E-commerce is and will remain a growth engine in 2019. In Germany alone, e-commerce sales are forecasted to grow by +8.3 percent to EUR 67.3 billion. To survive in the dynamic online commerce, merchants must pay attention to significant developments in e-commerce tech.

#1: Offer Social Shopping to Your Customers

Multi-channel remains an all important e-commerce trend. In addition to your own webshop and advertising on large distribution platforms such as Google Shopping and Amazon, include social media such as Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest.

“Social shopping” reaches customers where/when they spend their spare time. However, know your target group before you select an appropriate social network. And your products should fit the respective social ecosystem in order to engage interaction.

3 phones with checkered shoes displayed for instagram shopping

Source: Instagram

“Social shopping” will offer a direct and creative access to your target group. Interested followers can then make product purchases with just a few clicks – without being redirected to you online store or check-out process. For example Instagram offers to tag up to five products in a post. Product information will include a direct sales link. On Facebook, the “Shop” tab adds products with pictures, prices and additional information. Also Pinterest offers a “Shop the look” functionality as a “convenient” Social Shopping function.

#2: Automate market analysis through self-learning systems

E-commerce requires successful merchants to keep a constant eye on competitors and market prices. Automated merchant analytics – such as emarketing’s competitor check – will analyze your relevant competitor’s prices in real time against your own products, identifying your SKUs that have the potential for higher prices and margins.

  • Price is the single largest profit lever
  • Price is the single most important factor in customer’s buying behavior

Therefore, a systematic price + competition analysis is key for successful online merchants.

emarketing competitor check tool with graphs and analytics showing top competitors

Source: emarketing.com

#3: Automate webshop processes with Artificial Intelligence

Automated systems collect detailed information and build a better customer experience through self-learning algorithms. In the age of assistance, AI will increasingly improve the shopping experience in online retail. For example, Amazon recently introduced Echo Look – a kind of digital fashion consultant.

Based on information about the user, Echo Look suggests new outfits according to season.

phone showing 6 different outfits from echo look

Source: Amazon

#4: Personalize online store experience

Collect usage information and evaluate user profiles to personalize your online store experience. Ideally, offering products that your customers are interested in and matching actions to individual shoppers. Detailed product searches or personalized filter functions are such examples. Another is “Collaborative Filtering” which generates suitable product suggestions according user profile.

Accenture Personalization Pulse Check 2018 discovered that

  • 91% of customers currently prefer those web shops that provide personalized offers
  • 83% of customers are willing to divulge their personal data; but only if online merchant deals transparently with the collected data

#5: Benefits of Chatbots

Chatbots are personal assistants that assist customers in their shopping experience, allowing direct answers to simple FAQs – 24/7. According to IBM, chatbots will soon be inevitable in e-commerce

  • 85 % of all interactions on US websites will be without human service personnel by 2020
  • Digital consultants chatbots will give customers a particularly enjoyable shopping experience.

You would like to make your online shop fit for 2019?

Try the smart market intelligence solution from emarketing now!