What a year it’s been for online retail. With more businesses than ever increasing their focus on online audiences as a way to increase both brand engagement and online revenue, retailers are turning their attention to 2020 and considering what the next 12 months are likely to bring the industry in Australia.
Under increasing time-pressure (did you know that half of mobile shoppers spend less than 3 minutes on an ecommerce site?) and facing more competition than ever, Aussie brands in 2020 will have their work cut out for them. As the decade draws to a close and retailers put the finishing touches on their 2020 strategies, I’ve outlined the trends that every retailer with an online presence in Australia should consider in the coming months:
Social shopping is here to stay
Social channels have become increasingly integrated into the lives of consumers as well as becoming an indicator of authenticity. With 60 percent of people indicating they have discovered new products on Instagram, and a third of the top viewed stories coming from businesses, social shopping opens the door to a large and growing audience.
Social shopping is not about redirecting consumers to an online store. It’s about giving them the ability to purchase a product, without changing from platform to platform. Primarily, social shopping helps brands simplify the customer journey and removes the potential for abandonment. In 2020, brands will need to reach and convert consumers across more touch-points than ever – ensuring a seamless shopping experience while at it.
Growing cost of customer acquisition
Businesses are going to have to work harder than ever to hold the gaze of consumers in 2020. Paid advertising costs are on the rise, along with the level of competition. To stand out from the crowd retailers should focus on driving organic traffic through high-standards of customer experience, along with engaging content.
Keeping Gen Z shoppers onside
Gen Z do not give away their brand loyalty easily – they’re the most politically motivated and environmentally-led generation of us all and they only shop with online retailers that support their personal values. In fact, 77 percent of Gen Z have taken some form of action for a cause they believe in, and 23% have even boycotted a brand.
Retailers looking to capture interest from the Gen Z market will need to step up and ensure their impact goes beyond their product. Ecommerce practices – from production to delivery and everything in between – will need to be sustainable and environmentally-friendly.
The rise of headless commerce
I’ve said it before, now I’ll say it again, the moment for headless commerce is here. Headless commerce empowers experience or content-driven brands with the ability to implement a unique and engaging consumer experience. Given that every point of friction (or click) on a customer’s journey is a potential point of cart abandonment, headless commerce is quickly becoming an invaluable tool for brands looking to create seamless digital experiences across multiple touchpoints.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) for all
Mobile devices have changed how we shop fundamentally. Beyond the ability to shop on the go, native apps provide a richer consumer experience and simplify the path to purchase. As we move into 2020, PWA’s – previously unique to business giants – are readily available to businesses of all sizes to then provide an app-like experience that is significantly easier to manage and create.
In terms of ecommerce and online retail, 2020 is set to be bigger than ever before.
For Aussie retailers that are able to put the right strategies in place, the potential for growth has never been greater nor the audience more willing to spend. At the same time, business practices have never been more highly scrutinised, which means that businesses must be willing to act ethically, sustainably and transparently in order to gain brand loyalty for the long-term.
- Shannon Ingrey is VP and General Manager APAC at BigCommerce