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Posted Nov 21, 2019 by Chester Avey

Six E-commerce Trends That Will Affect Your Website in 2020

E-commerce is a truly fast-paced industry. So it’s essential that you stay up-to-date and revise your approach as trends continue to change. Let’s look at six e-commerce trends that could be important to your business in 2020, from artificial intelligence to customer service.

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1. Artificial Intelligence Moves Into the Mainstream

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the world we live in  and e-commerce sites aren’t exempt from that revolution. As it’s developed, AI has been used to help e-commerce businesses sell, promote, and manage their stores better: like new stock and inventory management tools that can predict when your items will go out of stock.

AI can do wonders for your productivity, alleviating the impact of a wide range of historically time-consuming tasks. For example, Ecwid’s own automated Google advertising tool uses artificial intelligence to optimize your ad budget, freeing you from the cumbersome task of monitoring ad programs and keyword bids. Before automation, running ads required a full-time marketer to prevent over- or under-spending. With automated Google advertising, setting up an ad campaign is easy:

  1. Choose your target audience
  2. Select the products to advertise
  3. Define your daily budget.

Automated google ads

After launch, the AI platform learns what ad placements are generating more sales (or whatever positive outcome you’ve defined as success) and bids accordingly. And your hands are free to get back to the business of, well, growing your business.

Not only can tools like these have a powerful impact on your business, but they’re also simpler to work with than you might think. Automated ads software is designed to work seamlessly alongside your current system, so you can get right to work with little-to-no experience. There are a number of great tools available for Ecwid merchants, so it’s not a bad idea to speak with an AI technology provider to get an understanding of which platforms will be most effective for your business.

2. Voice Search Grows in Popularity

Voice search has seen significant growth in recent years with no sign of stopping any time soon. In fact, Comscore predicts that by 2020, 50% of all web searches will be conducted by voice. But what you might not realize is that it’s our old friend AI that’s making this search phenomenon possible.

Voice search struggled for a long time due primarily to the fact that devices failed to recognize speech correctly (pretty mission-critical for an effective voice search). But as voice search applications began to utilize more data, the technology became more useful.

Today, voice search users are even using their devices for online shopping (you can tell where this is going). Check out this research from Google:

Voice search

As voice search technology continues to advance, it will become more and more necessary to optimize your website for voice search queries, which can be different from typed queries.

Here are the top things to consider when optimizing for voice search:

  • Get listed online (if you’re a local business)
  • Create content optimized for long-tail keywords
  • Use natural language on your website over technical words
  • Use structured data markup on Schema.org

For more information on optimizing your website for voice search, check out this article by Single Grain.

Conventional wisdom says that you should work with content specialists with experience writing and creating content for voice search queries. But, as voice search becomes more advanced, it actually puts the onus on companies to create the best possible content.

3. CRO Becomes More Important to SEO

User behavior — which is typically a good indicator of the strength of a website based on link and content interaction — is something that’s been historically absent from Google’s search algorithms. However, an article recently published by Google revealed that the search giant is now using user behavior more directly to place sites in rankings.

Apparently, Google has been testing where sites should be ranked by placing some higher in the rankings and then monitoring how users behave once on the site.

“It makes complete sense,” says Justin Aldridge, Technical Director at SEO firm Artemis Marketing. “Say the actual result for a search serves up a website in position four, it may actually be the most relevant result for the query, but the website isn’t necessarily the strongest, meaning that it doesn’t rank higher”.

This means that not only how your website is structured, but how it performs will play a large part in where it ultimately ranks within the search results. This puts a new emphasis on investing in conversion rate optimization (CRO) and great content to improve the user experience on your website.

4. Demand for Alternative Customer Service Channels

Customer service has become an important part of successful e-commerce ventures. Customers are more likely to buy from a store that offers responsive customer service and prompt answers to queries than those that don’t. And this trend is poised to continue in 2020 across a wide variety of platforms. If you still consider email and telephone your only means of customer service, it’s time you took a closer look at social media and live chat.

Add Facebook Messenger to website


FB Messenger in an Ecwid store

These two channels have become increasingly expected as part of the baseline customer service experience. Strongly consider investing in one or both of these customer service opportunities to remain in-step with the expectations of your customer base.

If you’re not sure which channels to invest in first, ask your current customers to get an understanding of what they feel would be most beneficial.

5. More Abandoned Carts

Abandoned carts are one of the biggest challenges — and opportunities — facing e-commerce businesses. More carts are being abandoned today than ever before, with estimates suggesting the number to be between 50 and 80 percent. With numbers like that, you have the opportunity to literally double the size of your business, just by converting the shoppers who are already visiting your store with clear purchase intent.

E-commerce businesses need to think clearly about what they are going to do. While there are a variety of issues that contribute to cart abandonment, the most common reason is unexpected charges. And depending on the cause, there are also a variety of tactics you can use to either prevent or recover abandoned carts, like offering free or clearly communicated shipping costs, allowing guest checkouts, or sending abandoned cart recovery emails.

Abandoned cart recovery


Enabling automated abandoned cart recovery emails in Ecwid

6. Increased Buying on Mobile Sites

Despite increased traffic from mobile searches, most e-commerce sites will still notice the majority of their conversions coming from desktops and larger screens. However, as shoppers become increasingly comfortable on smaller screens, you can bet that mobile-conversion number will increase fairly dramatically.

Mobile optimized website

All that to say, it’s super important that your business not neglect to optimize for mobile. As you develop your store, make sure you create a shopping experience that translates just as well to mobile as it does to desktop.

Final Thoughts…

E-commerce businesses have a lot to look forward to in 2020, and keeping on top of the latest trends can help you make the most of it.

Subscribe to the Ecwid blog to get e-commerce trends, news, and tips for running an online business to your inbox and stay up-to-date!

About the author
Chester Avey has over a decade of experience in business growth management and e-сommerce marketing. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with other like-minded professionals through his writing. Find out what else Chester has been up to on Twitter: @Chester15611376
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