2018 was in many ways a revolutionary year for e-commerce, where online sales kept rising. But what will shape the e-commerce industry in 2019? We have looked into the crystal ball and will give you our take on five upcoming trends.
#1 E-commerce will keep growing – especially on mobile devices
In 2018, online sales reached new heights in North America. E-commerce sales grew by 16 % in 2018 to over $500 billion. Inarguably online shopping has proven that it is here to stay. Especially one factor is responsible for the growing online sales. Now more than ever, the consumers are using their smartphones for online purchases. In Denmark, 54 % of the shoppers have made an online mobile purchase.
Based on these results we predict that the online sales for 2019 will keep growing – including mobile purchases that will be utilized even more. If you own an e-commerce site, it is, therefore, important to optimize the mobile customer experience.
#2 Optimizing inventory management processes
Warehouse management is a well-known challenge in today’s retail. Without sufficient insight into inventory, supply chain, and processes, stores may lose sales due to missing items in the warehouse. The lack of overview affects the overall customer experience. If a customer wishes to buy a product of a certain size or color and the item is out of stock, the store not only losses sales but also customer satisfaction. Therefore, it is crucial that omnichannel retailers can be sure that a product sold in the brick-and-mortar store will not be sold again on the web store.
For 2019 we expect customers to increase their demands to omnichannel retailing. If a customer cannot immediately get his or her wish fulfilled in the web store or physical store, the customer will go elsewhere. To create a true omnichannel experience, it is necessary to count inventory more often, faster and much more accurately.
#3 Delivery as a differentiator
With an e-commerce industry in rapid growth and development, it has become harder for e-commerce sites to differentiate themselves from the many players on the online retail market. A report from FDIH shows, that the four biggest competitive differentiators for e-commerce sites are related to delivery. They are as follows:
- More delivery options
- Free delivery
- Delivery in certain time periods
- Express delivery
Therefore, we expect that e-commerce in 2019 will become more focused on delivery alternatives such as day to day delivery, free return, and delivery by a certain time.
#4 Mobile payments are gaining grounds
Historically speaking, credit card payments have been the Danish consumers’ preferred payment method when shopping online. In 2018, as many as 69 % chose to pay by credit card. However, credit card payments are losing grounds when the consumers are purchasing goods on their smartphones. Here a new player has entered the field: the mobile payments.
The reason why more and more consumers choose to pay by mobile payments is due to its easy, fast and accessible service. For 2019 we envision, that mobile payments will have an even larger impact on the online, mobile shopping experience. As a web store owner, it is therefore important to offer more payments options to cater the needs of the consumers.
#5 User experience as a priority
With a boosting online sale’s arena, the consumers are now used to completing sales with a few clicks in no time. These expectations will not diminish in 2019. Therefore, e-commerce sites should allow easy navigation. To make sure that your site’s user-friendliness is optimal, your load time should be fast, your payment process must not suffer from disconnections, and consumers should be able to choose the payment methods they prefer.
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