e-Commerce Trends 2020

eCommerce, ECRM, Instagram, Online Advertising, SEO, UX, Website

By Sharanya Venkatesh on 08/09/2019

We are happy to present you the most significant e-Commerce Trends !

Below please find the most influential e-Commerce trends. For each article, our team of Digital Marketing experts left recommendations supporting you to make better decisions in this fast moving world:

NOVEMBER 2020

AMAZON’S TRANSPARENCY PROGRAM TO PROTECT THEIR CUSTOMERS


Amazon Transparency was developed for customers to protect them from buying fake products online. The program authenticates all products enrolled in the program. A code allows the customer to check the credibility of the product with the help of an app. The figures show that Amazon Transparency has already been able to prevent more than 500.000 shipments of possible counterfeit products. The program will initially be available in Japan, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Great Britain and the USA. However, an expansion of the seal of transparency to other countries is expected and Amazon is constantly working on further developments to protect customers from counterfeiting in the future more effectively.

Watersky’s Insight:
eCommerce has been the go-to channel with our new, remote lifestyles. While it has been a boon of convenience in most ways, it does present challenges.
For certain type of products, whether tactile merchandise or high-value goods, customers prefer to see and touch the product before they make the purchase decision. When large platforms offer buyer protection or a guarantee of authenticity, it helps put buyers at ease. If shoppers can buy more confidently through certain platforms, it also provides these platforms a competitive advantage.
[learn more]

NOVEMBER 2020

5 SIMPLE ECOMMERCE TIPS THAT PRODUCE BIG RESULTS


To place your own business at the top of the search results in the long term often requires a sophisticated strategy, an extensive developing process of content, and the generation of backlinks. However, some tricks can achieve a better ranking for your e-shop with relatively less effort.

1. Reorder your produt titles. Put the brand name at the end of your titles and instead of that the kind of product at the beginning.
Reason: Because often this is the keyword the customer is searching for and keywords at the beginning of your title have a bigger impact on your search ranking.

2. It is now a big trend to showcase secondary images right on the SERP page. Reconsider this based on your market.
Reason: Secondary images have a high impact on the charging rate of your site. If network speeds are generally low in your market, slower page load speeds may have the opposite effect on your customers.

3. To improve the scrolling performance on your eShop and the User Experience you should also consider implementing passive listeners.
Reason: You don’t have to wait for your customers to get to the bottom of your page to act on your CTA.

4. Another SEO hack is the usage of subtopics for every page or product in your store.
Treat your long description almost as you would a blog post.
Reason: Subpages that are related to the product and providing customers more information can also improve your ranking.

5. Ensure that there is no “thin content” on your website. Pages with out of stock items or old broken links need to be removed or unpublished from your site. Content with no added value, duplicate pages, or low word count copy can affect your rank.
Reason: Crawlers reduce points for pages that waste the time of users. Removing thin content helps you ensure that only pages that add value to clients stay published.
[learn more]

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SEPTEMBER 2020

AMAZON CONTINUES ITS PLAYS TOWARDS GLOBAL DOMINANCE


Amazon, the World’s biggest eCommerce platform has been making major improvements lately. Here are the top four you should know about.

1. Market Entry in SE
Amazon has entered the Swedish market. Amazon’s aggressive customer offering and
portfolio is expected to upheave the Swedish Ecom market.

Watersky’s Insight:
Sweden is the perfect hub to deliver into the Nordics region, therefore expansion into DK, NO, and FI can be expected.
[learn more]

2. Health Care in India
Amazon Pharmacy has launched in India and offers over-the-counter (OTC), prescription-based drugs as well as basic health devices and traditional Indian herbal medicines. This move brings direct competition with local giants such as Flipkart and JioMart.

Watersky’s Insight:
The Pharma sector is highly profitable and fragmented and therefore really attractive for Amazon. Because of testing it in the US for the last years, Amazon could already have gained practical experience in this segment. Moreover, they have already registered their brand “Amazon Pharmacy” in the UK, Australia, and Canada. For this reason, It can be expected that Amazon is ready to roll this out to this and other Amazon countries soon.
[learn more]

3. Amazon launch AR application
After Amazon launched an AR tool in 2017, a new tool leveraging this function called “Room Decorator” has been launched now. It is designed to provide greater value to the consumer by displaying different products in one’s room at the same time and true to scale and high-resolution images.

Watersky’s Insight:
For a giant like Amazon to adapt a technology for seeing products in one’s room before buying means that we can expect further investments in selling large household items. The logistics infrastructure is already in place for that step. Further, leveraging AR in this category facilitates online purchase decisions.
[learn more]

4. The new Amazon Halo Fitness Tracker
The new Amazon Halo is a clearly fitness-focused tracker that supports people to measure their health conditions and to improve overall wellbeing.
As a Halo member, you have the access to several fitness functions, such as tracking and evaluation of sleep, reports about daily activity, moods, and information about body fat percentage, etc.

Watersky’s Insight:
Better customer data will allow Amazon to tailor the product offerings even better to their shoppers. In an era where data is the new oil, gathering such insights can make Amazon extremely powerful. Monitoring health means that the retail giant can tailor offers on food, nutrition, wellness and pharmaceutical products to Halo users.
[learn more]

SEPTEMBER 2020

MORE CONSUMER-FRIENDLINESS FOR ONLINE SHOPPING ON INSTAGRAM


Previously known as Delivery Unlimited, a new service Walmart + will be launched soon.
It works a bit like Amazon Prime but offers customers even more shopping services both online and offline.
For the customer, it means unlimited free delivery from stores on items $35 and over, including same-day deliveries on certain items, such as groceries.
Besides, the membership aims to extend the benefits to fuel discounts and other valuable services. All this will be offered at a competitive price that is $21 cheaper than Amazon’s prime membership. Walmart + is positioning itself against Amazon by focusing on online grocery sales. According to a survey, during the pandemic, Walmart + was able to capture 30% of online food while Amazon Prime was at 27.1%.

Watersky’s Insight:
This move will lock in consumers to shop more at Walmart by creating more of a loyalty program or ecosystem around Walmart. Especially with regard to online shopping.
As a retail giant offline, this enables Walmart to capture further market share in the eCommerce space.
For Amazon, it is known that Prime shoppers spend 2,3x more than average shoppers. This is a good incentive for Walmart to create a premium service for its own customers
[learn more]

SEPTEMBER 2020

WALMART EXPAND ONLINE SHOPPING EXPERIENCES


Previously known as Delivery Unlimited, a new service Walmart + will be launched soon.
It works a bit like Amazon Prime but offers customers even more shopping services both online and offline.
For the customer, it means unlimited free delivery from stores on items $35 and over, including same-day deliveries on certain items, such as groceries.
Besides, the membership aims to extend the benefits to fuel discounts and other valuable services. All this will be offered at a competitive price that is $21 cheaper than Amazon’s prime membership. Walmart + is positioning itself against Amazon by focusing on online grocery sales. According to a survey, during the pandemic, Walmart + was able to capture 30% of online food while Amazon Prime was at 27.1%.

Watersky’s Insight:
This move will lock in consumers to shop more at Walmart by creating more of a loyalty program or ecosystem around Walmart. Especially with regard to online shopping.
As a retail giant offline, this enables Walmart to capture further market share in the eCommerce space.
For Amazon, it is known that Prime shoppers spend 2,3x more than average shoppers. This is a good incentive for Walmart to create a premium service for its own customers
[learn more]

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APRIL 2020

ECOMMERCE RIGHT NOW


What is the connection between SARS and China’s advanced eCommerce sector today? What lessons can we learn from this previous epidemic?
We’ve studied how the current situation impacts your business and here are our top three steps you should take to face the crisis head on:

  1. Ramping up your eCommerce activities
  2. Building internal capacities
  3. And developing your relationship with eRetailers

Want to learn more about how to implement these steps? Continue reading to find out.

In past weeks we have observed immense changes in many aspects of our lives. Things like working from home have become the norm for a lot of people. Therefore, eCommerce is one of the few sectors that is benefiting from the current situation. As history shows us, the rise of eCommerce during global health crises is not surprising. Over 15 years ago, China was struck by the SARS crisis and faced similar challenges. The crisis actually changed people’s behaviors and boosted eCommerce as users started to shop online in sectors that were unexplored before.

Let’s reflect on the situation with COVID-19 today. Because of the recent decline of China Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI), the supply of parts to the manufacturing sector around the world is blocked. 50% of consumers in China and 31% of Italian consumers have started to use eCommerce for products that they usually buy in store more frequently. During the pandemic, Chinese buyers have increased their spending in several sectors including food, online entertainment, medicine and other health related products. Visits to websites that provide health information are higher than ever, having growth of about 200% in Germany and 83% in Spain. Sectors like E-pharma and Beauty & Personal Care have seen 45-50% GMV in the first two weeks of March

APRIL 2020

WHAT ARE THE BIG PLAYERS DOING?


Amazon has announced that they are trying to take care of consumers’ needs and think about the safety of their workers. Hence, they have made some changes in their transportation, supply chain, logistics and other processes. Because of these changes Amazon has delayed some of their deliveries. Their plan is also to stop shipping non-essential products in high risk countries. However this does not affect the orders from sellers who don’t use Amazon logistics.

With a huge increase in online shopping in the US, Amazon and Walmart have raised wages for eCommerce workers. Walmart has experienced a high growth and made investments in grocery pickup and delivery. They have also improved their technology and overall infrastructure.

The first thing that we learn from these industry giants is that it is essential to adjust your eCommerce processes to fit the present needs. You need to do it having consumers as well as your employees in mind. Also you may need to reprioritize certain products or categories as the situation evolves. The best thing to do is to stay agile.

APRIL 2020

ECOMMERCE FUTURE FORECAST


eCommerce is expected to have an initial boost, however this will come with it’s own complications. Workforce deficit is a risk that will impact a lot of sectors. With the change of people’s lifestyle, their demands change as well. So the reduction of the demand for non-essential products is also another possible risk.

It is also possible that retail giants like Amazon will expand their market share, thus eliminating small or mid-sized competitors. Companies that sell their goods via Amazon may suffer long-term damage due to the current situation. An expert stated that eCommerce will benefit from this situation in the long run, however a lot of small players could go out of business. The retailers that will especially benefit from this situation are the ones who sell food, grocery and other essentials. Investments may also go up in these sectors.

With the rise of online shopping, new users will try eCommerce for the first time. Experts expect that these consumers will particularly try new categories including groceries and household essentials. Shopping online may become the new norm, as it will be integrated in our lifestyles.

From these predictions it becomes clear that small businesses should think ahead about how they are going to survive this crisis. Consumer behaviors and habits will change, so prepare yourself for possible fluctuations in demand and supply. Ensure that you have the resources to accommodate new users. Re-think your UX from the perspective of a wider user base
[learn more]

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MARCH 2020

WHATSAPP PAID – GET READY FOR A NEW SALES CHANNEL


The messenger app announced its plan to launch a proper e-commerce interface years ago, and reinforced the message last year in November. At the moment, 10 million people are testing the system in India so that we can expect a roll-out in the near future. However, there are neither official release dates communicated from Zuckerberg’s empire nor specifics about eventual commission fees yet.
WhatsApp offers a “business” version already for small/mid-sized companies, mainly in use for CRM purposes. Here is a tutorial to set it up, and possible legal barriers that you may have to be aware of. Brands can already sign-up and even start creating a product catalog.

Our advice: Plan & integrate this channel into your sales funnel.
The current business version already offers tools that should be explored in advance. Furthermore, we recommend planning ahead. Analyze which products are best suited for selling through WhatsApp. This way you can be ready to test your strategy as soon as WhatsApp paid is launched. You can also learn how to use Whatsapp within your sales funnel efficiently and quickly.
[learn more] (German article)

AUGUST 2019

ALIBABA: EXPECTATIONS FROM 2018 GOT SURPASSED


The Chinese digital giant published its business report of Q1 2019. Figures such as 12.1 billion dollar revenue (a growth of 51%) surpassed all expectations. Alibaba mainly benefits from its cloud service which grew by 76% and now inhabits rank #3 of global cloud services, behind Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft. In their report, founder Jack Ma announced to expand further to western countries. AliExpress – the B2C e-Commerce platform – will enjoy higher attention within the company. The 380,000 square meters logistic centre which is currently under construction in Liege, Belgium will foster the expansion. Furthermore, Alibaba showed interest in acquiring German firms, the most prominent hereby: Zalando.

Our recommendation: Follow the development closely and consider investment.
The current trade war between China and USA is likely to slow down Alibaba’s expansion to western countries. However, the Chinese eCom giant proved its potential by its continous growth and success stories within the Asian markets. In Europe, it is currently mainly used by B2B businesses but the development of AliExpress should be alarming for all B2C firms to pay closer attention. 2019 and 2020 will be crucial to confirm the high ambitions of Jack Ma so that we recommend to follow the development closely and to consider an investment in case your brand fits the business.
[learn more] (German article)

MARCH 2019

AMAZON IS PILOTING “TARGETED PRODUCT SAMPLING”


Amazon will soon offer sending product samples proactively to users that are most likely to like and buy these products. The predictive system is fuelled by machine learning and a pilot case with brands such as Maybelline has already begun in the USA.

Paket zum Aufmachen
Amazon is using “Targeted Product Sampling” to send product samples to customer. 


Our advice: Research and prepare for the launch date.
In case you have an Amazon contact, ask when the targeted product sampling comes to your market. Furthermore, discuss what types of products (minis, sachets, full-sizes…) will be sampled and if Amazon plans to include a mechanism to receive ratings & reviews from these selected potential customers. If so, this mechanic could be even more attractive than Amazon’s VINE test program.
[learn more]

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FEBRUARY 2019

INSTAGRAM PLANS TO EXTEND ITS E-COMMERCE BUSINESS


Instagram was already interesting for brands: It has over 1 billion monthly users, 93% of all influencer campaigns happen on Instagram (2x more than Facebook) and users post 2x more stories than on Snapchat. Since 2017 users can even “swipe-up” from these stories to get forwarded to suitable landing pages. All this was complemented last year through “Shoppable Posts”, which let users shop directly what they see in the app. Now, Instagram is testing IG Shopping, a separate app dedicated to shopping only..

Our advice: Consider Shoppable posts & Observe IG Shopping.
As 80% of Instagram users already follow at least one brand and since shoppable posts generate 90m clicks monthly, we strongly recommend to evaluate Instagram’s shopping features for your brand. This is especially true when doing Influencer campaigns. Also, keep your eyes on IG Shopping. If it should cooperate with Amazon or other e-retailers, the app could swiftly evolve into a key e-Commerce player.
[learn more]

FEBRUARY 2019

GOOGLE: FAST GROWING SHOPPING ADS AS SEA OPPORTUNITY?


Google Shopping Ads (or Product Listing Ads) are growing rapidly and starting to challenge standard Google text ads. Google Shopping Ads are advertising spaces at the very top of the Search Engine Results Page. These placements get shown even above text ads and are bought, just like standard text ads. However, they also feature images and link directly to e-Retailers. This ad form has been constantly winning more impressions over the last quarters (+110% in Q4 2018, USA) and also clicks have increased +33% (vs. Q3, USA). By adding “Showcase Shopping Ads” in 2018, Google can now even serve Shopping ads to queries that are too general to show one specific product, a traditional field for text ads.

Our recommendation: Evaluate Google Shopping Ads for your brand
Shopping Ads are particularly interesting for visually appealing products, since they display videos or pictures of the product. Especially for users that are already further down the purchase funnel, this ad form may be a shortcut to conversion. On the other hand, these image-based ads offer almost no space for text explanations, hence traditional text-ads may be better for advertising information-intense products.
[learn more]

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We hope this eCommerce Trends prove helpful to you and your team!

Best digital regards,

Watersky Digital Signature