Starting an online business from scratch without knowing what trends dictate the industry could be a big mistake. Sure, you still need to take that first step and actually get the business going before you look into more intricate stuff, but having more information is a good thing, particularly when it comes to making money.
The ecommerce industry continues to grow, and this growth has increased even more when the global pandemic hit us. Now, even more people do their shopping online.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, memorize these trends and implement them into your business when appropriate. Failing to do so could lead to losing customers because other brands that have adapted to the changes will have an advantage over you.
Trend #1 – Print on Demand Merchandise
The demand for custom merchandise is high these days. Some of the product examples include print-on-demand mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, phone cases, face masks, and calendars.
But how is this relevant for ecommerce? Well, you could use POD products to promote your brand. For instance, have your employees wear custom t-shirts with your brand elements when they are participating in live events.
Or, you could include custom merchandise as complimentary gifts to your most loyal customers.
Trend #2 – Dropshipping Business Model
The dropshipping model seems to be the go-to option for entrepreneurs. According to Printify, 27% of global online retailers have adopted dropshipping in 2018, and the number has grown even more since then.
It seems that having an option to focus on customer service instead of shipping the products and dealing with the inventory problems is too good to pass.
Whether you want to adopt the dropshipping business model depends on your idea, but you should keep the pros of dropshipping and cons of other models when making a decision.
Trend #3 – Micro-Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing should be quite obvious, but not all brands want to work with micro-influencers. They believe that micro-influencers are not worth the time and money because they do not have that many followers.
Well, if someone has fewer followers on social media than A-tier celebrities, it does not mean that you should ignore them.
If anything, micro-influencers are more valuable because they are easier to collaborate with, are cheaper, and have a better overall engagement rate.
Therefore, the next time you plan your new digital marketing strategy, do not overlook micro-influencers.
Trend #4 – Voice Ecommerce
Voice search is no longer something you will find in science fiction. More and more stores are implementing features that let people show using their voices. The gimmick is convenient as you do not need to bother entering keywords with your hands.
Besides, voice search is a good addition because there are people with disabilities who can only do their shopping with their voice. Missing voice search is a big deal, and you should look to add it to your online business as soon as possible.
Trend #5 – Emphasis on Customer Experience
Do not think that your customer support department is all there is about customer experience. Sure, it helps a lot if you have someone available to respond to customer questions 24/7. However, that is not enough.
Besides having a customer support team working round the clock, you should also have a detailed FAQ page. After all, some customers prefer to find the information themselves and do not want to bother with customer support.
Trend #6 – Product Customization
Advanced customization may not be available for some niches, but if you have the option, do not limit the available product choices.
For example, if your store sells clothes, let customers customize more than just the color. Add different fonts and even something like visual effects. Giving customers more product customization options is a good way to stand out from other online stores that sell similar products.
Trend #7 – Machine Learning
Machine learning continues to advance, and it is only a matter of time before we will see chatbots replace real people who work in customer support. As a business owner, you can save money by investing in chatbots that immediately respond to customer questions.
Besides chatbots, machine learning also helps with collecting and processing data. Be it customer behavior or competition analysis – checking vast amounts of data manually is quite challenging and should be left to computers instead.
Trend #8 – Social Media Ecommerce
You may have noticed how some social media platforms have implemented features to sell products directly on them rather than posting links that redirect to a store landing page. Facebook is a good example.
You have an option to sell products directly on your wall or post product pictures and advertise them on relevant groups. However, the implementation of social media ecommerce has made it more convenient to leverage your followers and offer them products directly on social media.