Another month has passed in this year of Trendservation! Where has the time gone? In just one more month, we’ll be half way through 2019 already! This month, we observed some e-commerce trends that you may find interesting. Particularly, we observed improvements in pre and post-shopping experiences, growth in certain technologies, and further cooperation with Google’s shoppable ads. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Trendservations in pre and post-shopping experiences
First I want to start with the pre and post-shopping experience trendservations. While the sale of products and services is paramount to the success of your retail business, your before and after processes are just as important for customer retention. If your customers aren’t satisfied with their overall shopping experience, there’s a good chance they won’t be coming back!
With this in mind, Bonobos has released a new pre-shopping experience called “Ship. Try. Buy.”. This service will allow customers to order 12 items from the Bonobos store, try them on for free at home, and then buy the ones they like. The store then completely handles all returns the customer doesn’t want.
The key difference here is, of course, the fact that customers can order items to their homes without paying. They only pay for the goods they actually like after trying them on. This places another level of trust with the customer, as cash is not exchanged until after Bonobos has already paid for the items to be shipped themselves.
In the experimentation phase, this seems to be working out quite well for Bonobos. Over 30% of customers using the service are brand new customers! Over 60% are return customers, but it still shows that they are fans of the new service line. Best of all, Bonobos has enjoyed higher average order values and conversion rates through this offering!
On the other side of things, next in our trendservations is a company called Returnly is offering refunds without actually returning the item. What? It’s okay, you read that right. Returnly’s new service offering, called Green Returns, is offering a way to reduce the negative environmental effects of returns. When you return unwanted items, it’s common to double the packaging materials needed in the first place. This ends up being super wasteful, and can ultimately do more harm than good.
This is especially helpful for the sale of cosmetics, beauty, intimates, or other items that largely end up being “single-use”. Returnly works with a lot of other retailers, including the recent Untuckit, that offer a lot of single-use products. At the end of the day, companies like these have agreed that this sort of refund may be more important for retaining customers and improving their reputation, rather than spending a lot of money returning things that they won’t be able to efficiently resell. This makes sense considering that between 20-30% of items purchased online are returned every year!
Trendservations in technology
In other technology news, and per our past trendservations, chatbots are becoming even more popular with customers. In particular, chatbots have been predicted to drive over $110 billion in retail sales by 2023. What’s even crazier, is that chatbots only drive about $7 billion in sales right now. This means chatbots will double their impact on online sales every year for the next 4 years.
Now, there’s still a lot of debate around if people truly prefer talking to computers over real humans. But when you look at the numbers, you start to see this argument sway in the direction of the robots. A big part of this is that customer service technology has been advancing extremely quick.
Chatbot interactions are simply becoming more advanced than ever. At what point will they start to feel like totally human interactions? Companies will benefit from this change too. Automating so many of their customer interactions will save them a great deal of cash, around $450 million by 2023!
Switching gears, there have been some interesting developments in technology retail this month. Specifically, wearables have been predicted to see some really significant retail growth in the near future. When I say wearables, I’m talking about electronic items that customers have come to incorporate into their fashion senses. Things like smart bands, smartwatches, and headphones, are becoming more popular. This means the development of specific sensors and integrated parts for these items is in higher demand.
Globally, items like these and the parts they require are expected to see an increase in demand of up to 15%. This means that brands like Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit are going to need to be ready to increase their shipping capabilities. Most importantly, this goes for any other companies out there that handle a large quantity of these niche items.
Trendservations in online shopping capabilities
Just when you think Google’s done it all, they just keep going!
This week, the tech supergiant released a revamp Google shopping experience, increasing its impact on online shopping like never before. This released allowed for customers to find and compare millions of items from thousands of different stores, and then quickly direct them to buy online, or buy in a nearby store.
This expansion of online shopping capabilities is part of Google’s plan to strengthen its Google Shopping presence, integrating new features such as prices and products that will show up at the bottom of YouTube videos, allowing for customers to click there directly and purchase the product. Users will now be able to complete their shopping experiences completely on Google Search, YouTube, or on a new Google Shopping homepage that allows them to easily search and filter through millions of items.
Follow this year’s Trendservation with Luminos Labs
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