When the COVID-19 outbreak started, most of us were locked inside our houses because of the government-mandated lockdown. Most retail stores had to shut down their doors. That resulted in a surge in eCommerce sales. The sales figures of some eCommerce businesses shot up by almost 60% within the first few weeks of lockdown. Amazon recorded a hike of 35% within a month after the government-mandated lockdown.
There is no doubt that the market is shifting. Even though the overall sales of eCommerce websites have gone up, there has been a change in market behavior. The sale of certain types of products has gone down drastically, whereas some others have seen a sudden boom in demand. Average order values have also seen different trends in different markets. In some places, the average order value has gone up by more than 30%. Here are the highest and lowest selling categories of products on eCommerce post the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Entertainment product sales have gone up by up to 234%.
- Stationery and hobby product sales have gone up by 206%.
- Food and drink sales have increased by 161%.
- Consumer b electronics sales have increased by 143%.
- The automotive industry has gone down by 4%.
- Fashion commodity sales have decreased by 17%.
The pandemic has given rise to several new consumer and product trends in the eCommerce industry. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the top eCommerce Trends of 2020 as predicted by experts.
Augmented reality (AR) has helped in closing the gap between retail stores and the eCommerce industry to a great extent. Most people missed the opportunity to see and try a product while shopping. With the help of AR, people can see what they would look like wearing a dress or a set of glasses. People can also see other commodities such as furniture or consumer electronics in 3D and use AR kits to visualize hope they would look inside their house. It is predicted that by the end of 2020, more than 100 million customers would be used to AR and its use every day. Most people say that they are less likely to visit a brick and mortar store if they can use AR on mobile devices.
More and more people are using Google assistant, Siri, and Alexa to aid their day to day activities, including online shopping. It saves them time from having to browse through products, and they can do all that while working in the house. People are also using voice searches to order food from their favorite restaurants.
The increasing use of AI by users and companies has made it a growing eCommerce trend for eCommerce during the pandemic. Retainers are using AI for various aspects of a business, such as assisting online customers, enhancing their shopping experience, and even providing services for better customer experience. Ecommerce businesses are also using AI to gather customer data and formulate various KPIs.
Online stores use chatbots to enhance its customer service experience. Most businesses have realized that the future of customer service is via text and not voice. Most millennials and gen z customers prefer typing over speaking, which makes chatbots a preferable way of speaking to a customer service executive. Chatbots can deal with the initial and common queries, which reduce the need for customer service executives. According to studies, more than 60% of customers prefer chatbots over other means of customer service.
Mobile apps are the future of eCommerce platforms. Most users prefer shopping on the go, and very few customers like to sit in front of a computer to shop online. Mobile applications can provide ease of access, better product recommendations, and a smoother interface. Another emerging trend in mobile shopping is the use of Progressive Web Apps (PWA). These apps can be used through any web browsers and save a user from the hassle of downloading and installing a separate mobile app for each eCommerce business.
Since the advent of COVID-19, many retailers had to shut their doors forever. All. These retailers do not have the resources to create e-commerce sites for themselves. Therefore they are choosing to work with eCommerce and tech giants such as Amazon on a B2B platform. According to experts, B2B transactions are expected to reach more than $1 trillion by 2021.
Ever since the outbreak of the virus, people have become aware that they cannot take the planet for granted anymore. More and more customers are becoming conscious about sustainability. They are showing preference to eCommerce brands that are promoting sustainable options, such as biodegradable packaging, fair trade sourcing, paperless transactions, recyclable options, so on and so forth. Promoting sustainability on an e-commerce website also helps the site’s traffic and conversion rates.
The current eCommerce trends during the COVID-19 pandemic have not only created changes in the business and customer behavior, but they have made irreversible changes to business operations too. Since automated systems and artificial intelligence are taking care of most of the processing jobs, employees are shifting their focus to better customer service and relations.