Ecommerce is responsible for almost 10 percent of Australia’s total retail spend, and online businesses are forecast to see a 15 percent growth in revenue by the end of 2019.
That looks like there’s pretty smooth sailing ahead for ecommerce retailers.
However, competition is set to heat up as many online businesses choose to invest that revenue growth into the next suite of ecommerce innovations.
Here are five key Australian ecommerce trends that you should keep an eye on.
#1. Augmented reality hits maturity
Augmented reality (AR) has been spoken about in the ecommerce space for a handful of years, however, the technology seems to have hit a tipping point of late – more than 70 percent of customers said they would shop more often at a retailer that offers AR.
Think of AR as a virtual try-before-you buy program. It allows customers to digitally ‘try on’ products as part of their experience at your online store.
#2. Automation boosts productivity
Ecommerce retailers are benefiting from a proliferation of automation platforms that can streamline just about everything from your sales and marketing processes to your inventory management and fulfillment.
Shopify Flow is leading the automation revolution. It enables you to simultaneously publish new products on your store and across all your social media channels, segment customers based on sales channel, and automatically remove out-of-stock items.
#3. B2B goes big
We’re all familiar with business-to-consumer (B2C) retail – but the real growth area in ecommerce looks to be in the business-to-business (B2B) sector.
That is ecommerce retailers who sell to other businesses.
Global B2B ecommerce revenue is tipped to exceed $6.5 trillion by 2020. Yep, that’s ‘trillion’ with a ‘t’.
So finding ways to serve the business community could be your ticket to early retirement.
#4. Chatbots get even chattier
While there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned human customer service, ecommerce retailers are increasingly turning to chatbots to help shoulder the burden.
Developing artificial technology is making chatbots more sophisticated – and easily capable of fielding simple customer enquiries in real-time which means fast answers for your customers and less work for you.
#5. Mobile-first ecommerce
All successful ecommerce retailers understand the importance of enabling smartphone shopping. However, up until now, mobile strategy has tended to come as an add-on to the main website.
More ecommerce businesses are adopting a mobile-first strategy which means shifting focus to make mobile shopping the lead customer experience, with the website used as a secondary support tool.
No matter what optimisations you make to your website and shopping experience, you need to ensure you’ve set up the right systems to make shipping and returns as simple as possible.