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Ecommerce trends come and go, and it’s vital to stay on top of industry innovations to be competitive in the online space.

Statista projects that ecommerce sales worldwide will reach $4.9 billion dollars in 2023 — and that number will continue to increase in the future.

This immense growth encourages more people to join the ecommerce space, meaning that already-established brands have to face fiercer competition.

To help you stay ahead of your competitors, consider these eight ecommerce trends that will shape the industry in the upcoming year.

Ecommerce trend #1: Custom merchandise

The demand for custom merchandise production grows as people increasingly use fashion and other belongings to express their views. Be it politics, support for charities, or love for celebrities, having a piece of merchandise that reflects these views has become a norm.

But how can your brand benefit from custom merchandise? You can use it as a means to reward your most loyal customers or promote the brand in events when there is an opportunity to give out free products.

If you can get the attention of people by offering them complimentary pens, caps, calendars, and other merchandise, that will help with spreading your influence.

Ecommerce trend #2: Voice commerce

Optimizing your online store for voice commerce will give you an edge, as it’s an innovative feature that not many online stores have implemented yet.

But it’s only a matter of time until voice shopping makes its mark, especially when you consider the popularity of Alexa and other home assistants. 

Voice commerce also gives an advantage because your business can become one of the go-to places for people with disabilities. 

Ecommerce trend #3: Advanced customization

A lack of customization options may be off-putting, particularly for businesses that sell clothes, shoes, phone cases, personal computers, or other products that shoppers want to customize. For example, if a T-shirt you sell has limited color choices or lacks fonts for captions, you may lose a customer. 

The freedom to choose what they want on a product is an expectation that shoppers have nowadays. Do not take this creativity away from them. Instead, make sure that your store has as many product customization options as possible.

Ecommerce trend #4: Machine learning

Machine learning allows brands to collect data and use it to research customers and optimize the shopping experience.

Artificial intelligence also poses another question – when will chatbots replace real people in the customer support department?

The most recent chatbot versions respond to customer questions immediately, and these chatbots are available 24/7. In other words, they can be more available than real people, meaning that the widespread use of AI in ecommerce stores is a matter of when, not if.

Ecommerce trend #5: Augmented reality

Purchasing items online has its advantages, but one downside is that you can’t check products in person. 

Thankfully, this situation will change due to augmented reality. Shoppers will have an option to enter stores via cyberspace pretty soon. Virtual reality will transform ecommerce — and failing to adapt to this trend could cost you a lot. 

Ecommerce trend #6: Visual ecommerce

You need visuals if you want your product to stand out. Plain production description texts and low-quality pictures do not cut it anymore.

To succeed in this space, you need to create infographics, unboxing videos by cooperating with influencers, and interactive imagery. You could even implement gamification, perhaps creating a game revolving around the brand.

Ecommerce trend #7: Natural products

Environmental problems call for changes in customer behavior. While unfortunately not everyone cares about the planet, some consumers prefer to support brands that have a clear eco-friendly policy.

You can offer reusable packaging, use eco-friendly transportation, and donate to charities that fight to preserve our planet. 

Ecommerce trend #8: Customer experience

Customer experience should become one of your top priorities. Finding new clients in a competitive market is not easy. If you start losing your best customers, it won’t be long before your business begins going downhill. 

Start with developing solid customer support. In addition to responsive reps, create an in-depth FAQ page so that customers who prefer to look for information themselves have that option. 

A loyalty program is another solid choice. Reward your best clients with various perks, like free shipping or exclusive discounts. Such behavior will incentivize people to share the positive side of your business with others, which will attract more customers.

Are you managing a remote team? Head to this guide for the best virtual team management tools for your company.