Businesses and marketers must continue to evolve to connect with customers successfully in 2019. Here are five ways the digital sales and eCommerce landscape will likely change this year.
1. Many consumers will view social media channels as their go-to places to shop
People are accustomed to seeing ads and sales-related posts on social media channels that might entice them to buy things, but the act of shopping via social media will get even more streamlined in 2019.
In December 2018, Facebook started testing a service for merchants to sell things via a live stream. If people see something that interests them about a product during a live demonstration, for example, they could click a link in the video to go to a purchasing page.
Instagram also offers shoppable posts that function similarly. Besides giving opportunities for brands to sell products, analysts believe one of the interactive marketing trends of 2019 will be that a higher number of influencers use shoppable posts to entice their audiences. Because of these features, social media channels will encourage people to purchase the things they see.
2. Millennials won’t shy away from buying their furniture online
Some people can’t imagine purchasing a recliner without sitting in it first. But, millennials aren’t as likely as older generations to feel that way. Instead, they’re gravitating toward digital furniture retailers, which often ship products to shoppers for free and cover return costs if necessary.
These retailers are laser-focused on providing top-notch customer service. They know failing to do that could cause social media backlashes. The brands specializing in selling furniture online also usually have smaller selections than websites with more product categories. But, some people like that because it prevents them from feeling overwhelmed.
Statistics from 2018 show online furniture, home décor and housewares sales represented a $65.1 billion industry within the United States. In 2019, marketers can expect a rise in online-only furniture purchases, especially since getting furniture delivered directly to customers’ homes adds convenience.
3. Artificial intelligence will continue to help create customer profiles
Experts believe automated data capturing tools will be instrumental in boosting sales success in 2019. Artificial intelligence (AI) will factor into those applications and compile information from social media, websites and other online sources to guide customers through the sales funnel.
So, sales professionals will spend less time talking to cold prospects than before. That’s important because even as customers have tech tools to investigate things to buy, they still crave personal connections. Sales experts can focus on the most appropriate leads because AI targeted those individuals.
4. Brands will fall short by not advertising on Amazon
If companies haven’t historically used Amazon ads as a substantial part of their eCommerce plans, they may find that the particular 2019 trend of increased shopping on Amazon is negative for those who fail to react. A significant number of people head straight to Amazon when shopping for anything they need. Brands can get prepared for 2019 by beefing up their advertising strategies on the site.
Other research indicates people are more likely to search for products on Amazon than Google. Also, even if they intend to buy products elsewhere, they go to Amazon to browse product reviews.
According to consumer plans for the 2018 holiday season, more than 80 percent said they’d check Amazon for the things they wanted. When companies take advantage of the brand’s various advertising possibilities, they have chances to reach out to the customers that view Amazon as a top place to shop during the holidays or otherwise.
5. More companies will promote same-day delivery
A few years ago, getting online shipments within a week was enough to satisfy most customers. However, that situation has changed drastically. Many enterprise customers know they need to provide a two-day shipping option. So, two of the future delivery trends for the eCommerce sector include same-day delivery and pick-and-pack companies.
The latter entities do as their name indicates: pick up the products from companies and ship them to customers. That option enables retailers to provide same-day shipping in cases where it wasn’t previously possible.
DeliveryCircle is one company that offers pick-and-pack options. One of its services provides multi-point deliveries after obtaining items from a business, allowing the company to specify that items must arrive at customers’ locations by a designated time.
Target is also capitalizing on ultra-speedy shipments in 2019 by expanding Shipt, its subscription-based same-day delivery service. Shoppers can choose merchandise from any department when shopping online.
Companies can drive sales by keeping up with changes
These five developments highlight how customer tastes aren’t static. Businesses will be in prime positions to succeed if they pay attention to shifts in preferences and adapt accordingly.