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3 trends shaping the future of e-commerce

Only 25% of the world population is currently buying online. That’s just the tip of the iceberg and e-commerce is a secular trend that will continue to rapidly evolve.

3 Minutes, 48 Seconds

By Luca Cartechini

It will likely come as no surprise to you that “businesses have dealt with more change in the last two years than in the previous two decades,” according to Shopify’s The Future of Commerce Trend Report 2022

Despite the end of the pandemic, it’s clear that e-commerce is a secular trend and will continue to grow significantly over the years.

Today’s businesses are feeling the effects of rising costs, consumer confidence dips, and geopolitical shifts, e-commerce brands are called to be agile and adaptable — ready to embrace heightened customer expectations, as well as ever-developing digital innovations. 

Here are just a few of the key consumer and tech trends we’re keeping an eye on… or already taking part in. 

#1: Refined customer experiences, especially via personalization

We’ve been talking about ecommerce personalization for a while now. 

It’s well-documented that drawing on unique consumer data (like demographics, shopping habits and purchase history), can boost conversion rates by 10% to 15%, and is even more likely to improve customer satisfaction (20%). 

But increasingly, we’re seeing more and more people demand that the personalization of their online shopping experience be further refined. Similar to the fairytale, “Goldilocks and the three bears,” they want just the right amount of personalization. 

“Including too much personal data in customized communication can make consumers feel stalked by brands,” says the Shopify report, so don’t go overboard. 

They do want relevant recommendations they wouldn’t have thought of themselves, sales messages delivered at times when they’re in a “shopping mode” and reminders about things they care about (like a back-in-stock notification), according to McKinsey

Luckily for Shopify stores, the add-ons you need to enhance customer experience can be found amongst the platform’s independent ecosystem of over 8000 applications. For instance, they can implement a tagging app that tracks a buyer’s order details, and then automatically triggers actions that enable personalization. 

#2: (Ethical) access and utilization of customer data 

In order to personalize a shopper’s experience, you need to know information specific to them and/or their demographic, which is why consumer data is so crucial. 

But once again, refinements are required. 

Privacy regulations related to the gathering and use of personal data, are popping up all over the world. It’s incredibly important that both tech developers and retail businesses respect customer demands for privacy — because it’s both the right thing to do and it builds trust. (All Shop Circle apps are GDPR compliant, for the record). 

Since data-gathering methods like third-party cookies are set to be phased out by the end of 2022, we have to turn to more compliant data options, such as:

  • Synthetic data, which is created by an algorithm, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate predictions about consumer behavior and needs, by extrapolating from real-world datasets  

#3: Ongoing development and adoption of “utility” applications

We’ve already touched on a few apps that can support the growth goals of online stores, as they develop future-facing ecommerce strategies.  

In the tech sphere, there are always new and exciting developments that further the online shopping experience for customers, as well as aid merchants who seek to improve operations and increase sales. 

Right now, we’re seeing a lot of interest in “utility” applications, which help digital brands fulfill functional needs and tend to generate direct returns for them. 

There seems to be high demand currently for Shopify apps that support:

  • Merchandising: These would be tools that assist with subscriptions, product management, discounts and ensuring items for sale are strategically displayed to shoppers, in ways that encourage them to hit the “buy” button. 
  • Conversion: Then of course, there are a variety of apps that help propel a prospective customer past the finish line (completing a purchase), such as: email marketing, product reviews and referrals, as well as loyalty programs
  • Shipping and delivery: Finally, once a package is ready to go, there are a growing number of tools that can help facilitate smooth shipping and delivery experiences, making sure your product gets into the hands of a customer quickly and efficiently.

The expansive Shopify app ecosystem may seem like a complex (perhaps overwhelming?) resource by which to customize your online store. 

But with the right support and tools helping you stay current, you can truly enhance every element of your operations and create refined customer experiences, enabling your brand to thrive in the next phase of digital retail — whatever that future may hold.

The Shop Circle Suite

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