E-commerce sphere is developing rapidly. Dozens of online marketplaces emerge daily and stimulate the market's growth. According to Statista research, the retail market sales will reach the amount of $6.54 trillion in 2023 compared to $3.53 trillion in 2019.
This statistic means that you need to provide customers with unique offers constantly to stay competitive and overcome your market rivals. So, if you are about to build a marketplace or you want to refresh and grow your platform, now is the best time to follow new standards and online marketplace trends.
In this article, we will discuss the top 10 ecommerce marketplace development trends 2019-2020 that become game-changing for the whole industry.
1. Shoppable socials
E-commerce platforms have been interacting with social media to obtain leads and a large amount of traffic. However, social networking apps have implemented a feature that allows marketplaces to sell goods right in the application, making it transactional.
The key reason for this trend emerging was a long and slow redirecting process. It made multiple customers close the window and avoid the checkout stage.
For example, Instagram, the world’s largest photo and video sharing social network, introduced the internal checkout feature that allows consumers to make purchases without leaving the application.
Another social media giant, Facebook, implemented the Canvas feature which gives users an opportunity to perform shopping right in the application. Also, sellers can publish several products in a row so that users can horizontally scroll the items and choose the most relevant product.
Private messaging tools like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat are predicted to become transactional as well. According to the Facebook Survey 2019, almost 40% of e-commerce buyers globally first start shopping with a chat message.
Thus, transactional messaging tools will generate a large engagement and this trend is expected to grow.
2. In-car shopping
According to the New York Post article, American citizens spend almost 20 days a year stuck in car traffic when going to work. During this time, 136 mln commuters use their mobile devices to find the nearest gas station, the closest coffee-to-go shops, the most convenient parking lot, order and purchase groceries, etc. It means that soon most of the private car owners will engage in e-commerce while driving a car.
Such a powerful mobile built-in tool as geolocalization (Google Maps, Waze, and so on) allows advertisers to track the drivers’ position and provide the most relevant offers based on the following criteria: location, search requests, rating, etc.
One of the latest innovations of in-car commerce is related to Amazon. The company now provides package deliveries to your vehicle’s trunk. Specifically, couriers get access to a client’s car in order to leave the product purchased inside. This delivery option is well-appreciated by the marketplace users as it allows them to avoid any engagement and connection with other intermediary bodies.
3. Dynamic pricing
One of the most popular marketplace development trends in 2019 is dynamic pricing. It stands for providing the customer with the best possible cost at the current point of time. This value is based on the competitors’ rates, market demand, and other conditions, predictions, and trends.
Let’s take a look at the following picture which fully specifies the core factors impacting the final dynamic price value.
|The core factors for providing dynamic pricing in e-commerce|
|Industry standards||Market conditions||Consumer expectations|
|Industry-wide average pricing||Past, current, and future supply and demand||How much your customers are happy to pay|
|Pricing ranges||Consumer purchasing patterns/habits||How much they are willing to pay|
|Most common prices amongst competitors||How much they expect to pay|
One of the main trend conditions to become successful is to provide the dynamic pricing in real-time thus delivering great value to customers.
How does dynamic pricing work in the real world?
One of the most frequent dynamic pricing users is airline companies. They constantly change flight ticket’ rates depending on the time of the day, week, month, the number of days and hours left before the flight, holidays, events, etc. Also, such service providers alter the prices during the offseason when the number of tourists tends to decrease and they reduce most of the tickets’ prices.
What are the core benefits?
For sure, the main advantage of this strategy is that it helps you to both boost the profit margin and increase the volume of sales.
Alongside this, a dynamic pricing trend allows you to stay competitive in the pricing aspect regardless of the current market conditions. It means that the implemented algorithm always generates the most favorable price for both your business and the customers.
To conclude, dynamic pricing is an effective strategy for specific e-commerce niches that constantly deal with altering the rates of their services or products. This strategy gives you an opportunity to generate margin profit, increase sales, and stay competitive.
4. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) in marketplace development
The number of mobile users and online platforms is rapidly increasing day by day as devices and websites greatly simplify people’s lives. It is proven by the Statista research which states that mobile e-commerce sales will reach the point of $3.56 tn by 2021.
One of the latest online marketplace trends in m-commerce is the PWA (Progressive Web App) technology. It is the combination of a website and a native app that provides the following benefits to business owners:
- Increase in mobile traffic;
- Average conversion increase;
- Average session increase;
- Engagement increase.
What about e-commerce websites? Do they implement this trend yet today? Yes, they do.
According to the ETtech research, Flipkart, an Indian B2B e-commerce marketplace, gets half of its new users with the help of PWA implementation. Besides, research also states that most of the company’s customers have removed the previous native app to save space and get better user experience.
Another bright marketplace example is OLX. The company has enlarged the ad clickthrough rate by more than 140% and diminished the bounce rate by over 80% after launching a Progressive Web App.
You may also like: What are Progressive Web Applications and How They Can Benefit Your Project
5. Voice commerce and chatbots
Nowadays, such topics as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence gain more popularity. The key reason is that self-learning robots begin replacing other computers in most technological industries. It is happening due to their advanced characteristics like smart, fast and more relevant collecting, processing and releasing of any kind of information.
According to a Statista report, the approximate number of people using virtual intelligent assistants worldwide will exceed 1.8 bln users in 2021.
In 2019, the demand keeps on growing. The core factor that stimulates Artificial Intelligence development, specifically the AI assistant growth in e-commerce website development is increased user experience. Why is it so?
Most virtual intelligent assistants provide a hands-free option that allows you to avoid interaction with the smartphone. No clicks, taps, or extra movements required. All you need is just launch an app and say a particular command which will be processed by the machine. Afterward, you will get a rapid and relevant response.
According to the Pew Research Center Report, about 52% of Americans state that the main reason they use AI assistants is the hands-free feature.
The most widespread voice commerce tools
Siri is communicative software support for every Apple device (runs only on iOS and macOS).
- Google Assistant
Google Assistant is an artificial intelligence personal assistant that provides almost the same functionality as Siri does, but for Android devices.
Alexa is one of the most popular personal AI assistants created by Amazon in 2014. It was first utilized in Amazon Echo. Most IT companies began integrating this software with their products to provide voice interaction features.
Chatbots in e-commerce
Another innovative trend in e-commerce is chatbots. It stands for an implemented feature on the platform which allows users to get high-accuracy and immediate responses to their requests.
The mechanism works in the following way: a chatbot collects, analyzes, and processes the data given by customers in a live-chat. Then, it provides them with valuable and relevant information (i.e. it offers suitable goods filtered by users’ criteria, like pricing, colour, and item characteristics).
This trend can replace most of the e-commerce staff responsible for communication with the users through a website live-chat.
For example, Etsy has implemented a chatbot which allows providing users with 24/7 customer support to solve any issues, like:
- Account problems;
- Payment/order delays;
- Not receiving an order;
- Wrong item description.
6. Dropshipping model
When you deal with e-commerce web development, starting your own platform, you definitely face multiple issues like idea validation, business model choice, fundraising, software development, promotion, growth, etc. Each project development stage should be carefully studied, but one point still defines the long-run profit generation - a business model.
One of the main e-commerce trends in 2019 is implementing a dropshipping model. It is a perfect choice for startups and small business owners who do not want to face the issues of inventory space, shipping management, and item delivery. Thus, this option allows saving much time and funds when launching a marketplace.
How does dropshipping work?
- A dropshipping marketplace searches for buyers and takes their orders;
- It sends them to its partner - the supplier of goods;
- A seller ships the order directly to the consumer;
- A dropshipping platform makes a profit by taking the difference between the wholesale price set by the supplier and the final price at which the goods were sold.
Here is an image that demonstrates the dropshipping process including all the parties.
What are the main benefits of the dropshipping model?
- Fast and cost-efficient launch;
- High scalability;
- No inventory risks.
For example, AliExpress, Alibaba’s online retailer, is a perfect example of a marketplace that implements a dropshipping business model.
7. eWallets (Google Pay & Apple Pay) and Blockchain
According to eMarketer’s research, mobile payments will take more than one-third of e-commerce sales in 2019. It means that customers use smartphones and tablets more and more often than desktops to make a purchase. So, the necessity of making online payments easier and faster for e-commerce is essential nowadays.
Let’s take a look at the chart designed by Baymard which shows the main grounds of leaving the checkout process while purchasing online. It vividly demonstrates the need for implementing highly-efficient eWallet systems.
Why is implementing eWallet systems so important?
When you aim to create a marketplace website to generate sales, you need to understand that the checkout process is the final stage of the user journey. It defines whether buyers will make a purchase thus boosting your conversions or not. At this step, they have already passed multiple steps from brand awareness, product search, reviews’ analysis, communication with a seller, to finally making a decision of buying an item.
However, if the checkout procedure provides troubles like taking much time or requiring to fill in long forms, it may still force the consumer to quit this process. It means that you can lose a potential customer.
Therefore, implementing e-wallets will definitely accelerate the purchasing process and buying experience of your customers, increasing your conversion rate.
Another rising trend is Blockchain technology. It makes digital payments even more secure and almost eliminates any risks connected to the fund loss.
For example, Newegg, a huge e-commerce player specializing in electronics, has implemented Blockchain technology and accepts Bitcoin as payment now.
8. AI-powered personalization
One of the main differences between online and offline commerce is the lack of personal touch. Online marketplaces do not have managers (we mean traditional in-store consultants, not chatbots) who can ask consumers about their needs and preferences.
However, e-commerce marketplace platforms now implement AI-powered personalization. It means platforms provide customers with relevant and interesting goods based on their search requests, product page visits, purchase history, and tailored ads.
When online websites provide personalized recommendations based on your activity history, AI software gives even more precise offers by analyzing “Your Wishlist” and “Your Collection”.
Furthermore, personalization relates to a powerful emailing system that also sends multiple relevant and exclusive personal offers. It allows marketplace owners to make a user come back for a new purchase, thus boosting their user experience and platform sales.
For example, Amazon perfectly uses this technology to provide the most appropriate offers for its consumers.
9. Augmented & Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR)
Suppose you want to buy a chair for the kitchen room, but you do not know whether it would fit the interior. It would be good to naturalize that chair without buying it and see if it matches. Indeed, it would be perfect to make it without leaving your home, wouldn’t it?
There is a trending solution called augmented reality. It allows you to visualize how a particular item would fit in any environment. Initially, this technology was implemented in video games only, but the e-commerce market quickly realized all its benefits and decided to provide customers with an advanced buying experience.
For example, Sephora gives buyers an opportunity to ‘try on’ all the make-up products available: lipsticks and lip glosses, foundation, eyeliner, highlighter, and so on.
Virtual reality (VR)
Now let’s consider another situation. Imagine you want to renovate your home interior and update it with new furniture, items’ positioning, and colours. However, it is pretty hard to render the final desirable picture in your mind. So, here comes virtual reality.
With its help, you can put on special 360° VR headsets and start creating the new accommodation by choosing any furniture, colours, and place.
In general, both AR and VR technologies are implemented in the e-commerce market to make the buying experience more immerse and advanced.
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10. Drone delivery
A few decades ago, the phrase “drone delivery” may have caused mixed feelings. However, it has turned into reality now and it may become the mainstream for many e-commerce companies in the near future.
The core idea is that the companies dealing with items’ delivery implement a new and efficient way to boost the user experience. This innovation accelerates the delivery process pretty much.
One of the best examples is Amazon’s service called Prime Air.
Here is the campaign explanation by Wikipedia:
The service uses aircraft to autonomously fly individual packages to customers within 30 minutes of ordering.
Surely, many e-commerce companies do not have the same capabilities as Amazon. Still, it is important to understand that customers will definitely begin getting orders extremely faster already in 2020.
As you can see, ecommerce marketplace development trends in 2019-2020 are powerful and will definitely change the way consumers interact with online marketplaces. The buying experience tends to become even more seamless and immerse. Briefly, they are as follows:
- Transactional social media
- In-car e-commerce
- Dynamic pricing
- Progressive Web Apps
- Voice assistants and chatbots
- Dropshipping business model
- Digital payments and blockchain
- Hyper personalization with AI
- AR & VR
- Drone delivery.
Regardless of the online marketplace trends you choose to implement, they all will help you reach more engagement, conversions, and profit growth by providing the best user experience.