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Insoftex is a leading provider of technology consulting, engineering, and data science services for Fortune 500 corporations undergoing digital transformation. We serve some of the largest US retail, e-commerce, tech, and financial services companies, delivering our solutions using open-source, cloud-based technologies.

ECOMMERCE TRENDS 2020. EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY​

The 2020 year has been a year of challenges for everybody, including eCommerce business. Difficult ones. At the same time, it has indicated new eCommerce trends and provided people with some valuable lessons on how one should run his/her eCommerce business including managing eCommerce website and choosing the best eCommerce platforms. It does not mean that people should put efforts in their digital business only, but should also remember about classical brick-and-mortar stores and offices. Like all good and bad things, 2020 is coming to end end, and just in a couple of weeks, we will enter a new 2021 year and try to do e-commerce business smarter.

The following is the comparison of what people expected of eCommerce in 2020 and what actually took place and set the major trends in ecommerce:

Increased AR usage

Expextation:

Despite not having the possibility to feel the product, Augmented Reality (AR) is a very handy technology since it allows customers to visualize the products that they’re interested in. Although at first this technology required using special AR glasses, the times changed. Contemporary eCommerce businesses have many ways of utilizing this technology. For example, developing AR games, AR apps, etc. In 2019 Gartner predicted that AR will stimulate 100 million customers to buy goods by the end of 2020.

REALITY:

In terms of AR apps popularization, this years’ pandemic proved to be extremely useful. In particular, according to IBM’s 2020 report, the pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital shopping by roughly five years. Moreover, the companies that have utilized this technology before COVID-19, gained the advantage in their respective markets.

Increased AI usage

Expextation:

To personalize guidance and offer product recommendations for each customer, the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was also expected to grow. Moreover, apart from business, this technology was also expected to play a huge role in our everyday lives. The same thing goes about AI companies, in some cases not necessary directly. However, these companies are expected to influence the way eCommerce business is developing nowadays.

REALITY:

Again, much like in AR`s case, COVID-19 also stimulated eCommerce business to use AI robots. For example, Amazon’s sales during the second quarter of 2020 were up 40% in the same period last year. Furthermore, because people started shopping online more, companies were forced to maintain and update their digital channels to stay competitive during the pandemic.

Sustainability

Expextation:

Sustainability is something more than just a cool-sounding word. Many companies that can be described as a sustainable business has a competitive advantage in their market. Many customers tend to follow the modern sustainability trends, especially millennials. And since this generation is following this course and is one of the largest groups of customers nowadays, e-commerce businesses must be as sustainable as they possibly can. Finally, according to Accenture’s report, Millennials were expected to spend up to $1.4 trillion by 2020 in retail sales, including e-commerce.

REALITY:

Another example of a pandemic being beneficial for eCommerce business. According to Statista, there has been an extensive growth of eCommerce in the first quarter of 2020. For example, in March 2020 there have been 1.53 billion views more than in January 2020. This, in turn, made companies’ authorities take a closer look at their available software and fix whatever issues it had.

Second-hand market aka “re-commerce” has risen

Expextation:

According to Thredup, in 2020 the total secondhand market was expected to hit $32B comparing to $28B in 2019. By the way, among other factors influencing the rise of “re-commerce” sustainability plays also a huge role.

REALITY:

Once again COVID-19 teaches people a lesson. The same report states that 88% of people surveyed during the pandemic admitted they had adopted a new thrifting hobby, 79% confirmed plans to cut their apparel budget in the next 12 months, etc. In other words, clients started to spend their money in a much smarter way.

Drone Delivery

Expextation:

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there were supposed to be 7 million drones in the air by 2020. Although such delivery was on everybody’s mind for the last decade (if not longer), 2020 was supposed to make people start realizing this dream.

REALITY:

The delivery of food, clothing, or anything else will have to wait. In fact, to receive such packages, companies will need to possess relevant permits and certificates. Nevertheless, we have some positive news here too. For example, in August Amazon received a certificate to use drones to fly packages to its customers’ doorsteps, while in September Walmart announced three deals with drone operators to test their products.

Improved conversations’ experience

Expectation …and Reality:

According to Ubisend`s 2017 report, 35% of consumers wanted to see more companies using chatbots in eCommerce. Moreover, the overall chatbot marketing channel was supposed to grow at a compound rate of 35.2% during the last 5 years. Due to pandemic, the use of such bots has increased.

How can Insoftex help you?

Thus, as incredible as it may sound, this year’s pandemic, in addition to all the challenges, created all the conditions and stimulated eCommerce businesses to grow. In 2021 we cannot ignore eCommerce trends. Whether you would like to improve AR apps or improve your customers` chatbots experience, Insoftex is here to help. Based on 25-year wide experience in application development, product design and full-specter software engineering services, we can help you achieve your business goals and make your expectations = your reality 🙂

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