1. E-commerce everywhere
E-commerce, as we know it from the classic website, is developing in a new direction. More and more companies are bringing e-commerce into more channels, social networks and even into physical places - e-commerce is everywhere and the the distance between e-commerce and general commerce is getting smaller! And this trend will be even more prominent in the future.
As a digital merchant, you have to meet the customer's expectations and demands in new ways - and that will require a changed mindset. You need to think about e-commerce as part of the entire business and wherever your business is in contact with your customers.
2. Sales via social media
Social media are getting even more influential and are now an important channel in regards to the actual churnover. Instagram is no longer just a place for cosy holiday photos, but rather a new sales platform that should be supported by your e-commerce-strategy.
Consumers spend endless hours searching for inspiration for everything, from the next outfit, to evening's menu, to various do-it-yourself projects on social media, such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. Instead of waiting for consumers to find your site, you should allow them to trade directly from the social platforms. If you are not already using this opportunity today, you should look into that possibility in 2019.
Now, most of the platforms offer purchases directly from the images. At the same time, there are good opportunities on social media to start a close dialogue with your customers. In this way, you can give them good customer experience with good and quick returns and ensure that they do not run to the competitor.
3. Pop-up stores
Pop-up stores are another example of how to e-shop "anywhere".
Pop-up stores often are more creative universes than traditional physical stores - and that is an opportunity to give customers extraordinary and unique experience they would remember and would be willing to tell others about. But a pop-up store can also easily be a smaller set-up and an opportunity to create a quick profit for your business. Furthermore, you get the opportunity to meet your clients, create customer loyalty and let them interact with you, your business and your products.
If you have an e-commerce solution that allows you to bring your cash register, for example an iPad, you have the possibility to bring your business and your products anywhere. And we will see that many merchants will do so in the coming year.
As an example of the slightly larger set-up, we have previously seen Magnum being successful with their Magnum Pleasure Store, where customers had the opportunity to design their own unique Magnum ice cream with different covers and toppings. As an example of a smaller set-up, we have seen Rudolph Care using a bike from Christiania to sell sunscreen.
4. Brand- and niche sites
The third example of the "e-commerce is everywhere" way of thinking is brand- and niche sites.
Most companies start by hitting a very specific niche, and then it spreads out from there. But in fact, it can be a great advantage if you manage to continue to be very niche-oriented. It allows you to hit your target group more effectively, as customers find more use in having their needs met by specialist stores that cater to their specific needs, desires and interests.
Great brands, such as H&M, focus more and more on creating niche-made sub-brands.
The American beauty brand Deciem markets each product line as its own brand, and many other companies will follow soon.
5. Image Search
The last example we would like to include in the overall trend of e-commerce being everywhere is functionality, which makes it easier to shop via an app and product search through images.
Both Zalando and H&M offer image search in their mobile apps. The customers can take a picture of, for example, a pattern on a shirt and search for styles in similar colors and patterns. It's fast, easy and simple - and the search results are pretty accurate.
Image search is probably easier to implement than many may think. It can often be done by assisting internet-based services such as Pinterest; therefore, it does not necessarily require big development.
When talking about image search we have to touch voice search. Voice search is also exciting for e-commerce, and we will certainly get to the point where this kind of technology becomes so accurate that the consumer can buy through speech recognition.
A raising star among e-commerce business concepts is without a doubt the subscription model.
Recurring customers who subscribe monthly to receive the goods from your webshop are a dream scenario for most e-retailers. This means loyal customers are a steady income.
Subscriptions have really gained ground both in Denmark and on the markets around the Danish border - and we believe that this is a trend that will continue in 2019.
However, if you are thinking of offering subscription, it is important to remember that it is something thatmust always meet a real need of your customers or solve a challenge in their daily life. Otherwise, customers will not be interested.
If you do not have a product range where this kind of solution makes sense, you can, as an alternative to real subscriptions, choose to set up reminders on purchases, that would repeat themselves with fixed frequencies, seasons etc.
Are you ready to shop anywhere?
These were the trends we think you should keep an eye on in 2019. We hope are now inspired to e-shop in new ways and on several channels!