used for understanding the customer behavior by extensively analyzing the way shoppers interact with the products. With the help of AI, businesses will be able to predict the products that might interest a particular shopper and will be able to show the suggestions accordingly even before the customer types in the keyword in the search bar of their website. Combine AI with Natural Language Processing (NLP) and you offer customers the freedom to search for their products in their local language and dialect. We are already seeing it being used effectively by some of the big e-commerce platforms. Even product discovery platform like Taglr is making good use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to help their shoppers discover the products that they love with absolute ease.
Re-emergence of physical stores
Now, this might seem like an odd trend to look forward to in the year 2019. Especially considering the fact that when we are talking about online shopping the only way forward seems to be going only in one direction and that certainly isn’t going back to the brick-and-mortar stores. Yes, irrespective of what the online stores have to offer, for some customers nothing can replace the touch and feel of going to a physical store or an in-store experience. And the leading global retailers such as Amazon and Alibaba understand that quite well.
This is why they are experimenting with a totally new and advanced in-store experience to leverage the power of hands-on shopping. We have already seen Amazon open a retail store in New York and we expect more retailers to follow the suite soon.
So, don’t be surprised if you see a new store open up in the neighborhood with the name of your favorite online store, the chances are it might be their first offline store in your city.
The Bottom Line
If you are an online seller or an online shopper wondering what are the trends that will drive business in the year 2019, enhanced product visualization, in-depth artificial intelligence integration, and the re-emergence physical stores are some of the trends that we can think of.
If you think there is going to be some others as well, kindly do let us know in the comments box below. ')}