If your business isn’t already part of the eCommerce revolution, it’s missing out on the opportunity to be part of an industry that is going to be worth over $4.8 trillion by 2021. By implementing some of the emerging trends in Ecommerce, as outlined by Costa Rica businessman and entrepreneur Jose Duarte, you could become part of the fast-growing movement.

Since online retailers cannot offer the same face-to-face personal interaction seen in conventional shopping, eCommerce merchants use personalized opportunities during the shopping journey to help provide singular consumer focus. For example, users who have an Amazon account are presented with suggestions based on their past shopping and browsing history when they log in. As technology continues to evolve, more eCommerce stores are adopting similar solutions to offer personalized service.

Says Duarte, “Personalized emails have been shown to generate six times more transactions and conversions than cold emails. There is a similar uptick with personalized solutions in eCommerce, which have provided 48% higher sales volumes for eCommerce merchants than have static online retail sites.”

Chatbots and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to evolve this year, designed to improve the shopping experience. AI assistants are able to manage a wide range of tasks that would normally be the responsibility of an employee, and many can be handled simultaneously. This frees up valuable time and resources to concentrate on marketing and sales.

Business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce is gaining ground as much as business-to-consumer (B2C). By 2020, B2B eCommerce is expected to become a $6.6-trillion industry and, in a recent survey, 500 B2B companies acknowledged that they now allow online orders and payments.

When a consumer is shopping and is ready to check out, he or she will often hesitate, doubting whether or not the purchase needs to be made. This is leading to the creation of a whole new shopping experience that allows greater interaction in order for the retailer to not lose the sale. “Today,” explains Duarte, “there is virtual and augmented reality, 3D imaging and product videos that are giving consumers a 360-degree shopping experience. This is greatly improving the conversion rate of browsers to buyers.”

Interactive visualizations now allow consumers to have a virtual in-store experience, alleviating some of the pre-purchasing jitters. Some sites provide highly detailed customization solutions where consumers can interact completely with their desired products before purchase, giving them the confidence to proceed.

Online innovation is also making its way to conventional brick-and-mortar retail stores, as well. Many brands now offer “brick-and-click” options, which allow for a smaller square footage and fewer employees, but provide a greater interactive and personalized in-store experience. Companies are developing eCommerce solutions that can be used in the stores through digital kiosks, providing personalized product ideas or interactive details about a product a consumer is considering.

Regardless of how an online retail merchant decides to proceed and which characteristics become incorporated, the goal should always be the same – to create a seamless, engaging experience for all customers in order to increase sales.

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