Top Trends in e-commerce in 2019

In 2019, global e-commerce sales are projected to reach $3.5 billion and 1.92 billion people are expected to shop online. You can bet that e-commerce giants like Amazon which ships 3 million packages a day and the Alibaba Group which ships four times that amount, are positioning themselves to take full advantage of to take advantage of these trends. But the reality is that every company – from industry leader to start-up – should be keeping abreast of e-commerce trends to avoid getting left behind. To help, here are four of the e-commerce top trends we can expect to see in 2019.

1. AR (Augmented Reality)

Consumers are fast developing a preference for experiencing products before they buy and AR allows them to do this anywhere, anytime. A good example of how AR has impacted the retail landscape is IKEA’s Place app, which uses AR to allow customers to see how furniture would look and fit in their homes; it can even give them a close-up view of the furniture’s colours and fabrics. IKEA is just one of many companies leaping onto the AR bandwagon to give their customers a fully immersive product experience.

2. Personalisation

In recent years e-commerce has steadily become more and more personalised and 2019 sees no end to that trend. David J. Katz, CMO of Randa Accessories, writes that online consumer data, often captured through Google searches and social media likes is allowing companies to better identify and cater to niche consumer communities. As an example, when online German sports retailer BILD invested in AI-driven targeting technology to give their shoppers a customised experience they increased their click-through rate (CTR) by 69% and achieved a 5X return on investment (ROI). But the catch is that as more and more customers come to expect personalisation, they’re less interested in recommendations or offers that are superficial and don’t offer any real value to their experience. One of the reasons why BILD’s efforts were ultimately successful is that they took great care to tailor their purchasing suggestions to their customers’ interests.

3. B2B e-commerce has arrived

For some, e-commerce is still synonymous Business to Consumer (B2C) transactions; we need only think of Amazon to get a picture of what those are like. However, that may soon change as 2019 looks to be the year of the Business to Business (B2B) e-commerce explosion. Worldwide B2B e-commerce sales are forecast to hit $6.6 trillion by 2020, surpassing B2C sales. The trend of increased personalisation is expected to bring benefits to this area as well. Many vendors are investing in new ways to build online relationships with clients, including using new online channels to reach them and new platforms to serve their specific needs.

4. Improved e-payments

Increased e-payment options empower consumers and consumers are only too happy to exercise their new options. Worldwide mobile payment revenue is expected to increase from US$450 billion in 2015 to over US$1 trillion in 2019. Companies, including banks, are exploring e-payment options ranging from established features like online banking and bill pay to newer tools like mobile wallets and buy-now-pay-later technology like FuturePay or zipPay.

The Baymard Institute estimates that 26% of online shoppers abandon their cart due to a complicated checkout process. A further 6% abandon carts because of limited payment options. The companies that can offer easy-to-use e-payment solutions today are much more likely to be the ones serving these consumers in the future.

All signs point to 2019 as another boom year for e-commerce. Companies that keep up with the latest trends and offer innovative e-commerce experiences will be best equipped to harness this potential.

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