Statista previously projected global eCommerce sales to total $740 billion by the year 2023. However, Digital Commerce 360 reported that 2019 is on track to close at around $3.46 trillion.

It's clear the Internet has no shortage of eCommerce trends, statistics and forecasts. But as the new decade dawns, the data is being tested as the industry flourishes like never expected.

According to an eCommerce trends eBook released by Adobe, the number of customers that prefer a digital buying experience is outpacing the forecasts in an “unrelenting” manner. The report — "The future is here. The future is customer-driven. The future is now." — highlights how the industry has matured beyond its years. Using a culmination of what is known about eCommerce trends up to this point, it also serves as a blueprint for the future success of online merchants. In particular, sustainability, convenience, trust and efficiency are cited as areas to take to heart. Here are a few strategies merchants can begin working on today.

 

1. Prioritize personalized omnichannel experiences

omnichannel eCommerce graphic

Personalization is all about following a customer’s journey through every step of their path to purchase and tailoring an experience that is unique to them. In the past, eCommerce centered around products and prices. Today, eCommerce trends show success is tied more to the customer than what is being offered. A positive customer experience lies at the core of what shoppers want and expect. When personalized brand interactions are lacking, data shows shoppers are much more likely to jump ship.

What does personalization look like? For starters, relevance. Consider the way Netflix provides recommendations to subscribers based on the content they have already consumed. Taking it a step further, did you know the streaming service also personalizes the thumbnail images that are displayed for movies and shows? For example, a person who enjoys action flicks will be presented with thumbnails containing more action-packed scenes. This is a top-of-class example of how artificial intelligence (AI) is being used for personalization. While demographics and basic behavioral targeting have proved successful for many eCommerce businesses up to this point, Adobe says methods that stem from AI will lead the way moving forward.

Another way online retailers can achieve an enhanced sense of personalization is by focusing on an omnichannel approach that surrounds each customer with seamless messaging regardless of the channel (email, instant messaging, mobile, social media or in-person).

 

2. Take sustainability seriously

ecommerce sustainability

According to Adobe's eBook, sustainability is among the most important eCommerce trends to pay attention to. Eighty-seven percent of consumers see companies in a more positive light when they show support for social and environmental issues. As such, “ethical eCommerce” and “corporate social responsibility” are new buzzwords that are seeping into the retail space.

Recommerce (short for "reverse commerce") is another term that is gaining popularity. It refers to companies that sell previously owned products. Subscription-based product rental is also becoming more popular as recommerce takes hold.

Canadian company Kanuk is cited as a brand that is doing social accountability right. The company designs winter coats that are made from down (the protective outer covering of ducks). The down is sourced from free-range establishments where the birds are “carefully monitored to ensure their health and wellbeing.” Kanuk also makes it a point to let customers know about its efforts on its packaging and digital channels.

Tech software company Salesforce is another well-known environmentally conscious company. In 2019, it unveiled its Sustainability Cloud that helps businesses with setting and meeting environmental goals. The software provides a way to track, analyze and report environmental data that can be used to help reduce carbon emissions and promote environmental health.

Here are a few ways Adobe says companies can adapt to an eco-friendly model:

  • Reduce and/or reformulate packaging and ingredients.
  • Revamp the supply chain and/or suppliers.
  • Diversify the product and/ or vendor portfolio.
  • Update and/or change existing business models.
  • Integrate sustainability into consumer touchpoints and marketing.
  • Allow customers to opt into minimizing paper and packaging waste on delivery and returns during checkout.

 

3. Position yourself at the forefront of digital innovation

ecommerce innovation graphic

Ecommerce brands that want to thrive in the coming decade should be prepared to incorporate visual search and voice technology, according to Adobe. Target and ASOS are brands that are already leveraging visual search and image recognition. They allow customers to upload photos of items and, in response, show them offerings that are similar to what they are looking for.

Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) are also expected to take off in 2020. PWAs look and function like smartphone applications, however, they are accessed through a mobile browser. This eliminates the need to download a separate mobile application while still providing benefits like a sleek look and fast load times. PWAs are gaining popularity at a time when Adobe says companies can no longer get away with lagging speeds. "Blazing-fast mobile experiences" are an eCommerce trend merchants must adhere to, Adobe said. 

Headless eCommerce is also expected to become more of a norm. It separates the front- and back-end systems, which allows merchants to develop features and apps (including PWAs) themselves. The technology gives teams the advanced digital architecture they need to improve customer experience without waiting on developers. Thus, they are able to deliver improved agility, flexibility and performance as ideas come to mind. This freedom to implement change translates into faster eCommerce growth.

 

Ecommerce trends: More of what’s coming

Adobe’s report is an asset to online retail brands everywhere. It provides a detailed, comprehensive look at eCommerce trends that merchants can leverage to stay ahead of the curve.

Here are a few more things to expect as innovation in eCommerce continues.

  • B2B brands are expected to move to a digital-first model.
  • Logistics will likely evolve to a place where driverless cars deliver goods with no human necessary.
  • Eye-catching micro animations (think gifs) are expected to become more common in brand communication.

 

Why trust Adobe as a leader in eCommerce trends?

As online sales far surpass predictions year after year, web merchants are relishing in a roaring opportunity. Adobe is a forward-thinking tech giant that continues to transform with digital demands. It created the Adobe Commerce Cloud, which powers the leading-class Magento eCommerce platform. Through its cloud-based software, Adobe offers a flexible, scalable eCommerce solution that provides a large toolbox of resources to users. Because Magento is part of the Adobe catalog, it pairs nicely with Adobe’s analytics cloud, marketing cloud and advertising cloud.

Do you want to learn more about how Magento can help you grow your eCommerce business in 2020 and beyond? Schedule time on our calendar for a risk-free complimentary consultation with an eCommerce expert.