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Accurate analytics and up-to-date statistics are some of the most valuable assets in a marketer’s toolset. They help you understand consumer behaviors, refine your marketing strategies and make accurate sale predictions. Today, it’s a well-known fact that the consumer journey begins online, but according to the latest statistics, that journey can end in numerous ways, from store visits to phone calls or online conversions.
Read on to discover the most relevant retail statistics from the last few months, and learn exactly what you need to do in order to increase your conversion rate and improve your inventory predictions.

Everything starts with online research

As mentioned above, online research is (in most cases) the starting journey for most consumers, as over 80% of consumers do online research before buying anything. And you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that 77% of consumers do their research from mobile devices.

Video marketing is vital for conversions

For the past few years, marketing experts have been predicting that video marketing will eventually be the most efficient marketing strategy, and now we finally have the data to back this prediction. According to a study conducted by the Aberdeen Group, video content delivers up to 66% more qualified leads as well as a 54%increase in brand awareness. Not only that but 46% of consumers watch more video ads online than they do on the TV. All this data shows that videos are the consumer’s preferred type of content. However, keep in mind that consumer’s attention span is now much shorter than it has ever been. It’s estimated that you now only have about 2.7 seconds to capture the attention of your audience, so use that time wisely.

Modern consumers rely on automatic deal finders

We did mention above that the consumer journey starts online in most cases, but traditional research is proving to be too time-consuming for modern customers who are now turning to apps and browser extensions that automatically find deals for them. 72% of consumers say they do this to save time, while 63% do it because they are more confident to buy a product whose price is recommended by an automatic deal finder.

E-commerce continues its slow but steady evolution

For the past few years, e-commerce sales have been growing by approximately 15-20% per year. Despite this obvious evolution, over 40% of small businesses still don’t even have a web presence, not to mention an online store.

Mobile retail is growing

It’s not only the research that is done via mobile devices, as today’s consumers are finding it easier and easier to also shop from mobile devices. According to a study performed by OuterBox, 79% of smartphone users have made at least one mobile purchase in the last few months. The holidays seem to be the busiest time for mobile consumers. Over the 2018 winter holidays, more than 40% of all ecommerce purchases were made from a mobile device.

Consumers want personalized shopping experiences

Making customers feel valued has always been an efficient marketing strategy, but this is not more important than ever. Based on a survey done by Accenture, 75% of modern customers are more likely to buy from a brand that addresses them by name and uses their purchase history to make shopping recommendations.

Flexible return policies build trust

Trust for online store recommendation continues to grow with consumers, that being said, some purchases are oblivious to the fact that online purchases are not as safe as store purchases. As such, it is no wonder that 60% of online shoppers review a retailer’s return policy before making a purchase, favoring brands with flexible and easy to understand return policies.

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Free deliveries have a high impact

No one likes to pay shipping fees, so it should come as no surprise that 90% of online consumers are more likely to make a purchase that comes with free delivery.

Physical shops continue to lose terrain

For a long time, consumers used to say that they prefer to try something before buying it, but according to the latest data, the popularity of physical shops is decreasing at a dramatic rate, with only 23% of retail consumers still declaring that they prefer a traditional shopping experience.

Search engines reclaim their top position on traffic and conversions

Social media has certainly made an impact in online shopping trends and behavior, however, you shouldn’t count out consumers that are turning back to search engines for both research and purchases. According to the latest data, search engines generate over 300% more traffic than social media posts. Moreover, the second page of search engine results is still the best place to hide a body, as over 75% of people don’t read past the first page.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past year it’s that customer demands are constantly changing. Online shopping has become more accessible than ever, customer expectations are increasing, which means that online merchants need to be smarter about the industry. So we thought now would be a perfect time to share a few global eCommerce trends to keep an eye on this year.

AUGMENTED REALITY IS CHANGING THE GAME

Long, boring product descriptions have taken a backseat to much more visual experiences. These days, consumers prefer eye-catching visuals that give them a look into their products. Physical stores give you the liberty of viewing a product that interests you. The same can be said about online shopping as well. However, it does not end there. We’re not talking images and videos of your product. We mean high-quality visuals that are backed by artificial intelligence. This year we’re bound to start seeing more augmented reality experiences being baked into the shopping experience.  

Sounds cool, but how does it work? Let’s say you want to buy a lamp for your bedroom. You’ve decided on the one you like, but how do you know if it will look good in your bedroom? Integrating AR helps give your customer a sense of what the product will look like in a real-world environment. It allows consumers to zoom in, turn around, and view every part of a product that they are interested in. All in all augmented experiences and innovative visualizations are definitely on the list for 2019.

BRICK AND MORTAR BACK WITH A BANG

Yes, online shopping is starting to overtake physical stores, but it looks like the latter has resurrected from its grave. Amazon, the world’s largest and strongest eCommerce giant put up a very real, very physical, brick and mortar store at the big apple, New York. But why would a benchmark performer in the eCommerce industry put up a physical store? Kind of defeats the purpose, don’t you think? You would be wrong. Consumers flocked to this outlet, and Alibaba, Amazon’s competition from the east followed suit by setting up an Alibaba store as well. In fact, these stores are a sight to behold. They are architected the same way that it looks on the website or app. For example, the Amazon store has categorized the aisle according to various headings that you find on the website, like “trending now”, “most relevant”, etc.

Digital kiosks are newly trending as well. A digital kiosk works pretty much like digital signage, by offering product details and visualization. However, these kiosks are more than just a platform to advertise your product. Customers can view products that are not available on the store, click on the purchase code, and opt for home delivery of the same. Just like your online shopping experience, but in a physical store.

AI & MACHINE LEARNING, REDEFINING THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

In 2019 machine learning will propel the shopping experience to a whole other level. Picture this. Online shoppers are given smart product bundle recommendations that fit their purchase behavior, while on the merchant’s side, machine learning delivers accurate forecasts of sales trends, by location, timeframes and down to individual product SKUs. Machine learning delivers a win-win solution for both merchants and shoppers. Machine Learning solutions such as Curve’s will also be of utmost importance as far as driving data insights are concerned.

Combining these trends can prove to be extremely beneficial for your e-Commerce business. The year has already started, so plan out your business strategies with these new trends.