Top E-Commerce Trends to Watch this Summer

Jun 21, 2022

The year 2021 marks a brand new era of retail and e-commerce.

We have all witnessed the massive shift away from physical retail ever since the emergence of COVID-19. Today, it is no longer a question of whether people are shopping online but rather, how frequently and how much they are making these purchases. From higher total sales to endless opportunities that are yet to be discovered, e-commerce will continue to advance in ways that would have appeared inconceivable before the pandemic.

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With the summer holidays fast approaching, businesses should review their e-commerce strategies to prepare for a potential e-commerce summer slump. To make things easier, we have compiled a list of the top e-commerce trends that might help brands maximize their sales. Let’s take a look!

Trend #1: Mobile Wallets Continue to Dominate Payments

Mobile wallets have revolutionized the global payments sector, allowing financial access for millions of previously excluded individuals. This type of payment method utilizes technology to consolidate a customer’s financial information into a single app and streamline the checkout process. The adoption of mobile wallets has outpaced that of credit cards in many growing markets around the world.

On top of the reduced cart abandonment and greater conversions owing to the smoother checkout process, digital wallet transactions are also safer and more secure than their counterparts. While pre-loaded payment credentials help enhance customer experience (and in turn customer satisfaction), technologies like encryption, tokenization, and device authentication are vital in ensuring greater peace of mind and confidence when purchasing from e-commerce stores.

According to eMarketer, in-store mobile payments usage grew by 29% last year in the United States alone, bringing the total number of contactless payment users to a whopping 92.3 million. The same report also revealed that the highest adoption rate was seen among younger consumers including millennials and Gen Z, with the former category accounting for around four out of ten mobile wallet users. In an era where digital wallets are increasingly common, merchants that have yet to implement contactless payments should take this as a nudge to consider them.

Trend #2: Big Data Plays a Role in Creating Personalized Experiences

With hyper-personalization becoming the standard, a one-size-fits-all approach is no longer sufficient to remain competitive in the retail space today. Instead, brands have realized the growing need for something called “e-commerce personalization”, which refers to the delivery of varied content experiences to different groups of customers. In other words, e-commerce personalization gathers data about the consumer base (e.g. purchase history, demographics) and segments them into groups. The information is then chosen and presented to respective segments accordingly, to create a more personable impression and improve the chances of a sale.

Brands that get personalization right have a lot to gain and here are just a few statistics that can support this: 

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from retailers that offer them personalized customer experiences.

  • 49% of shoppers have made impulse purchases after receiving a tailored customer experience.

  • 66% of customers say encountering content that is not would deter them from making a purchase.

Considering the potential impact of e-commerce personalization, it is a no-brainer for retailers to consider this strategy. One way to get started, according to Mckinsey, is to first “define a short list of high-impact use cases that are relevant to the consumer but not too complex to execute against.” It is also equally essential to find “the right external partner to help develop the personalization program” to accelerate the retailer’s progress towards results.

Trend #3: The Rise of Micro-Fulfillment Logistics 

As their name implies, micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs) are smaller than their regular warehouse counterparts. Taking up between 3,000 and 10,000 square feet of space on average, MFCs are purposefully located in smaller metropolitan places rather than on the outskirts of a city or in some other remote location. At its core, micro-fulfillment aspires to speed up the last-mile delivery by bringing the product closer to the consumer. Listed below are some of the benefits that this fulfillment strategy can provide to firms: 

  • Smooth out your supply chain: In recent years, we have all felt the effects of supply chain bottlenecks. Micro-fulfillment centers can provide a solution to these disturbances by speeding up delivery to customers.

  • Enhance competitiveness: Using MFCs to streamline delivery allows smaller e-commerce retailers to build stronger customer relationships and gain traction with customers who would otherwise go to Amazon or Walmart for same-day delivery.

  • Enhance customer satisfaction: Rapid delivery is now more than ever an important part of the whole customer experience. Meeting their expectations will go a long way toward increasing their overall satisfaction with the purchase.

  • Reduce shipping costs: Due to MFCs’ proximity to consumers, delivery distances are drastically shorter – and eliminated in the event of customer pickups.

Trend #4: Implementing a Dynamic Pricing Strategy  

A dynamic pricing strategy is a flexible pricing system in which prices for specific items or services are altered daily or several times each day in response to rival price movements and market trends. To boost margins and sales, a dynamic pricing approach uses changeable prices rather than fixed prices. The dynamic pricing model’s fundamental concept is to sell the same goods to different groups of customers at different prices. Many e-commerce businesses modify their prices based on a variety of circumstances, such as market price, seasons, competitors, and internal efforts like the launch of a new collection or the start of the outlet season.

First and foremost, dynamic pricing allows e-commerce stores to raise prices on products whose demand has increased, resulting in increased earnings and sales. Furthermore, it can respond to the competition by taking into account your customers’ buying habits to give a better experience at a lower cost than your competitors. Moreover, by introducing dynamic pricing, your company will gain from maintaining profitability. This gives you the freedom and flexibility to focus on other elements of your business. Finally, the use of a dynamic pricing approach allows for better inventory management. It aids in the provision of indirect inventory control by allowing you to offer discounts for overstocked products to reduce their numbers, or to charge a higher price for higher demand items to maintain the supply chain while generating more revenue.

Trend #5: A Greater Emphasis on Sustainability & Social Responsibility 

In e-commerce, environmental and sustainability consciousness has long been a trend. Online retailers have been pondering topics like corporate social responsibility and eco-friendly supply chain approaches for some time now to successfully address increasing demands for sustainability from their customers. Furthermore, consumers, particularly those who shop online frequently, are becoming more aware of the negative effects the e-commerce industry has on the environment, and they are desiring businesses that strive for global sustainability. According to a recent study, 57% of consumers are willing to change their shopping patterns to help lessen negative environmental impacts, and 71% are willing to pay a premium for brands that give traceability.

In line with this, many brands have begun to experiment with environmentally friendly and long-term sustainable techniques. Lush is a good example of this. Historically, the cosmetics industry has been associated with unethical activities, such as the use of chemicals and animal testing. Lush is at the sustainable end of the business, with 100 percent vegetarian, ethnically sourced products that are free of animal testing, following in the footsteps of firms like The Body Shop. 

To follow the sustainability goals, businesses can start with the little things such as offering sustainable shipping options. Furthermore, e-commerce businesses can optimize their waste management – by eliminating packaging waste – in addition to using sustainable and recyclable materials for packaging and choosing climate-neutral shipping options. Finally, companies should make an effort to handle deliveries and returns. You may, for example, divert your deliveries to a packing station to avoid several delivery efforts.

Looking Ahead

Adaptation is key to survival in an industry as fast-paced as e-commerce. With so much competition in the market, e-commerce stores should constantly keep up with the latest trends to differentiate themselves from their rival firms. Enjoy what you are reading? Check out the following trends pieces as well:

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