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9 ecommerce trends to capitalize on in 2019

9 ecommerce trends to capitalize on in 2019

Worldwide ecommerce revenue is growing at an unprecedented rate. Shopify predicts that by 2021, global ecommerce sales will reach an astonishing $4.5 trillion USD.

As a Shopify entrepreneur, growing your business means evolving with the industry. It’s never been more important to stay on top of current ecommerce trends. For example, did you know that mobile commerce will account for 53% of sales in the US by 2021? Or that voice shopping will account for $40 billion in sales in the US by 2022?

To help you tell what’s real and what’s a mirage, we’ve compiled nine trends we expect to pay dividends in 2019 and beyond. If you’re already taking advantage of these trends, good for you! If not, that’s okay, too. Choose a few that pique your interest, and implement them into your store.

Like with all new strategies, running A/B tests to optimize each one for your store is your best bet. Don’t be afraid to fail, and if you do, rehash what went wrong and pivot from there.


Omnichannel experience

Why it’s trending

The number of devices we use in our daily lives is growing. These days, it’s not uncommon to use a desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, and smartwatch in our everyday routine.

Of course, all these devices can also be used for online shopping. The ability to purchase on multiple devices has opened up a huge opportunity for ecommerce entrepreneurs. You may be familiar with the term “multichannel experience.” Chances are, you’re providing one right now. An example would be owning and promoting an online store, a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, and a seasonal pop-up shop. You use each of these platforms to communicate with your customers and sell your products.

So what’s different about the omnichannel experience? It takes all of these entities and integrates them into one seamless experience.

How to take advantage

You may already be taking advantage of many aspects of the omnichannel experience. Displaying consistent branding across all platforms and communicating in a unified voice are two keys to a good business strategy, which also play into the omnichannel experience.

Review your various platforms and ensure that your branding is reflected effectively in each. To ensure a unified voice, create a style guide for you and your team. Even if you don’t have a large team now, creating a style guide will help as your company grows. Finally, if you have any physical storefronts such as a brick-and-mortar shop, pop-up shop, or booth at a market, make sure you’re offering the same experience as in your online store.

Taking these first few steps toward providing an omnichannel experience will build better brand recognition and customer trust, helping you sell more.


Wholesale ecommerce

Why it’s trending

Wholesale ecommerce isn’t new, but it is often overlooked. If you’re manufacturing your own products or sourcing them from a unique place, there is no reason for you not to offer wholesale pricing in your store—especially when there are apps that make it easy. The ability to reach thousands of new customers with little marketing or customer retention should be enough to entice any Shopify entrepreneur into giving it a shot. 

How to take advantage

First, install Wholesale Club in your online store. From there, calculate a wholesale pricing structure that makes financial sense for both your business and your customers. To promote your wholesale pricing, include it in your menu options, send an email to repeat customers, and approach local brick-and-mortar shops that sell similar products.


Mobile (conversions)

Why it’s trending

Mobile browsing has long been on the rise, but mobile conversions haven’t always kept pace—unless you use Shopify. For the past two Black Friday Cyber Monday weekends, Shopify merchants have seen mobile conversions keep pace with traffic growth, while the rest of the ecommerce world struggles with a large gap.

For example, in 2018, Shopify merchants saw 66% of sales come from mobile, while ecommerce as a whole saw only 34% of sales come from mobile. Expect both of these numbers to jump in 2019 as customers become more comfortable shopping on their phones. 

How to take advantage

You’re going to want to complete a thorough review of your mobile store, and ensure its mobile page speed is up to par. Thankfully, Shopify has set you up for success. All Shopify themes available in the theme store are mobile-friendly, and it’s easier than ever to edit your theme in a mobile view.

Looking to enhance your customer’s mobile experience even more? Our two mobile-first Shopify themes, Handy and Reach, were designed with exactly this in mind.


Augmented reality

Why it’s trending

As a customer, one of the biggest downsides of online shopping is not being able to touch, test, or try on products. Augmented reality (AR) takes a big step toward bridging that problematic gap.

AR takes 3D product images and displays them in real-life through devices like smartphones or smart glasses. IKEA does a great job of this with their furniture, allowing customers to see how a piece would look in their home before purchasing it. And while keeping up with IKEA may seem daunting, Shopify has made it easy for you.

How to take advantage

In 2018, Shopify introduced Shopify AR, allowing smaller merchants to employ this trending technology in their store. Although it does involve some financial and time investment, Shopify has written an in-depth how-to guide on setting it up in your store.

We suggest starting with a few products you believe would benefit most from AR, and reviewing sales a few months down the road. If you see a large upswing, then apply it to your entire product catalog.



Why they’re trending

With Siri and Google in our pockets and Alexa or Google Home on our counters, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming ingrained in our everyday lives. Netflix knows what we want to binge-watch next, and Spotify curates playlists we put on repeat.

Up to 45% of consumers say they prefer a live chat connection with a company over any other kind of interaction. Chatbots provide instant responses and 24/7 support. 

How to take advantage

Our friends at Tidio offer a chatbot that is easily integrated into your Shopify store. Since it’s likely you’re not available 24/7, Tidio’s chatbot will answer frequently asked questions about product availability, delivery status, and estimated delivery time. Having these questions answered immediately will keep customers in your store and prevent them from browsing elsewhere to find what they need.

Chatbots can’t answer every question (yet), so using Tidio will involve some human interaction with your customers. Although you may be hesitant to burden your team with more tasks, consider that having live chat in your online store can increase average order value by 100% to 300%.


Conversational marketing

Why it’s trending

Chatbots are great for helping customers while they’re in your store, while conversational marketing is ideal for bringing potential customers back—think abandoned cart emails with a higher open rate.

With the amount of time spent on messaging apps increasing year over year, conversational marketing is only in its infancy. There are many channels for conversational marketing (SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger, Slack, etc.), but for the sake of simplicity, let’s focus on one—Facebook Messenger.

How to take advantage

Ever heard the business adage, “Be where your customers are”? There are currently 1.3 billion monthly active users on Facebook Messenger. Using an app like Cartback Messenger Marketing can help you reach customers where they’re already spending time.

Conversational marketing with Cartback is like sending automated emails to customers who have abandoned their carts. Only instead of popping up in their Gmail inbox, you’re starting a conversation with them on Messenger. The stats don’t lie—open rates are three times higher on Messenger than email, and click-through rates are four times higher. Cartback offers a free 30-day trial, giving you plenty of time to figure out if it works for you.


Voice shopping

Why it’s trending

“Okay Google, what are the best hip waders for river fishing?”

Devices like Google Home, Alexa, and HomePod have changed the way we access information. We no longer have to pick up our phones to Google things. Instead we ask a device located nearby.

And it’s not just tech-savvy teens capitalizing on this technology—41% of adults use voice search daily. Couple voice search with the rise of online shopping and you’re left with the phenomenon called voice shopping. As we mentioned earlier, experts predict this phenomenon to reach $40 billion in sales in the US by 2022.

How to take advantage

Tailoring your store’s content for voice search is the best way to capitalize on this growing trend. Because voice queries are often framed as questions, consider titling your blog posts as questions (or answers to those questions). For example, “What are the best hip waders for river fishing?” (or “The best hip waders for river fishing”).

You should also take this into account when writing your FAQ page. Research the most commonly asked questions in your niche and answer them in your FAQ while weaving in information about your products.

Optimizing your store for voice search now, while the technology is still fresh, will help boost your SEO and move you closer to that prized “0 ranking”—the featured snippet located at the top of Google’s search results. This featured snippet is often the result that Google serves when asked a question with voice search.



Why it’s trending

Three quarters of online shoppers say they like when brands personalize in-store messaging and special offers. Although this statistic contradicts the growing concern of privacy of information, when it comes to saving money, that concern dissipates quickly. In fact, SalesForce reports that 52% of consumers would trade personal information in exchange for personalized shopping recommendations

How to take advantage

There are plenty of ways to offer a personalized shopping experience, including chatbots and conversational marketing. Since we’ve already covered those, let’s shift our focus to a different type of personalization—product recommendations. One of the most strategic product recommendation tactics is upselling and cross-selling. Shopify notes that 10%-30% of all ecommerce revenue comes from these two tactics.

The easiest way to upsell and cross-sell is with Ultimate Special Offers. Upselling is when you offer a better version of the product in the customer’s cart, while cross-selling is when you offer additional products that complement those in the customer’s cart. With Ultimate Special Offers, you can upsell and cross-sell with popups or on the cart page itself.



Why they’re trending

Much like personalization, bundles are a great way of selling products customers have already shown interest in. By bundling products that complement each other—for example, a tent, sleeping bag, and mattress—you’re offering customers greater value and an enhanced product experience.

How to take advantage

There are a few key strategies when bundling products. First, you’ll have to bundle products that work together. For example, you wouldn’t bundle a tent with a fur coat. Second, you should bundle products that fall in the same tier of quality. Bundle your top-tier tents with your top-tier sleeping bags to cater to customers who want high-end equipment.

Finally, make sure your bundle is discounted enough to entice customers to take advantage. If there’s only a minimal discount, customers won’t be as inclined to drop a bunch of cash at once, instead choosing to buy each item individually when they’re ready.

Bundles are also among the discounts and promotions available with Ultimate Special Offers. Try the app free for 10 days and find out which products sell well together.

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