eCommerce development is an ongoing process that aims to perfect the customer journey and optimise internal operations at the same time. Online shopping is convenient for everyone: customers save time and money, and businesses can reach a wider customer base and provide a seamless experience fueled by data analysis and a personalised approach.
Customer experience and an optimal customer journey are at the heart of eCommerce. To make sure it’s truly seamless, businesses have to keep a keen eye on the latest technology trends and adapt those that work for them. Based on the latest statistics and data gathered over the last few years, we bring you five eCommerce development trends that will shape the year 2020.
#1 Product Content Syndication Fuels eCommerce Development
Consistent content and information on all services and products across all platforms is one of the most important eCommerce development trends for 2020. Today’s consumers are well versed in online research, so consistency is key to keep the sales going. They want an omnichannel experience and you need to deliver it.
All your images, descriptions, and specifications should have the same look and feel across all platforms and websites. Product content syndication software solutions can make the process of product content distribution quicker, reduce time to market, and give you access to channel-tailored product catalogues, which will eliminate running costs and revenue losses.
#2 Chatbots Are Becoming a Vital Part of eCommerce Development
Chatbots are already proven to be a valuable asset in the overall customer journey, and they will continue to be heavily featured in the upcoming eCommerce development trends. So it’s only natural that they will become a critical feature adopted by all types of businesses.
When chatbots started being implemented, it seemed a bit odd at the beginning to send queries to a robot. But now, this has become the preferred way to get additional information about products or services. According to HubSpot, more than 57% of consumers are interested in chatbots because they offer instant access to information.
This instant access improves the customer journey, ensures a smooth experience, and eliminates long waiting times to get basic information from customer support. When you combine this with the fact that most customers prefer to connect via live chat than by other means, it’s no wonder that chatbots are here to stay.
#3 eCommerce Development Moving Towards Standardised Online Payment Processes
One eCommerce development trend that will soon change the way we handle online payments is coming straight from W3C. They are preparing Web Payments, a completely new way to finish up the checkout process.
Up until this point, every time a customer ordered goods from a new online store, they had to fill in the required information – name, address, credit card details – every time. Current solutions on how to circumvent this process include saving that information to browsers but was far from ideal.
W3C realized the only way to streamline payments is to develop a web standard for them. Web Payments will include various payment systems, and will work seamlessly not just with any browser, but also on any device, with every payment service provider and for all existing payment methods.
Users will always see a familiar interface during the checkout process, which will ensure a streamlined experience across all devices. What does this mean for businesses specifically? Well, for one thing, it will be much easier to set up different payment options and offer them to customers.
#4 eCommerce Development Shifts Towards Augmented Reality to Close the Gaps
With advancements in augmented reality, it is quickly becoming one of the leading eCommerce development trends in the last few years. A picture of a product might say a thousand words, but seeing how it would look like in the real world is something completely different.
Augmented reality is showing huge potential for eCommerce specifically. It can help consumers visualise their purchases. Augmented reality technology uses sensory devices, like cell phone cameras, to modify just one part of the environment. Pokemon Go is a perfect example of a highly successful AR app that let users interact with Pokemon in the real world.
By using the same principle, an eCommerce business that deals with furniture can use AR to help customers see how various furniture pieces would look in their apartment. IKEA is one of the brands that lets customers use AR to see how their furniture collection would look in their home.
AR is already being used by some makeup companies to let users try different makeup products and looks, and see which colours and shades look best. In this particular case, AR makes the shopping experience even better than testing different products in the real world, as it completely eliminates applying and removing makeup when testing products.
If your eCommerce offers products that users need to visualise in the real world, it might not be a bad idea to invest in building an AR app that helps them decide which products would look best.
#5 Voice Search Is Becoming Mainstream
Voice-activated digital assistants will play a huge part in eCommerce development in 2020. Voice search has experienced a rise in popularity thanks to assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google. In 2018, voice search was already as popular as using search engine apps when performing searches.
The main reason voice search is popular is because it’s easier and more convenient to use, and it can be used while otherwise busy (like when driving), meaning it eliminates typing in search queries onto the phone or browser. The rising popularity of voice assistants and smart devices will heavily influence SEO and marketing trends to shift towards a completely different set of keywords and phrases. One thing marketers will have to focus on is user intent – voice search makes it much easier to figure it out because of the way people are asking questions when using voice assistants.
The future of eCommerce development will be more omnichannel, automated, and focused on emerging technologies than before, with AR, chatbots, and voice search completely changing the customer journey. Businesses will have to adopt these new technologies quickly if they wish to remain competitive.