In honor of Black Friday and Cyber Monday being right around the corner…let’s scope out the predicted online shopping trends for 2019. I am a big fan of shopping from the comfort of my bed or couch so it’s crucial to know what these e-commerce companies are thinking and doing for the new year.
E-Commerce and Brick-and-Mortar
How can you please the maximum number of shoppers? Offer them what more and more companies are, integration of both physical and online shopping experiences.
Alice Fournier, VP of eCommerce and Digital Insights for Kantar Consulting told Forbes, “We’re seeing a lot of digitally native brands either opening a strong retail presence or launching pop-up showrooms in big cities. Look for more connections between on and offline, with brands using retail for more engagement.” Customers want the ease and inventory of online shopping, but also yearn for the tangible aspect of going into a store and touching the items.
This trend might be the opposite of what you would think looking at the news. Big chain stores like Toys ‘R Us and Sears are closing stores rapidly, so why would online retailers want to move into this shopping sphere? There’s a strategic middle ground here for companies. Beginning with only an online presence builds awareness and a following that can be further solidified in a brick and mortar shop.
I Saw It On Facebook
Statista records a 209 million social media users in the United States. Social media platforms are moving towards “push to buy” in 2019. Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest have added features that make it increasingly easy to buy by linking the product right to the post.
The barrier to be overcome is the lack of association between social media and online buying – which is not everyone’s first thought when thinking of these platforms. Partnerships with companies like Venmo and Paypal will make it easier for users buy right from their news feed, capitalizing on the impulse nature of social media.
“Alexa, order me another bag of Lay’s Potato Chips”
Voice assistants have made their big break. All ages are loving these devices and the value they bring to their lives. Kantar reports, “30% of web browsing will be done without a screen by 2020.” This shift is thanks to Alexa, Google Homes, and other voice assistants.
However, these devices have a large following that do not fully embrace their shopping abilities because of the lack of visuals. Voice assistant devices are combating this by adding screens. An example, Amazon Echo Show allows users to see the goods on the screen and increase confidence in their purchase.
Augmented Reality Makes Purchases a Reality
Augmented Reality is an enhanced image or environment as viewed on a screen or other display, produced by overlaying computer-generated images, sounds, or other data on a real-world environment. It has been a slow growth for AR in the online shopping sphere but 2019 will be the year for the big push to implement it.
IKEA Place was launched in 2017 and is a perfect example of the opportunity here for AR. The application allowed users to scan their room and “place” IKEA products to see how they would fit/match their other furniture.
These online shopping trends for 2019 will continue to update consumer’s shopping experiences. The combination of online and brick-and-mortar, social media, voice assistants, and AR are helping companies to reach their audiences and drive purchases in the ever-changing environment.