In 1995, Amazon sold its first book online. It’s safe to say things have changed a bit since then.
Just 25 years later, ecommerce accounts for three-quarters of all retail growth. Global sales are expected to approach $4 billion in 2020. However, although ecommerce is well established, it’s still evolving. Here are some of the most significant ecommerce trends expected this year.
More than half of all ecommerce purchases are made on a mobile device, and that number will only increase. Millennials and Gen Z grew up with computers and the Internet. They make the majority of ecommerce purchases, and most use their mobile device to do so. As Baby Boomers and Gen X grow older and the newer generation moves into adulthood, ecommerce will become more and more mobile-based. Ecommerce businesses are giving a lot of attention to optimizing the user experience when using a phone or tablet.
It’s estimated that 75% of American households will have a smart speaker by 2025. These devices do more than tell you the weather and play your favorite song; more and more people are using them to search for and purchase products. Amazon, Google, and Apple have all entered the game, and the technology now allows you to use them on your mobile device and even while driving your car.
More than half of digital consumers say that environmental concerns influence what they buy and don’t buy. Green is king, and ecommerce companies must ensure that their business practices are environmentally friendly. Online shoppers want to know about everything from the sourcing of materials to packaging, and their choices are often driven by sustainable practices.
Online shoppers don’t want to hassle with a lengthy, multi-step checkout process. They want a quick, easy way to make a purchase after they’ve chosen a product, and if the procedure becomes lengthy or difficult, many will just abandon their cart. After they’ve selected the products they want, a couple of clicks is all it should take to complete the transaction. To facilitate this, more and more ecommerce businesses are accepting e-wallet options such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Venmo, and PayPal.
For each of the past five years, ecommerce subscriptions have grown by 100 percent. From shaving and skin care products to makeup to recipe cards, online businesses are finding that subscription-based models maintain a healthy customer base and provide a steady revenue stream. But instead of just receiving the expected box in the mail each month, customers want options and flexibility built in — such as automated product recommendations, rotating offers, and the ability to easily skip, pause, or cancel subscription items. Ecommerce customers are becoming more accustomed to the idea, and subscription services and monthly payment options will most certainly increase in the coming year.