From sports paraphernalia to shoes, textbooks, music, pets, and even cars, the entire world of commerce has officially moved online wherever possible — leaving businesses to follow the consumers into the vast and rather intimidating new world of e-commerce as best they can. But the simple shift to having an online presence isn’t enough anymore.
If a company wants to survive and thrive in the modern online world, they must learn to maintain a laser-focus toward whatever is trending and maintain a ready attitude to shift their efforts whenever necessary.
In a certain sense, it’s a tale as old as time. If the market says to jump, businesses have no option but to give that utterly clichéd response: how high? With that said, here are some of the top “jump” trends that the e-commerce market is sending our way in the near future.
Current E-Commerce Trends
Every year the numbers continue to trend toward the fact that consumers are taking an increasing amount of their cash online. As major brick-and-mortar retailers continue to report a reduction in their overall sales numbers, online sellers, especially Amazon, continue to see skyrocketing sales. At this point, it’s become clear that the statistics point to more than just a temporary trend. Selling online is the path of the future.
Another major trend that is picking up speed comes in the form of information. Data, especially big data, has become one of the prime movers of the modern market. This should come as no surprise in an era where we can track everything, from the minute and location that a sale was made online to how many times we stand up each day.
Many data tracking platforms, including giants like Google Analytics and Shopify, are easy to set up and can provide a large amount of information regarding your clientele. In addition, large amounts of big data have become more and more readily available online and are just a Google search away. Regardless of the source, from external market trends to internal sales, data is becoming more of an integral part of operating a business online.
Planning for the Future
There’s no way around it: Trends are numerous, and they’re always changing. But that doesn’t mean things are hopeless! Here are a few tips that you can implement in order to help optimize your e-commerce site in the near future in order to head off some of the ramifications of these upcoming trends.
Logistics, Logistics, Logistics
Whether you have an established e-commerce presence already or you’re simply a fledgling startup, you’re going to want to take the time to create a strategy for the future. While a thorough knowledge of current e-commerce trends is invaluable, it will get you nowhere if you can’t decide how to apply the knowledge and data you’ve collected.
From shipping concerns (73 percent of online shoppers consider free shipping indispensable at this point) to decentralized warehousing, visibility, and return policies, you’re going to want to do your homework. While we cover many of the most trending concerns for the upcoming year below, if you take anything away from reading this article, it should be the message that you’re always going to want to keep your finger on the pulse of what is working at the moment and then find ways to implement them in your own e-commerce situation.
Everything is mobile these days. It’s no longer an option; it’s a necessity. That’s why, as an e-commerce contender, you’re going to need a mobile app. We’re not talking about a mobile site, either. While those are still important, having a mobile app dedicated to providing a strong user experience to your customers has given many larger e-commerce companies an edge over their rivals. Along with being user-friendly, apps tend to remain relevant, load more quickly, and provide a direct line of contact with your customer base that allows for communication as well as collecting analytical data.
We’ve already hinted at this, but we’ll say it again. The key to a successful marketing campaign in 2019 can be summed up in a single word: adaptability. If you’re not willing to roll with the punches, you’re going to quickly be left behind. Therefore, it is worth taking the time to continually study what trends are dominating the markets — not just on a year-by-year basis.
For example, video marketing is no longer in the future; it’s in the present. In addition, online ads should be optimized for both voice and mobile searches. Website loading speeds should be closely monitored as well, as a small delay can mean countless lost visitors.
Even the concept of content marketing, creating valuable content that relates to your consumer base and isn’t just a quick sales pitch, can be a critical part of any business’s marketing plan. You can find an excellent breakdown of some of the most important marketing trends to watch in 2019 here.
Another element that has emerged in the ever-evolving marketing landscape is the use of micro-influencers — meaning those with thousands or tens of thousands of followers rather than millions — in order to help promote products. Often these micro-influencers can be persuaded to support a brand when they are shown a clear demonstration of core values and a bold willingness to stand by them. This is a trend that has been gaining steam over the last couple of years.
While taking a position on a political, social, or environmental issue could have been a risk to a company’s reputation and business in the past, a company that is willing to adopt a clear set of values and then publically stand by them is more likely to succeed in the current marketing climate.
Stay in Shape
Any fitness guru will tell you that maintaining a healthy exercise regimen is an excellent way to stay in shape. The same goes for your marketing as well. In the modern climate, a business can’t afford to check in on their marketing strategy every once in a while. Constant attention coupled with a willingness to adapt to changes is the best recipe for success that one can hope for as the e-commerce landscape continues to relentlessly evolve before our eyes.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her with any questions or suggestions.