The first form of commerce occurred through the barter and trade of goods between individuals. In modern times, this evolved to conventional brick and mortar sales and purchase. For years, this platform has functioned very practically for its intended purpose, but there has been a gradual adaptation throughout the last few decades that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored: E-commerce is the new marketplace that boasts a virtually, limitless market. More and more businesses have been catching onto this new method of selling. In fact, according to Business Insider, “The NRF (National Retail Federation) expects that online retail will grow 8-12%, up to three times higher than the growth rate of the retail industry. This suggests e-commerce sales are poised to fall between $427 billion and $443 billion, based on Census Bureau data.” So, why is it dominating over conventional forms of commerce?
Sir Isaac Newton was onto something when he suggested the third law of motion, “Every action has an equal or opposite reaction.” As the decline of brick and mortar stores became more prevalent, so did the success and ubiquity of e-commerce. The truth is, e-commerce is a form of shopping and selling that is more convenient for everyone involved. Consumers do not have to leave their home to get what they want. It only takes a few clicks, and the product is on its way. This means businesses can reach markets all over the world, making it easier to reach and target even the most niche markets that may not be common in the immediate physical market area.
Trend 1: Niche Product Offering
This brings us to our first e-commerce trend – Niche Product Offering. There are so many niche markets that are untapped, creating the opportunity for small businesses to meet demand that larger retailers may overlook. Niche products are centered around a specific community that is passionate about values or themes that line up with the product offering. All-organic power bars, detox drinks, matcha green-tea, charcoal whitening toothpaste, unicorn themed anything; you will find that if a specialty product is not available your local supercenter, it will be somewhere in cyberspace. It’s one of the big e-commerce differentiators. We are also starting to see many of these niche products, as well as other kinds of products available in subscription form.
Trend 2: Beyond the Box – Subscription E-Commerce Services
Subscriptions are climbing up on the e-commerce food chain. According to research collected by Shorr Packaging Corp., “My Subscription Addiction lists 2,000 subscription box services” in recent years. Birchbox, Ipsy, Popsugar, Blue Apron, Dollar Shave Club are all well-recognized names in the space. Other big subscription players we all know are Amazon and Netflix. I think it’s safe to say e-commerce businesses will continue to experiment with subscription products and services.
Trend 3: Mobile & Expanded Payment Options
Expanding online payment, shipping and delivery options is a trend we foresee skyrocketing in the next few years as consumers search for convenience and time efficiency. Plugins like Square, Stripe, and Apple Pay have given on-line consumers alternatives to setting up PayPal account to make a purchase. Having that flexibility is helpful to decrease cart abandonment. It’s no secret Amazon Prime’s 2-day shipping is changing e-commerce shipping expectations for consumers, but thanks to platforms like Doorman and Dectar the customization of how and when purchased items are delivered to your door is another layer of the shopping experience that’s sure to continue to trend.
There are so many technologies coming down the pipeline to improve the online shopping experience. It will be interesting to watch these trends develop and change as e-commerce continues its growth.
Would you like to know how to start an e-commerce business or get more traffic to your existing online store? Contact Sinuate Media for a free consultation and you’ll be on your way to seeing your business grow.