Like tech in general, e-commerce is constantly changing; for businesses striving to offer the best services to their customers, it’s more important than ever to keep ahead of the curve in tailoring your e-commerce business plan. Below, we’ll cover 8 of the hottest growing trends in the online marketplace, and the importance of integrating digital commerce solutions for a thriving business.

1. Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO)

The brick-and-mortar store is still a popular resource for consumers. However, online tools allow customers more power than ever to compare prices, models, and alternatives, even without the intent of an online order. Businesses should strive to provide an online presence that gives quick, insightful, and attractive information to research-oriented consumers, and consider the importance of bridging your online and brick-and-mortar presences.

2. Augmented Reality

VR or Virtual Reality is currently enjoying a figurative arms race between several major tech manufacturers, be it Sony, Google, HTC, or Oculus. While the jury is out on which players will command the lion’s share of the market, it’s a sure bet that augmented reality will provide a brand new arena for digital marketing.

3. Chatbots

“Conversational commerce” is rapidly replacing phone and e-mail for customer service solutions, providing instant service to online shoppers. As artificial intelligence (affectionately know as “Chatbots”) continues to develop, businesses looking for a hands-off alternative to call centers should be on notice. We have put lots of attention in this, and we made mention to it before in our blog posts “Chatbots: Understanding the key to the next e-commerce revolution” and “How will AI impact e-commerce“.

4. Photo and Video shopping

As the popularity of online streaming and photo sharing platforms grow, so too will businesses find a new opportunity for literal “point and click” digital marketing.

5. Blockchain

Combined with opportunities like blockchain technology, the power of artificial service solutions like chatbots is a force to be reckoned with. Keep an eye on blockchain tech.

6. Personalization

Unlike the e-commerce marketplace of the past, companies are now bridging the gap between physical browsing and online transactions. Whether through targeted advertising or VR solutions like Amazon Look, consumers will be looking for online experiences offering the same look, feel, and sensation of a retail visit.

7. Behavioral factors

Retailers have access to consumer data like never before, meaning eCommerce featuring direct marketing to consumers will provide the best return, potentially putting an end to the demographic data-driven market analysis of yesteryear.

8. More mobile

Consumers spend more time on personal mobile devices than any other. As the ubiquity of smartphones, tablets, and various mobile tech continues to dominate, it is more important than ever for businesses to implement e-commerce initiatives prioritizing the mobile customer.