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Based on observations we’ve been making at Shoppingfeed over the past year about emerging trends in e-commerce, we’ve seen some of those beginning to take hold already. Here is what we see as the best channel strategies for e-commerce in 2020 for capitalizing on what’s coming next.
More Internet of Things Commerce
As explained in our last article, there will be a proliferation of sales options on a multitude of emerging touchpoints. With the rise of the API economy, merchants will be able to leverage new constellations of touch points to connect with their shoppers where and when they are most inclined to buy. People will start buying products through their appliances, cars, and voice devices as IOT technology advances.
Unified commerce: finding the quickest paths to a sale
The shopping experience today requires a seamless path through the transaction. This goes beyond multichannel marketing by integrating each channel or touchpoint into a single shopping experience. Google Shopping is the most visible example of this trend: a product search via Google lands the buyer on a preconfigured, express product listing page with a “Shop” button that allows them to purchase instantly (via Google, of course) with their saved Google ID and payment information. And all of this is available now not just by typing on phones or browsers, but through voice commands.
Subscription business models will require extra customer nurturing
In 2020, retailers will need to tread carefully when adopting a subscription business model. Cautionary note: customers are becoming increasingly aware of the impacts subscriptions are having on their personal finances. Increased customer engagement by adding product surveys and other feedback channels, combined with excellent customer service, are some of the keys to success in retaining customers.
More B2B opportunities for brands
The industry experts at Forrester are watching several buyer trends in this area. The direct-to-consumer e-commerce model that’s increasingly used by brands is starting to shift into business. 73% of B2B buyers reported that buying through eCommerce, web direct, or marketplaces is “very convenient.”
This opens opportunities for both brands and resellers to expand their messaging to B2B buyers in the major channels, and to consider selling through specialized marketplaces such as ones for office and industrial supplies.
Reshaping competition in the Enterprise marketplaces
In the B2B industry, vertical marketplaces are seeing substantial growth. With a wide range of products in hyper-specific categories and a network of specialized buyers and vendors, they are able to deliver added-value services that are becoming more and more enticing for buyers. In 2020, therefore, B2B e-commerce vendors will need strategies for differentiating themselves when their products are positioned closely to competitors’ or marketplaces.
B2B marketplaces continue to evolve into “supermercados.”
Seventeen percent of the $13 trillion in B2B spending will be flowing through online marketplaces by 2023, according to predictions by Forrester. That does not just mean the Amazon or Alibaba marketplaces, though they are part of the mix. Most of that B2B marketplace share will be comprised of companies like Microsoft, AWS, IBM, Google, Dell, or Salesforce.
For B2B sellers, these “super” marketplaces could end up creating a whole new set of tech jobs such as marketplace SEO, community managers, and ecosystem strategists. For niche brands and resellers, the opportunities for expanding the customer base within marketplaces used by both B2B and consumer shoppers are still there, and similar functions could be assigned to new or existing staff.
E-merchants who are aware of the rapidly evolving omnichannel trends in e-commerce, and can spot opportunity in what’s around the corner, will come out as the winners in 2021. Keep following this blog to stay in touch with emerging trends.
My mission at Shoppingfeed is explaining how to leverage e-commerce platforms and SaaS technology to e-merchants who just want to run their business and make more money.
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