Consumer Online Shopping Trends for 2019

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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With so many new technological advancements, the world of eCommerce is transforming rapidly. Staying on top of the latest trends is essential to maintaining and growing your online business. Mobile commerce, also known as mCommerce, has risen in the last half decade and is predicted to become even more popular over the next five years.

The wide acceptance of smart home devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo with Alexa is leading consumers to utilizing voice search to order their favorite items online. Get ahead of the game this year by learning about these popular eCommerce consumer trends for 2019.

More People Are Shopping on Mobile Devices

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For the last several years, eCommerce merchants and analysts have noticed a significant increase in mobile shopping traffic, but conversion rates in this space are still lacking, making it an important area of weakness for many business owners. According to software company Monetate’s 2018 Q2 publication of Ecommerce Quarterly, 52 percent of eCommerce traffic was generated from mobile devices but converted at a rate of just 1.6 percent, which is less than half the 3.9 percent conversion rate of desktop and laptop shoppers.

In 2019, eCommerce merchants should consider trying to capture this lost revenue from mobile shoppers, and one of the best ways to go about this is by optimizing the mobile experience. Offering consumers a simple, easy way to navigate site with a quick checkout process can result in a much-needed boost in mobile sales.

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Consumers Are Using Social Media to Browse

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Since Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012, the photo-sharing social media app has become one of the most frequented platforms with some 500 million daily users. And, the social media giant has since taken on the world of advertising with sponsored posts and social media advertisements allowing users to discover products based on their interests and make purchases right there from the app.

Even if you’re not taking advantage of Instagram’s advertising capabilities, you should be using the app to help build your brand. To create a successful brand, you need to focus on more than simply a company name and logo.

Your brand should encompass your target market’s lifestyle and connect with them on an emotional level. Instagram is the perfect platform to expose more shoppers to your brand, and it can provide some very effective marketing opportunities.

With an Instagram business account, you can devise campaigns and make very specific selections that will determine how users will view your ads. This personalized method of advertising is proven to increase user engagement with Instagram and Twitter ads.

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However, the current biggest hurdle with social media marketing is that many people are using the platform to browse for products, but they return to the site later on a computer to make the purchase. Many of the issues that affect mCommerce conversion rates also influence social media conversions, so addressing issues like quicker checkouts will be vital in the coming year.

 

Digital Wallets as Payment Options

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As consumers shy away from cash as a means of payment, new methods of purchasing have gained favor. Digital wallets are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to buy items both online and in stores. The basic purpose of these services is to securely store user’s payment data, such as debit and card credit card numbers or bank account information, which can be used to complete transactions.

The biggest advantage to a digital wallet is that the consumer is not required to re-enter sensitive data repeatedly. Once the information has been stored, the shopper can simply select the service that they use, and the financial information is transmitted to the merchant’s payment gateway.

Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal and Venmo are among the most commonly used digital wallets in the U.S., though many other versions of this service exist throughout the world. Some countries have adapted these digital wallets, while other countries, like China, developed their own methods. When offering a digital wallet, you want to research where your target demographic lives and which digital wallets are most popular in the region.

Digital wallets can help conquer the issue of struggling mCommerce and social media conversion rates because it expedites the checkout process, making it much easier for consumers to quickly make a purchase from their mobile device.

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Free and Quick Shipping

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Thanks to Amazon’s extensive Prime membership network, a majority of online shoppers have become accustomed to two-day free shipping. If other eCommere merchants want to compete with Amazon or stand out in the Amazon marketplace, they will need to meet consumer expectations about shipping rates and times.

MarketingCharts, a marketing database publication, found that consumers are becoming increasingly more demanding when it comes to shipping. In 2012, the average time people were willing to wait for free delivery was 5.5 days, which dipped to 4.5 days towards the end of 2017.

The study also found that people who are Amazon Prime members have even higher expectations, willing to wait a maximum of 3.8 days to receive free shipping. To keep up with the competition, SMB eCommerce owners should try to meet the shipping demands of their demographic this year.

Voice Search

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With an increasing number of people bringing smart assistant devices into their homes, shopping via voice search has gained a lot of popularity. In 2016, Google announced that 20 percent of all mobile inquiries were made through voice search, and 40 percent of millennials have affirmed their use of the voice search feature, leading experts to predict a rise in this method of internet exploration.

As an eCommerce business, it’s likely that you’re already aware of the benefits of SEO marketing tactics. Now, it’s time to begin implementing voice search strategies into your SEO methods to capture even more web traffic and potential new customers.

However, it’s important to understand the difference between web search and voice queries. When typing into a search engine, people are typically using phrases known as keywords in the SEO world. But, when using voice search, people tend to phrase their search in the form of a question.

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To target these inquiries, your content should provide the best possible answer to the most common question from your target market. As devices like Google Home and Amazon products with Alexa become more integrated into people’s homes, voice search optimization will become an eCommerce necessity.

Personalized Advertising and Marketing Strategies

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Already a significant part of eCommerce marketing, personalization will continue to be essential as consumers expect increasingly specific product suggestions and advertisements geared to their particular interests. If you haven’t experimented with personalized marketing campaigns yet, you can begin by launching a segmented email campaign, which groups your target demographic into distinct buyer personas and sends each faction a different email tailored to their interests and buying habits.

This is one of the most common methods of personalization in today’s eCommerce marketing world, but there are dozens of intricate ways to personalize your advertisements to fit your audience. Retargeting campaigns are another effective method of personalization. To help recapture consumers who may have viewed your site but did not make a purchase, retargeting ads will pop up across different platforms to encourage potential buyers to return to your site to complete the purchase.

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Another method to incorporate personalized campaigns into your marketing strategy is through chatbots, which can offer consumers product recommendations based on answers to a survey or items they have already viewed on your site.

Understanding the way online shoppers are behaving is essential to your marketing strategy for 2019. Try to stay informed about the latest eCommerce trends to anticipate what your target market is looking for in an online shopping experience. If you’re interested in learning more about how SEO and PPC play important roles in the success of your business, you can request a free consultation with the marketing experts at Visiture.

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