May 28, 2019 4 min read

The ever-changing landscape of eCommerce is both scary and exciting. Every year, there are changes that may help us grow our businesses or new challenges that we may not be able to keep up.
We have curated the following list of the hottest 5 international growth trends to spark new ideas, overcome the hurdles, and get you ready to win and maintain a successful eCommerce business for the years to come.

1 – Global eCommerce retail sales to hit $4.9 trillion by 2021

New studies projected that the worldwide retail eCommerce sales will reach a new high by 2021. Ecommerce businesses should anticipate a 265% growth rate, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.9 trillion in 2021. This shows a future of steady upward trend with no signs of decline.

But, what’s even more interesting is the global eCommerce sales have been steadily eating up the worldwide retail market. In fact, by 2021, it will account for 17.5% of the total global retail sales. If you think about it, that portion is still a small chunk of the global retail sales.
This means more opportunity for growth in the future. To capitalize on this eCommerce trend, physical stores must embrace infrastructures to bring their businesses from offline to online while online businesses must find new ways to further elevate their brands online.

2 – Omnichannel shopping will become more prevalent

As the lines blur between the physical and digital environment, multiple channels will become more prevalent in customers’ path to purchase. This is evidenced by 73% of customers using multiple channels during their shopping journey. What it means for eCommerce is to understand how their customers buy, which marketing channels do they engage with, and their motivations and main drivers to purchase. In the simplest sense, omnichannel shopping means decoding what, where, when, why, and how people are purchasing the products you sell on a particular channel. There are many ways where multi-channel shopping is on the works. For instance, people can research a product online and then buy in-store, or buy products online and pick up in-store. The more channels your shoppers use, the more likelihood of an increased average order value. For example, customers who used more than 4 shopping channels spent 9% more in the store, on average, when compared to those who used just one channel. Every single touchpoint is important because it puts every single piece of the puzzle into a whole story. Knowing your customers’ touch points before they purchase will better inform your brand of how to promote your products and allocate your marketing budget. In 2019, ensure that you integrate your offline and online attributes into a single and coherent multi-channel shopping. Create convenient purchase touchpoints for customers who research online and purchase offline. Adopt to click and collect strategy, where shoppers can purchase online and pick it up in a store close to them. This also means that your offline and online data should be in-synced so that you will get a quicker and more informed business decision.

3 – Social shopping is on the rise 

More and more people are doing their shopping on social media platforms. With the improvement of social media’s selling capabilities, social media platforms are more than just advertising channels. People can now conveniently and quickly purchase products on their chosen social media platform. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube are among the social media channels which rolled out the “buy” buttons and made significant improvement their social selling features. For instance, Instagram launched its ‘shoppable post’ feature, allowing businesses to enable product tags in their posts and product stickers in stories.
When people tap to view a product tag on your post or a product sticker in your story, they will see the following: An image of the product A brief description of the product How much the product costs A link where they can purchase the product This eCommerce trend cuts the time and effort for shoppers to make their purchase on social media, making them shop more productively. This makes big implications of widespread use among businesses, so as early as now, set up your social media posts to social selling and think of more creative ways to use social platforms to elevate your presence.

4 – The center of eCommerce is shifting from the western hemisphere

Once a giant, the United States’ share of the total global eCommerce retail market is projected to decrease by as much as 16.9% in 2020. One of the main drivers of the decrease is due to the rise of globalization and the improvement of technology and infrastructure from the non-western regions.
This eCommerce shift means businesses must adopt an international approach to make sure of their global accessibility and convenience. Of course, adapting to a global business model doesn’t mean you have to make a physical presence outside your local country.

5 – Domestic shoppers go cross-border shopping

Interestingly, shoppers are increasingly looking for products online outside their home country. In fact, 57% of online shoppers reported having made an online purchase from an overseas retailer in the last six months.
The average percentage of consumers who made overseas purchases by continent: 63.4% Europe, 57.9% Asia-Pacific, 55.5% Africa, 54.6% Latin America, and 45.5% North America.

The Future is Clear

Ecommerce is an ever-expanding world. With intensifying purchasing power of global consumers, the proliferation of social media users, and the continuously progressing infrastructure and technology, the future of eCommerce in 2019 and beyond is still more vibrant as ever.

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