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New Trends in eCommerce: What Gen Z Expects From Online Shopping

For many people, Gen Zers in particular, eCommerce has nearly replaced the need for brick and mortar stores in their day-to-day lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated a heavy shift that was already taking place. eCommerce store service provider Oberlo projects that this year there will be 2.14 billion digital buyers; due to the seemingly exponential growth of the eCommerce industry, the number could be potentially higher.

Given these circumstances, businesses today cannot afford to ignore the potential of online stores. To take advantage of this growth, there are several emerging trends that businesses should take into account while running their eCommerce website.

Convenience

What was once thought of as convenient — for example, free next day shipping — has now become a standard or expected service. To today’s customers, convenience is the capability to shop whatever, and however they want. Large retail platforms like Amazon, Target, and Walmart offer a large selection of products, and even recommend complementary ones based on what you have just purchased. Businesses should consider forming partnerships with companies possessing complementary goods to make a seamless shopping experience that allows customers to quickly find all the related items they might need.

Social Media Exposure

As the oldest members of Gen Z turn 24 this year, businesses must be ready to adapt to the habits and tastes of an incoming demographic of consumers. 85% of Generation Zers discover new products via social media, making shoppable social media ads a vital method of advertisement for businesses hoping to tap into this new market.

Natural exposure on social media is difficult due to elusive algorithms, and running promoted posts or ads can be costly. Before investing heavily in advertising, businesses should research their target consumer base for relevant data, such as their buying triggers, to help better tailor their advertisements.

Companies engaging in eCommerce must also analyze their competition; ideally, they should learn what competitors are doing while simultaneously learning how to differentiate themselves and make their brand stand out. Once preliminary research has been done, businesses can begin A/B testing their ads to see which are most effective, and how they can be further improved or refined.

Granular Analytics

When observing eCommerce analytics, CPC, CTR, and COA are typically the main metrics of focus. However, to better understand customers and their needs, a more granular approach may be needed. This can be achieved through audience segmentation, separating customers into groups to better tailor specific and effective marketing strategies. For example, some customers may respond well to regular follow up from companies, while this same method could irritate and drive other customers away. To gather the information needed to create these groups, businesses should establish or improve upon their questionnaires and other data collection methods. One way this can be done is with CRM to CMS integration; the direct incorporation of CMR could allow for easy storage and retrieval of customer information to be used by the CMS.

To thrive in a growing industry like eCommerce, you must be willing to deal with ever-evolving trends and constant emergence of new customer bases. Though the ways in which we achieve convenience, effective advertising, and practical data employment will change, their importance to running a successful business will remain constant.

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