In this article, we will explore all e-commerce buying trends and technology breakthroughs that will stick around after the pandemic. If you own an online store and don’t follow any of these COVID-19 online shopping trends, the article might give you a possible idea for the next big step for your store.
E-Commerce Buying Trends 2020
Interest in Small and Independent Businesses
The pandemic managed to spark the empathy of people
towards small businesses. Major stores and retailers will survive and even profit from the situation. On the other hand, many small stores might never reopen after the pandemic.
Also, new tech solutions for e-commerce are more affordable than ever. Independent retailers should embrace and invest in e-commerce technology products that can help them gain customers.
Virtual Services & Subscriptions
Many services couldn’t cope with pandemic online shopping trends because their business depended on physical presence. It includes gyms, therapists, salons, cooking classes, etc. The solution: everyone who can offer their expertise remotely is doing it!
Fitness trainers offer virtual consultation services and online training. Chefs prepare video tutorials and online cooking classes. Therapists speak to you via a video chat. Like our body adapts to fight the virus, our businesses need to adapt to fight everything that comes with COVID-19: measures, limitations, and health concerns.
AR is the perfect example of Computer Vision in e-commerce. AR is a combination of 3D modeling and AI in e-commerce. It includes adding a digital layer to the real-world, usually by inserting 3D objects into the camera vi
ew of your smartphone. Famous examples include Pokemon GO and Snapchat filters.
Augmented reality is the perfect e-commerce technology. Since customers can’t see your product, you can let them interact with it virtually. Customers can see fashion items, furniture, or decorations in 3D. They can see how well it goes with their clothes or home, all just with a smartphone and a camera. It’s one of the most innovative COVID-19 e-commerce trends.
Here is how Ikea is using AR to help customers see how furniture will look like inside their homes:
Credits: How Ikea is using augmented reality – Digiday
Curbside pickup is the perfect middle ground between delivery and walking in the store to buy something. It’s convenient for people who want to make a purchase immediately, but they want to avoid waiting in lines and getting close to other people. These reasons make curbside pick up one of the breakthrough COVID-19 online shopping trends.
Why E-Commerce Buying Trends Will Stay
Pandemic or not, e-commerce technology will continue growing, and online shopping will continue to rise. AI in e-commerce is also a trending topic. There are several reasons while shoppers will stick with e-stores for a while:
No matter what you think about e-commerce, but you have to admit that it’s the most convenient thing in the world. Everything is designed to simplify your shopping. Things like recommendation engines in e-commerce make product discovery and purchasing a pleasant experience.
More products available
When you go to the mall, your choice is limited to the stores inside the mall. When you go online, the shipping availability and price is the only thing standing between you and any product in the world. Some stores might not have an item in stock but, when shopping online, you browse the inventory of all physical stores.
Finding the best price is simple
E-commerce technology enables customers to compare prices. It is the best way to make sure you’re buying the item at the best possible price. There are even browser extensions, like Avira Safe Shopping, that alerts users about the best deals. Even better, it will let you know if the same item is available for a better price somewhere else. Here is how it looks like:
Credits: New super tool finds bargains automatically – Avira
Upon visiting a physical store, you can review an item for a couple of minutes before deciding. For low-cost products, it’s more than enough. However, if you’re buying a laptop, for example, many different factors should influence your decision.
Pandemic e-commerce trends forced customers to shop at online stores. Many customers discovered the importance of online stores and product reviews. If there is a problem with a product, you can find out before buying it yourself. It sounds quite simple to regular online shoppers, but it’s a commodity introduced with e-commerce.
Why E-Commerce Needs AI
AI in e-commerce managed to transform online stores and increase their profits tremendously. Artificial intelligence aims to provide a better experience for shoppers, which will help them purchase more items and increase the store’s average order value. There are several AI-powered e-commerce technologies, so let’s check them out:
Deep fashion tagging
Deep fashion tagging uses computer vision in e-commerce to analyze fashion images and describe them in detail. E-Commerce stores use deep tagging to detect color, type, pattern, fabric, and many other style details from an image.
Tagging empowers many other technologies:
- Recommendation engine: Based on the item the customer is looking at, smart recommendations can use deep tagging to describe this item and offer similar or matching items for them to check out.
- Visual search: Customers can upload an image of an outfit, and deep tagging can be used to find similar items from the photo in your catalog.
- SEO for e-commerce: Deep tagging can generate detailed product descriptions and make your website SEO-friendly.
How visual search works
To add deep tagging, and everything that comes along, to your website, check out our AI solution.
- Augmented reality
Augmented reality is about 3D modeling and making these models interact on your phone’s camera screen. It turns out, AI and computer vision can help during both of these steps:
- 3D Modeling
3D modeling usually means you’re taking dozens, or even hundreds, of photos of the same object from different angles. After that, there are standardized methods you can use to generate 3D models. However, the process is long and repetitive, especially if you have thousands of products.
Some AI solutions include generating 3D models from very few 2D images you probably already have in your catalog. Talk to our team of AI experts to start taking advantage of this technology now.
- Interacting with your camera screen
This process uses computer vision. For example, you would love to detect a flat surface to place a decoration item from a store. Also, AI should recognize your foot in to put a 3D shoe model on it.
So Will New E-Commerce Buying Trends Stay?
The situation around the world led to the emergence of many pandemic online shopping trends. People started to appreciate small businesses and take advantage of virtual services. There are more deliveries and curbside pickups than ever. E-commerce technology is advancing faster than ever, and we feel like it’s a good thing.
Online shopping is not just a trend; it’s here to stay. The process started before the pandemic, but COVID-19 only accelerated this phenomenon. There are many reasons why online shopping will probably overtake regular purchases, but the main reason is its convenience.
No technology is potent until AI powers it. Data science in e-commerce managed to provide valuable results to retailers and customers alike. Technologies like smart recommendation engines in e-commerce managed to reduce cart abandonment and make customers buy several items in a bundle. Also, we shouldn’t forget about the use of computer vision in e-commerce. These applications include deep tagging and object recognition for augmented reality.
The “new normal” may be a corny catchphrase, but, years later, historians should be able to identify 2020 as the year when rapid e-commerce technology growth managed to keep us inside and buying anything with one finger and a smartphone.