E-commerce has been around for a while, but the pandemic significantly accelerated its growth. When brick-and-mortar establishments closed due to lockdown and other travel restrictions, business owners, employees, and consumers had to stay home.
With no way for trade to push through other than via the digital space, the result was an unprecedented rise in e-commerce transactions.
As nations operate at almost pre-pandemic levels, it’s safe to say that e-commerce is here to stay. According to a recent study on e-commerce trends for 2022, by the end of the year, the industry will take up 20.4% of overall retail sales. That’s double the figure from 10 years ago.
E-commerce’s sustained popularity means that consumers can continue to expect products and services that offer them the best value for money. For businesses, the playing field will get more and more competitive.
Leveling up your e-commerce marketing strategies would be best to stand out from the crowd. Moreover, it would help if you and your team, including your virtual assistant (VA), kept abreast of global e-commerce trends.
9 Trends Shaping the E-Commerce Industry Today
As far as the future of e-commerce is concerned, businesses have nothing to worry about. That is, if you know how to adapt to changes shaping the industry, such as the following.
Transition to a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model
The DTC ethos is about ownership of the personal relationship a brand builds with its customers. This marketing approach relies on careful and consistent messaging that centers on brand personality.
If you want to maximize the emotional appeal of DTC marketing, you need to know yourself and your customers. Social media engagement is part of successfully implementing this strategy, with which a VA in your team can take over.
Social media shopping options
Don’t restrict your e-commerce engagement to your website and third-party selling platforms. It’s high time to explore social commerce or selling through social media.
Some experts project that social commerce in the United States will become a $79.64 billion enterprise in 2025. To ramp up your social selling, have designated VAs on popular platforms like Instagram and TikTok to manage your sales and marketing efforts.
Additional payment methods
There’s nothing more frustrating than checking out your cart only to realize that the seller has no payment option you’re amenable with. Spare your customers this trouble by incorporating various payment methods into your online shop.
Think cryptocurrency payment. With more and more people getting into crypto, it’s only logical to open your business to trading with digital assets, apart from the traditional cash-on-delivery.
Implementation of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR)
As customers, one downside of e-commerce is that you only have photos and product descriptions to guide your purchases.
For instance, if you’re shopping for clothing, there’s no way to know how it’ll fit your body. That will no longer be the case, thanks to AR and VR. With 71% of customers saying they would be partial to online shops equipped with AR and VR, this is a trend your business should get behind.
Prevalence of voice search
It’s not that consumers are getting lazier than ever. Everyone wants to make the most of the technologies available to us at present.
Allow customers to use their voice when searching for products and other information on your e-commerce platforms. With 75% of U.S. households projected to own a smart speaker by 2025, voice search is a business opportunity worth grabbing.
Multi-channel customer support
Quick response to customer queries is essential to running a successful e-commerce business. To ensure that your customers feel they are taken care of, allow them access to multi-channel customer support. On top of the customary chatbot, assign VAs to respond to customers via email, phone, and social media.
A recent study revealed that 76% of online shoppers have purchased from businesses outside their native countries. This statistic is worth mulling over, especially if you’re experiencing a growth bottleneck.
Have VAs on your team cater to customers from various international areas and time zones, such as preparing logistics, drafting content specific to the target audience, or contacting leads.
Focus on business-to-business (B2B) initiatives
It’s an utter misconception that e-commerce is primarily a business-to-consumer (B2C) business model. It works for B2B enterprises, too. Think healthcare, where the industry has e-commerce-compatible services. For instance, they can conduct purely digital scheduling of appointments with the help of VAs.
Launch of drone deliveries
Drone technology for e-commerce is still in its inception stage, but it’s slowly gaining momentum worldwide. If you want to be a pioneer, invest in this advancement now and see your customers’ jaws drop in amazement when they get their packages delivered.
Elevate Your E-Commerce Game
Consumers prefer e-commerce because of its convenience, while businesses benefit from it through simplified audience reach. Today, you’re no longer restricted by your physical location to sell. However, it’s worth noting that e-commerce is a fast-paced industry, unrelenting in its evolution.
So if you want to keep up, you must be ahead of e-commerce trends. Even more important, you need to stay on top of e-commerce metrics that will guide you on how to best adapt to any changes.
One way to elevate your e-commerce game is to hire an e-commerce virtual assistant. Doing so will ensure you seamless operations and quality customer service daily. With the right virtual assistant company, you rest assured of having experts and professionals on your team.
On the subject of e-commerce VA services, Outsource Access has got your back! Here at Outsource Access, we pair businesses with top-caliber staff who can accomplish various VA tasks. To learn more, check out our process and book a call.