e-Commerce Trends in 2020

Although consumer trends for 2020 are maybe too optimistic when juxtaposed with the impending recession and the turmoil created by COVID-19, we decided to dissect predictions that could potentially make an impact on how online commerce works. There are a lot of advancements that will forever change eCommerce, like PWA, 5G, or the increased trust in mobile. Data becomes the new power source. Privacy policies vary to reflect on the emergence of digital currencies cashless payment methods, which used to be a risky choice, but not anymore.

Going Mobile

In 2018, people downloaded apps close to 200 billion times. This number used to be a scientist’s recent prediction about the number of galaxies on our universe. It turned out that galaxies are much more – as will soon be the total app downloads.

Shopping apps are mounting the charts for most downloaded applications. And they are not even the only means companies have to offer paid products. There are the in-game purchases pioneered by Adidas (yes, in a video game), evolving possibilities enabled by the subtle but present power of cryptocurrencies, ad revenue through social networking, and more – just keep on reading.

Trends are usually the by-product of significant movements of funds. To predict 2020 trends with acceptable accuracy, we investigated how investments broke down in 2019. Mobile seems to head the charts, and there are more than just a few reasons to support this tendency. How about searching without typing – simply upload a picture of the product you need to explore.

Social Commerce

Mobile gets huge attention for quite a few reasons. People use mobile phones to shop and socialize, an average of close to two and a half hours a day! That’s plenty of time to check every single online friend or relative, even if they are close to a hundred. So, this leaves a lot of time for other activities, like shopping.

People prefer to interact with friends and buy stuff simultaneously, without changing modes or platforms, and on the go. This trend prompted Instagram to add a checkout option for its users. Smartphones are beginning to gain the power they are destined for, and investors are eager to catch the up-drift and reap the benefits.

Social commerce is becoming the shortest distance between merchandise and consumers. And people appreciate when their journey from point A to B is a short one.

The benefit of social commerce comes from the fact providers don’t need to spend too much energy to engage potential customers. In essence, potential customers are already involved in intense interaction, and all marketers need to do is intercept that flow and make a conversion.

The potential for social networks in commerce is immense – social network users are rising in numbers and are now over three times as much as they used to be back in 2010 when they passed the 1 billion mark.

Mobile payments

Speaking of conversion rates, the low increase of conversion rates on mobile devices worries investors who are firm believers that portable devices are the future. They also trust that mobile payments will increase in 2020 and will solidify portable devices as a trusted link to payment options.

Mobile payments use rate is lagging the rate mobile phone use increases, mainly because of the technical difficulties accompanying mobile payments in the past. But that’s no longer the case – mobiles are slowly but steadily becoming the reliable method for safe and comfortable purchases.

Payments through mobile also have some less distinct advantages. For example, mobile wallets prevent the vendors from seeing their customers’ credit card numbers, and even if the user loses their device, there are recovery options like a safety PIN or fingerprint.

When it comes to the rate mobile transaction get more popular, Asia is leading ahead of the Western World, with super apps like Alipay or WeChat.

PWA

Because PWA relates to mobiles with the same intensity hydrogen atoms bond with oxygen to form water, any mobile tech takes a leading role in huge potential investment and consequent success.

PWA enjoys increased exposure, and they are not even in a mature state. We suspect progressive apps to take over the world by storm soon.

Progressive apps are not eating from the plate of mobile apps. Ecommerce operates in a broad area, allowing for both techs to coexist, without either of them diminishing the influence or profit potential of one another.

The idea behind PWAs is not about making mobile apps but use the highly customized look and flow of native apps, and made it all work on mobile, without compromising user experience or security levels.

Machine Learning

2020 can be the year of AI for commerce. Machine learning picked up in popularity, especially after its undeniable contribution to increased ROI.

Consumer Expectations / CX

Today’s eCommerce is no longer about the high quality offered at a low price. Consumers put a more excellent value on quality time. An enjoyable shopping experience seems to matter more than product placement or discounts.

Customer experience on mobile, for example, is about personalization, so ultimately, no two individuals will have the same experience while using the same app.

Product presentation / VR / Content Marketing

Content marketing is more important than ever. Accurate product description paired with versatile product pictures, preferably taken from multiple angles, is best. People want to touch and feel the products even though they could be thousands of miles away from them. That’s why technologies like VR are making an unprecedented impact. Virtual Reality is now only in an infant state, and what the future holds for this tech can only be left to the imagination. But the truth is, there is a prominent place for it in the coming years.

Product quality

Some companies are having real trouble covering costs for returned items. With a customer-focused policy taking place, it is easy to imagine how people can lay on the traditionalized “or-your-money-back.” They do like to get their money back. They will want to try that other product they thought about getting, right before they purchased yours and saw the return policy.

For unfortunate companies like these, product quality is king. Product presentation has to be extremely accurate, or else you risk losing more than your reputation.

Content Marketing

High-quality content is what customers want, and if they don’t get it, they go somewhere else – this is the lesson that will soundly transition in 2020. Pretty revealing factor highlighting the importance of content marketing is the fact that half the internet users are using adblocking software. People hate seeing things they didn’t choose for themselves.

Content has always been hard for management. The bound between intelligent persuasion and pure annoyance has never been thinner. In a world where people get information not by seeking it but rather filtering the unnecessary junk, it’s become increasingly important to use content in the most targeted and thought-out way possible.

AI

AI looks like it will be the top trend for eCommerce, not necessarily because it addresses core needs in commerce per se. The overall potential for AI-based solutions in most industries and sectors remains immense. In eCommerce, AI has a significant impact, especially when crossed with Big Data. In Big Data, power increases with time. It has dropped in popularity recently, but that’s due to the unexciting nature of a steady but slow collection of data for analysis.

AI makes it possible for aiding marketers in interpreting customer behavior and using algorithms to automate that analysis. In 2020, some predictions claim that most of all customer interaction with the platform will take place without the need for human participation.

Smart AI solutions directly address issues with reduced bounce rates and increased conversion. For example, AI can facilitate personalized home screen where people can only see what they want to see; or customized search results, so clients don’t have to scroll and browse through an infinite number of items.

AI can also help group products by visually similar features like shapes and colors. If people are interested in an item that has a particular form and look, related elements are likely also to grab their attention.

How about using artificial intelligence to send personalized emails to customers, complementing their preferences, style, and needs? For things that are necessary but humanly impossible, AI comes to a big rescue. One of our strongest traits here at CodeCoda is AI. Do you want to know how to apply it to your line of business? Send us a message.

Cryptocurrencies

Only a year or two ago, investors were very reluctant towards cryptocurrencies, but more people are comfortable with this tech now, and its potential is bound to launch high.

Presently, there are close to two billion people without easy access to essential banking services. With only 5% of the population using them now, their near future seems promising, especially after some areas internalizing them as the preferred payment method.

Cryptocurrencies are looming around the corner and are still the best alternative to the traditional state-controlled funds and all the adverse effects attached. They hold the potential to become a massive increase in global eCommerce revenue. The biggest current holders of crypto funds are South Africa, Thailand, and Indonesia.

One of the game changers surely is the new currency started by Facebook. Although crypto will always carry some hint of dogma, Libra has potentially granted by the logic of crypto and is already part of the reason why China is now a big player in cryptocurrency after initially banning it in late 2017.

Security

With all the recent changes the way commerce operates, vendors need to review the safety of all the variables like the technology used, shipping, logistics, and user behavior. The interactive nature of how these factors relate to each other pose new problems from a security point of view.

While online transactions get more natural to use — from the perspective of both vendors and spenders — there is a great need to bundle such improvements with the utmost security measures. We quickly learn that the level of trust in customers is very detrimental to how likely they are to return and spend more money.

As a general rule, the easier the process, the more chances there are for a fault. For example, using biometric verification on checkout makes it very easy for the client, but also to potential hackers, who now have one more option for breach attempts.

Cybersecurity is the main factor for building trust in customers, and without it, making a loyal client base seems like an impossible achievement.

Conclusion

eCommerce big influencers now are AI, Social Commerce, PWA, and Mobile Apps, but the game changers AR, VR, and Crypto are lucrative new prospects for significant investments in 2020.

Author

Andreas Maier, CEO

Andreas is a result-oriented CEO who brings nearly 30 years of experience gained in the high-tech industry. His experience ranges up to leading positions in Fortune 100 companies such as rentalcars.com (PCLN) or Intrasoft International, a leading EU based R&D software vendor. He holds a Ph.D. in Neural Networks from the University of Cologne, Germany.
In the past Andreas has successfully founded and co-founded several startups among others XXL Cloud Inc., eShopLeasing Ltd, and WDS Consulting SA. His expertise is strongly focused on modern headless Commerce and the optimization of processes in IT ecosystems.