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If you have an eCommerce business, then I’m sure you’ll want to know the latest trends driving the industry this year. So we came up with the biggest trends for 2019 as well as tips for how you can make sure you’re keeping up with your competitors – and exceeding them!
According to a recent study, 82% of customers expect an immediate response to a sales question, so it should come as no surprise that chatboxes are becoming more and more popular. As an online store owner, it’s not possible for you to be up at all hours, so having a chatbox makes it possible for you to answer questions without having to forego sleep or hire more employees. You can pre-set templates for basic conversations to answer those questions that get over and over. Here at Website Tips & Tutorials, we recommend going with ActiveChat. They have a visual chatbox builder that should make it easier if you don’t want to use lots of coding to get started (but if you are a seasoned designer, there are advanced tools you can use to customize it). You can use it on multiple channels (such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Whatsapp, etc.) so you’ll be able to interact with potential customers who find you via different channels. It works well with Shopify and WooCommerce, too. And it’s a lot cheaper than hiring someone else to answer questions for your customers.
2. Automated Inventory Management
If you run an eCommerce website, then you know the last thing you want to do is cancel an order. Since customers expect their questions be answered right away, then I don’t think I have to tell you that they expect if they buy something, that product will be in stock. But you can’t and shouldn’t send all your time counting inventory. So it’s not a surprise that a lot of eCommerce sites are now using some sort of automated inventory management system – and you should be, too. At Website Tips & Tutorials, we recommend using TradeGecko, a wonderful inventory management software that integrates well with WooCommerce, Shopify, etc.
In addition to wanting their questions answered quickly and accurate inventory numbers, customers also want an experience they can make their own. And what I mean by that is that customers today want to be able to have a say in designing their products. Let’s take, for example, these Super Hero/Dr. Who cell phone cases sold on Ebay. You get to choose the characters and the color, so in a way, it’s like you’re getting to design your cell phone case. And, depending on the product, you can allow customers to customize even farther beyond that. You can do this easily with WooCommerce, BigCommerce and Shopify eCommerce stores.
4. Personalized Experience
In addition to being able to customize their products to make the product “them”, customers also like an overall personalized experience. This is one thing that, in the past, brick-and-mortar stores always had over online stores. If you go into the same store a lot, then the sales associates can get to know you, greet you by name, start recommending things that you would like, etc. – things that feel good and personal and could make you more loyal to the actual store and less likely to seek out an online store instead. But, luckily for online stores, there are ways that online stores can make an experience more personalized for customers. For one, there are ways you can do product recommendations now so that customers can get recommendations without having a sales person do it; here’s how to do in Weebly, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.
5.Mobile First Design
In addition to customers now wanting items personalized and wanting real time inventory counts and customer service, customers are also going on your website from your mobile phone; over half of internet traffic now comes from mobile phones. So not only are the days when mobile design was an afterthought, but eCommerce websites are now being designed with the mobile first design in mind. In fact, if you have a WooCommerce store, you could consider changing your theme to the this WooCommerce Mobile Progressive Web App theme so that it will look better on phones (and be a lot faster, too!).
Since 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after they watch a video about it, it’s not surprising that more and more ecommerce stores are utilizing videos in their product pages and not just pictures. If you want to up your video game to improve your product pages to help make sales (and keep up with your competitors!), check out this deal for the video editing software we use and these great prices for cameras.
7. Interactive Product Visualization
Another reason customers in the past might prefer a traditional brick and mortar store is that some people like to really see a product before they buy it – and this is made it even easier with modern technology. With 3D prototypes or even virtual reality, people can really see products in a realistic way as if they actually had the product right in front of them. So it’s no surprise that interactive product visualization can help increase sales. You could take videos like this, too, for your store with a good camera, such as the Insta360 ONE X 360 Action Camera.
8. Social Shopping
A big trend in eCommerce is selling not just through your store but through social media channels as well. You can sell on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. This is made easier if you use Shopify, BigCommerce, 3DCart, WooCommerce (like the WooCommerce Instagram Plugin, Facebook for WooCommerce, etc.) for your eCommerce store.
9. More Global eCommerce
Another trend in 2019 is the growth of the global eCommerce market, specifically in Asia. So it’s important if you have an eCommerce you have a Chatbox like I mentioned earlier to answer questions at all answers, you can do international shipping, etc.
10. Ethical Online Stores
Another trend that eCommerce stores are experiencing is a rise of customers who want their purchases to be more than just purchases; they want them to matter ethically. There are customers who feel better about making a purchase decision if they feel like what they’re buying and what they’re spending money on can help something or someone. A couple of ways you can use this for your business would be if you use WooCommerce, consider switching web hosts to one of these web hosts if you don’t already use them, and then mention on your website how your web host is one of the most environmentally friendly web hosts (for example, with GreenGeeks, all WooCommerce hosting account usage is offset by 300% in renewable energy credits – and they are great at hosting WordPress websites, we go into detail why you should host a WordPress website with GreenGeeks here).