In 2020, COVID-19 caused a major shift in consumer behaviour that forced businesses of all sizes in every industry to quickly move their operations online, and payments company to adapt their products and services to support them. With new lockdowns, curfews, and other social distancing measures announced worldwide, e-Commerce will continue to grow.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, OTT Pay has relied on its mobile payments and e-Commerce expertise to anticipate its merchants’ needs—especially the smaller ones—and offer solutions to help them enter new areas of services and reach more customers. We have also been monitoring closely the evolution of e-Commerce, and we’re sharing the Top 5 trends to look out for in 2021:
- Omnichannel experience. Providing customers with a consistent, seamless, and stress-free customer experience across all channels and devices is key. Businesses looking to leverage this trend successfully will need to personalize the overall shopping experience on their e-Commerce platform as well as on mobile devices, relying on analytics to determine customers’ preferences, behaviour, and loyalty, and to keep track of their profit and loss.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR). Businesses looking to enhance their online shopping experience have already started to invest in AI and AR initiatives. AI tracks online behaviour allowing merchants to act as shopping assistants and suggest products to customers based on their purchasing history. AR is used for chats, livestream sessions, and videos that show customers what a specific product would look like on them or in their home, since they can’t try it on or inspect it like they would in a physical store.
- New payment options. Businesses looking to convert online need to offer customers their preferred method on payment, whether its e-wallets like Alipay, WeChat Pay, UnionPay, Apple Pay, and Pay Pal or the Click to pay option offered by major credit card companies. The current context has placed huge value on fast and contactless payment, and merchants must accept digital payments in addition to traditional forms of payments if they hope to attract customers. Mobile payments also have benefits for business owners, such as low transaction fees and the guarantee of getting paid.
- Mobile e-Commerce. According to Statista, the total mobile e-Commerce sales worldwide will reach 3.56 trillion USD in 2021. As customers get more comfortable using their mobile devices to shop online, mobile e-Commerce will be at the heart of e-Commerce. But to take advantage of this trend, merchants need to prepare their e-Commerce platforms to offer superior customer experience to mobile users. They can achieve this by implementing accelerated mobile pages (AMP) for smartphone users, simplifying the checkout process on mobile devices, and test their mobile site manually.
- Visual commerce. Using high-quality traditional or 360 images, and videos of top-selling products is a sure way of engaging customers online. Businesses looking to leverage this trend should display quality imagery on their homepage with shortcuts to buy the product directly, invest in a visual search tool, repurpose user-generated content for their site, and create visual shopping ads to drive traffic. Businesses incorporating high-quality visuals to their e-Commerce site also create consistent branding throughout the site, which improves consumers’ confidence and increases the conversion rate.
E-Commerce sales worldwide have soared since the beginning of the pandemic, and Canada is no exception. A Statistics Canada study published this summer showed that retail e-Commerce sales had reach a record high of $3.9 billion in May 2020, a 110% increase compared with May 2019, and Statista reported that e-Commerce sales in Canada would exceed 36 million USD in 2024.
These numbers are impossible to ignore. But like in traditional retail, competition is fierce, and you need to know what the latest e-Commerce trends are and how to incorporate them in your overall business strategy if you want to stay ahead.
The team at OTT Pay is constantly working on flexible, easy to implement, secure, and innovative solutions to help our clients take advantage of mobile payments and e-Commerce. Our new livestream shopping service launched in December is a great example. We can help your business too.
Ready to discover your online potential? We can get you started quickly. Contact our Customer Support team today for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1-800-688-9838.