Top 3 eCommerce Trends of 2020

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Every consumer goods business needs a solid eCommerce strategy going into 2020.

It’s essential that this eCommerce plan is developed with a solid understanding of industry trends. The consumer decision-making process is becoming increasingly entangled in the digital world, which means the debate continues over whether or not brick-and-mortar stores serve a purpose at all.

At Remesh – an A.I.-powered online focus group – we recently ran a conversation with 100 consumers to identify new and emerging eCommerce trends. The study covered a variety of consumer trends, including consumer preferences between shopping online or in a physical store, consumer considerations for specific products, and consumer opinions on specialized services like subscription model purchases.

Key Findings

There are three important findings that can be pulled from this online focus group that can help your business establish a solid eCommerce strategy.

Our study found that the types of products consumers shop for can greatly influence their decision to shop online versus in-person. For instance, consumers are more likely to purchase video games, electronics, and computer parts online. In contrast, they are least likely to purchase grocery items online, especially produce.

During this study, we also found that online reviews and social proof are essential to increasing product purchase conversions. Yet, most consumers say they don’t write reviews.

Here are some of the study’s key findings at a more granular level.

Consumers care about online reviews…

Consumers check and trust online reviews. 91% of those asked said that they had made a recent purchase based largely on reviews. Even if they don’t purchase a product online, consumers are likely to check online reviews, and make purchasing decisions based off of those reviews.

The ability to check online reviews is a common reason why consumers choose to shop online.

Consumers are concerned with the existence of inaccurate reviews, and worry that they can’t trust some online reviews. The validity of reviewers is essential in gaining consumer trust. This is good news for the eCommerce industry, since reviews can be purchased at little expense online – but, reviews from trusted sources are more heavily gated. A trusted source could be anyone from a prolific user to a widely-followed influencer.

…But consumers don’t write reviews

That being said, consumers aren’t likely to write reviews. One in five consumers in the study stated that they “never” write reviews. However, this number might be different when consumers are asked to make a review in exchange for an incentive.

The allure of brick-and-mortar stores is waning

There are a variety of reasons why consumers shop in brick-and-mortar stores. These factors can vary along many demographic lines, including age, income, and gender.

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday

58% of consumers interviewed reported that they are not likely to shop on Black Friday, whereas 53% of consumers said that they are likely to shop on Cyber Monday. Consumers noted that crowded stores and long lines will keep them out of physical stores on Black Friday. Those who are still drawn to these in-person events largely go shopping out of tradition.

Online vs In-Person

There are a number of clear consumer insights that provide reasons for shopping online. Some consumers felt that they spend more on impulse purchases in brick-and-mortar stores than they do when shopping online, while others cited the convenience of being able to shop at home rather than dragging their children out to the store.

Of those interviewed, many reported that they didn’t want to shop online because they can’t physically touch or try on the product. Some other interesting preferences include:

Consumers under 35 and over 45 are less likely to make purchases with their cell phones
53% of consumers who make more than $50,000+ say they are usually or always buy clothes online

Consumers under the age of 35 are actually more likely to shop in a brick-and-mortar store. Citing both the experience of taking a trip to the store, and a drive to avoid shopping at large online retailers like Amazon, these consumers lend a hand to the survival of the physical shopping spaces.

There is also a concern among consumers about counterfeit products and shipping charges. Many acknowledge that even with lower online prices, the shipping charges or the hassle of dealing with any potential returns can actually drive the cost of the product up, discouraging many online shoppers. This suggests, even, that there’s an opportunity to extend a product life cycle if brands are up to the challenge.

Subscription Services

The growth of subscription box memberships is still unclear, and consumer opinions on the topic were mixed during this study.

Many consumers believe that subscription services are overpriced, and that they often receive items they don’t want and aren’t likely to use. Although consumers interviewed did express that subscription services are fun, most feel the novelty dies out relatively quickly.

Summing Up eCommerce Trends for 2020

These eCommerce trends will likely not disappear in the coming years, and determining how these trends can impact your product – and which trends will impact your product – can be the final factor in determining your financial success in 2020.

Emily Smith
Emily is the Content Director at Remesh, where she spends most of her time spinning data in stories.

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