Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Latest eCommerce Trends

January 16, 2023
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In today's highly connected digital world, online shopping has grown from a niche phenomenon to a mainstream economic activity, seeing explosive expansion. Keeping abreast with the most recent developments in technology is crucial for businesses in today's market, when an increasing number of customers prefer to do their shopping online.

If you want your company to succeed in today's fiercely competitive digital market, you need to be up-to-date on the latest eCommerce trends. Everything you need to know about staying ahead of the curve in the age of mobile commerce, customization, social media commerce, and subscription-based models will be covered.

Whether you're just starting out or have years of experience running an online store, you'll find useful information in this guide for expanding your business and providing exceptional service to your consumers. Let's dive in and check out the newest developments in eCommerce that are already having an impact.

What is Subscription Commerce? Wholesale Subscription Commerce

Subscription commerce, also known as recurring billing or subscription-based model, refers to a business model where a customer pays a subscription fee to receive a product or service on a recurring basis. Some examples of subscription-based businesses include magazine subscriptions, streaming services, meat box subscription, baking subscription box, and software as a service (SaaS) companies.

Subscription commerce incorporates recurring billing, automated billing, and subscription management billing models. This can include monthly or yearly subscriptions for physical goods, such as clothing or household items, or digital services, such as streaming platforms or online content.

Subscription Commerce For Wholesale Distributors

Wholesale distribution companies can leverage subscription commerce as a way to create a recurring revenue stream and build long-term relationships with customers. Here are some potential ways that wholesale distributors can implement subscription commerce:

  1. Offer a subscription service for regularly used products
  2. Sell subscriptions to online content or tools 
  3. Offer a subscription-based delivery service
  4. Bundle products into subscription packages

What is Subscription Model in eCommerce?

In the b2b eCommerce context, subscription models are often facilitated through online platforms or websites. Customers can sign up for a subscription on the company's website and receive the product or service regularly, often at a discounted rate compared to one-time purchases.

Subscription models have become increasingly popular in recent years due to the convenience and value they offer to customers. They allow customers to receive regular deliveries of products they need or enjoy without having to place separate orders each time. Additionally, subscription models often offer exclusive deals and discounts to subscribers, which can drive customer loyalty. 

There are several types of subscription models, including:

  1. Physical product subscriptions: This type of subscription involves the delivery of physical products, such as clothing, household items, or food, to the customer on a regular basis.
  2. Digital product subscriptions: This type of subscription involves the delivery of digital products or services, such as streaming platforms, online content, or software, to the customer on a regular basis.
  3. Hybrid subscriptions: This type of subscription involves the delivery of both physical and digital products or services to the customer on a regular basis.

6 Features of Subscription Commerce Business Model

The subscription commerce business model allows companies to build long-term relationships with customers and generate consistent revenue streams, while also providing value and convenience for customers.

Here are six key features of the subscription commerce business model:

  1. Recurring revenue
  2. Customer retention
  3. Convenience
  4. Personalization
  5. Upselling opportunities
  6. Customer data

Subscription Revenue Model in eCommerce

There are several benefits to using a subscription revenue model in eCommerce. For customers, the convenience of having products or services delivered on a regular basis can be appealing, and the ability to pay for those products or services on a recurring basis can make budgeting easier. 

On the other hand, for businesses, the subscription model can provide a predictable and stable source of revenue, as well as an opportunity to build long-term relationships with customers.

To implement a subscription revenue model in eCommerce, a business will need to set up a system for collecting recurring payments from customers. A payment processing software, such as BlueCart Pay, or online payment gateway will come in handy. 

The business will also need to decide on the terms of the subscription, including the frequency of payment and the length of the subscription. In addition, you will need to have a system in place for order management and order fulfillment.

What is Social Commerce? 3 Benefits of Social Commerce

Social commerce is the process of selling products and services directly through social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are just a few examples of social networking platforms that are used in social commerce to advertise and market goods and services.

With social commerce, every step of the purchasing process—from product research and discovery to b2b payments—takes place on social media. The level of consumer engagement with a brand's marketing via retweets, likes, and shares is a key indicator of the effectiveness of a social commerce effort.

Consumers want to use these platforms for both research and transactions, making purchases with a few clicks while scrolling and keeping up with friends' and influencers' latest activities. Additionally, social commerce allows consumers to:

  • Learn about brands
  • Research products
  • Engage with customer service
  • Buy products

Social commerce, as opposed to social media marketing, allows customers to make purchases directly through social media platforms. In other instances, the social media platform may have links that take users directly to the product page of the shop, where they may finish their purchase.

3 Benefits of Social Commerce to B2B Businesses

Here are some benefits of social commerce for businesses:

  1. Streamlines the Purchase Process
  2. Tells Your Brand Story
  3. Boosts Customer Engagement

Top 4 Social Commerce Strategies

So, how can your business integrate social commerce successfully? Here are four strategies to try out:

  1. Using Video Content
  2. Influencer Marketing
  3. Inserting "Shop Now" Links
  4. Content created by users

What is M-Commerce? Getting Started with Mobile Commerce

M-commerce, or mobile commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods and services through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It includes a wide range of activities, including mobile banking, mobile shopping, mobile payments, and more. 

With the widespread adoption of mobile devices and the increasing use of the internet for commerce, m-commerce has become an important part of the eCommerce industry. It allows consumers to shop and make purchases anytime, anywhere, and provides businesses with new opportunities to reach and engage with customers.

How Mobile Commerce Works in 6 Steps

The process of making a purchase through m-commerce is similar to making a purchase through eCommerce, but it is specifically designed for mobile devices.

Here's how it works:

  1. The customer accesses an online store or marketplace through their mobile device. This can be done through a web browser or through a dedicated app.
  2. The customer browses the store and selects the products they wish to purchase.
  3. The customer adds the products to their shopping cart and proceeds to checkout.
  4. The customer enters their payment and shipping information and confirms the order.
  5. The payment is processed and the order is placed. The customer is typically notified of the order confirmation and expected delivery date.
  6. The seller fulfills the order and ships the products to the customer.

Benefits of Mobile Commerce for Wholesale Distributors

Mobile commerce can be a powerful tool for wholesale distribution companies looking to grow their businesses and reach new customers in the digital age.

M-commerce can provide a number of benefits for wholesalers, including:

  1. Increased reach
  2. Improved customer experience
  3. Increased efficiency
  4. Enhanced data collection and analysis
  5. New revenue streams

5 Tips to Getting Started With Mobile Commerce 

If you are a business looking to get started with m-commerce, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Identify your Target Market
  2. Develop a Mobile-Friendly Website
  3. Offer a Seamless Checkout Process
  4. Promote your mCommerce Offerings
  5. Monitor and Analyze Customer Behavior

What is BOPIS eCommerce? Top 10 BOPIS eCommerce Strategy

BOPIS is a type of eCommerce service that allows customers to shop online and pick up their orders at a store location. It combines the convenience of online ordering with the ability to see and touch the product before purchasing it.

This can be convenient for customers who want to avoid shipping fees or who need to get an item quickly. BOPIS orders can typically be placed through the eCommerce website or mobile commerce app, and the customer is notified when the order is ready for pickup at the store.

Some businesses also offer the option to have the order shipped to the store for pickup, rather than to the customer's home. For wholesale distribution companies, offering BOPIS can be a good way to provide the ultimate omnichannel customer experience for customers and potentially increase sales.

To implement BOPIS, wholesale distributors will need to have a system in place for payment processing and fulfilling online orders. You must integrate a way for customers to track the status of their orders and schedule a pickup time. 

How Does BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup in Store) Strategy Work For Wholesalers?

The BOPIS strategy can be useful for wholesalers because it allows them to leverage their existing brick-and-mortar store infrastructure to fulfill online orders.

Here's how a BOPIS strategy might work for a wholesaler:

  1. The customer places an order online, selecting the option to pick up the order at a physical store location.
  2. The wholesaler receives the order and begins preparing it for pickup. This might involve pulling the items from inventory and packaging them for transport.
  3. The customer is notified when the order is ready for pickup, either via email or text message.
  4. The customer travels to the store and presents a pickup confirmation (either a printed copy or an electronic version on their phone) to the store associate.
  5. The store associate retrieves the order and hands it over to the customer.

Benefits of BOPIS eCommerce for Wholesale Distributors

Implementing a BOPIS strategy can be a useful way for wholesale distributors to drive online sales, leverage their existing store infrastructure, and potentially improve customer satisfaction. There are several benefits that wholesale distributors can potentially realize by offering a BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) option to their customers:

  1. Increased online sales
  2. Leverage existing store infrastructure
  3. Reduced shipping costs
  4. Improved customer satisfaction
  5. Increased foot traffic

10 Steps to Implement BOPIS Strategy

Implementing a BOPIS strategy can be a complex process, but by following these steps, you can set yourself up for success and provide a convenient and efficient fulfillment option for your customers.

Here are ten strategies that wholesalers can use to effectively implement a BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) program:

  1. Offer a wide range of high demand products
  2. Clearly communicate the BOPIS option
  3. Make pickup times convenient
  4. Provide clear pickup instructions
  5. Offer in-store pickup incentives
  6. Use real-time inventory updates
  7. Provide multiple pickup options
  8. Use pickup confirmations effectively
  9. Offer a smooth return process
  10. Monitor and adjust as needed

AI in eCommerce: 7 Ways AI Can Help eCommerce Businesses

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize the eCommerce industry, transforming the way that businesses sell and customers shop online. The potential applications of AI in the industry are virtually limitless. 

By leveraging the power of AI, B2C, D2C, and B2B eCommerce businesses can gain a competitive edge and deliver an unparalleled level of convenience and service to their customers. Whether you're just starting an eCommerce business or you're looking to take your existing online store to the next level, AI can help you achieve your goals and drive growth and success.

From eCommerce personalization and eCommerce customer service to inventory management and fraud detection, AI is helping eCommerce companies streamline their operations and improve the shopping experience for their customers. Businesses can set dynamic prices, improve search functionality, and much more.

Let’s look at the benefits of AI for eCommerce businesses and how it can help them stay ahead of the competition. 

5 Benefits of AI for eCommerce Businesses

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly popular in the eCommerce industry. Here are five benefits of using AI for eCommerce businesses:

  1. Improved personalization
  2. Increased efficiency
  3. Enhanced customer service
  4. Better decision making
  5. Increased accuracy

Top 7 Ways AI is Used in eCommerce

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the eCommerce industry, and for good reason. AI-powered technologies can automate and optimize various aspects of an eCommerce business, from personalization and customer service to inventory management and ad optimization. 

  1. eCommerce Personalization
  • Product recommendations: AI can analyze customer data, such as browsing history and purchase history, to recommend products that are likely to be of interest to each individual customer.
  • Personalized product searches: AI can be used to improve search results on eCommerce websites, making it easier for customers to find products that are most relevant to them.
  • Personalized pricing: AI can analyze customer data and market conditions to offer personalized pricing to individual customers, such as offering discounts or special promotions.
  • Personalized content: AI can be used to tailor website content, such as product descriptions and eCommerce marketing messages, to the specific interests of each customer.
  • Personalized customer service: AI can be used to provide personalized customer service, such as answering customer questions or handling complaints, in a way that is tailored to the specific needs of each customer.
  • Personalized email and marketing campaigns: AI can be used to analyze customer behavior and preferences, and create personalized email and marketing campaigns that are most likely to resonate with them.
  1. Customer Service
  • Chatbots: AI-powered chatbots can handle customer inquiries and complaints 24/7, providing quick and efficient service even when human representatives are unavailable. Chatbots can answer questions, guide customers through a purchase, and even handle simple troubleshooting tasks.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): AI-based natural language processing (NLP) technology allows chatbots to understand the intent of a customer's question or comment and provide a relevant response. This improves the quality of customer service and reduces the need for human representatives to handle simple requests.
  • Sentiment analysis: AI can be used to analyze customer feedback and determine the sentiment (positive, negative or neutral) of the feedback, this can help the eCommerce businesses to understand their customers’ needs and preferences, and improve customer service accordingly.
  • Predictive analytics: AI can be used to analyze customer data and make predictions about future customer behavior. This can help eCommerce businesses anticipate customer needs and proactively address potential issues before they arise.
  • Automated follow-up: AI can be used to automatically follow up with customers after a purchase or service request. This can help improve customer satisfaction and reduce the need for manual follow-up tasks.
  1. Inventory Management
  • Demand planning and forecasting: AI can be used to analyze customer data and make predictions about future demand for specific products. This can help businesses optimize their inventory levels and reduce the risk of overstocking or running out of popular items.
  • Automated restocking: AI algorithms can be used to automatically reorder products when inventory levels run low. This can save time and reduce the risk of stockouts.
  • Sales trend analysis: AI can be used to analyze b2b sales processes, trends, and identify which products are selling well and which are not. This can help businesses make informed decisions about which products to stock and which to discontinue.
  • Inventory optimization: AI can optimize inventory levels by analyzing historical data and making predictions about future demand, such as for peak seasons, holidays, and special events.
  • Predictive analytics: AI can be used to analyze past data and make predictions about future market trends, helping eCommerce businesses make informed decisions about inventory management, such as deciding on the quantity and timing of restocking, and improving sales forecast accuracy.
  1. Fraud Detection
  • Identifying abnormal behavior: AI algorithms can analyze customer data, such as purchase history and browsing habits, to identify patterns of behavior that deviate from the norm. This can help identify potential fraudulent activity, such as fake customer accounts or unauthorized transactions.
  • Real-time monitoring: AI can be used to monitor eCommerce transactions in real-time, allowing businesses to detect and prevent fraud as it occurs.
  • Risk scoring: AI can assign a risk score to each transaction based on the likelihood of fraud, allowing businesses to prioritize which transactions to investigate further.
  • Rule-based systems: AI can be trained to flag transactions that violate certain pre-defined rules such as suspicious IP addresses, unusual location or unreasonable high transaction amounts.
  • Multi-layered approach: AI-powered fraud detection solutions can use multiple methods to analyze transactions, such as machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing to increase the accuracy of fraud detection.
  • Continuously learning: AI algorithms can continuously learn and improve over time, adapting to new patterns of fraudulent behavior and reducing false positives.
  1. Price Optimization
  • Analyzing market data: AI can be used to analyze large amounts of market data, such as competitor prices and product demand, to determine the optimal prices for products.
  • Predictive modeling: AI can use historical data and customer behavior to make predictions about how different pricing strategies will perform, and adjust prices accordingly.
  • Dynamic pricing: AI can be used to set dynamic prices that change in real-time based on market conditions, customer demand and other factors.
  • Personalized pricing: AI can be used to personalize prices for individual customers based on factors such as their purchase history and browsing behavior.
  • Automation: AI can automate the process of setting prices, reducing the time and resources required to manage pricing manually.
  • Optimize promotions: AI can analyze data and suggest promotions and discounts that are most likely to attract customers and optimize sales, it also helps to adjust prices accordingly.
  1. Image Recognition
  • Product tagging and classification: AI can be used to automatically classify and tag product images, making it easier for eCommerce businesses to manage and organize their product catalogs. This can save a significant amount of time and effort that would be required to manually categorize products.
  • Image search: AI-powered image search allows customers to find products by searching for an image or uploading an image of the product they are looking for. This can improve the customer experience by making it easier for them to find what they're looking for.
  • Image-based product recommendations: AI can analyze customer purchase history and browsing behavior to recommend products based on the images they have viewed. This can help increase sales and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Product authenticity: AI can be used to verify the authenticity of a product by analyzing its images and comparing them to a reference database. This can help eCommerce businesses protect against counterfeit products.
  • Improving image-based customer support: AI can analyze the images of a product sent by the customer and provide support in case of any queries, this can help to improve customer satisfaction and help customers to find the right product more easily.
  1. Ad Optimization
  • Targeting: AI can analyze customer data to identify the most effective target audience for an ad campaign, resulting in higher conversion rates and a better return on investment.
  • Ad placement: AI algorithms can optimize ad placement by analyzing data on where ads are most likely to be seen and clicked on by potential customers. This can help increase the visibility and effectiveness of the ads.
  • Ad optimization: AI can be used to optimize the content and design of ads based on historical data and customer behavior. For example, it can analyze the performance of previous ads and use the insights to improve the design, messaging and other elements of current ads.
  • Budget allocation: AI can analyze data on the performance of different ad campaigns to help eCommerce businesses allocate their ad budget more effectively.
  • Predictive analytics: AI can use historical data and customer behavior to make predictions about the likely success of an ad campaign, helping eCommerce businesses make informed decisions about their marketing strategy.
  • Real-time optimization: AI can be used to continuously optimize ad campaigns in real-time, adapting to changes in customer behavior and market conditions.

How to Implement Artificial Intelligence Into Your eCommerce Business in 7 Steps

  1. Identify specific areas where AI can be beneficial
  2. Research and select the right AI tools
  3. Develop a plan for data collection and management
  4. Train your AI models
  5. Test and refine your AI implementation
  6. Put in place a team and resources
  7. Communicate the changes to your customers and staff

Remember, implementing AI is an iterative process and requires ongoing effort to ensure it is working as expected and delivering value to the business.

What is Sustainable eCommerce? 10 Eco Shipping Packaging

Sustainable eCommerce refers to the practice of conducting online retail business in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible. With the increasing popularity of online shopping, it is important to consider the environmental and social impacts of eCommerce and strive to minimize negative impacts while maximizing positive ones.

One key aspect of sustainable eCommerce is reducing the carbon footprint of online eCommerce. This can be done in a number of ways, such as by using renewable energy sources to power eCommerce websites and warehouse management systems, cutting down on the use of single-use plastics in packaging, and improving last-mile delivery logistics to cut down on emissions from transportation.

Top 7 Ways to Practice Sustainable eCommerce

There are several ways that eCommerce companies can practice sustainability:

  1. Reduce packaging waste
  2. Choose eco-friendly shipping options
  3. Support eco-friendly suppliers
  4. Promote energy efficiency
  5. Encourage responsible consumption
  6. Practice ethical labor practices
  7. Support charitable causes

Top 10 Sustainable eCommerce Packaging Options

There are several sustainable options available for ecommerce businesses looking to reduce their environmental footprint. Here are top ten options you can try out:

  1. Recyclable Cardboard Boxes
  2. Reusable Boxes
  3. Kraft Paper
  4. Biodegradable Bubble Wrap
  5. Recyclable Mailers
  6. Cornstarch Packing Peanuts
  7. Biodegradable Packing Tape
  8. Reusable Shipping Envelopes
  9. Recyclable Poly Bags
  10. Soy-based Ink

Top 5 Benefits of Sustainable eCommerce

There are several benefits of sustainable ecommerce for businesses, including:

  1. Increased customer loyalty
  2. Cost savings
  3. Improved brand reputation
  4. Increased competitiveness
  5. Legal and regulatory compliance

Summing It Up

To sum up, this extensive guide has attempted to provide an in-depth explanation of the most recent trends in eCommerce of which organizations should be aware. Successful online sellers know they must adapt to survive in the modern digital marketplace, which means keeping up with the latest developments in the eCommerce industry is essential.

We've covered how subscription-based models, social media commerce, individualized product recommendations, and mobile commerce are all on the upswing. Businesses can maintain an edge over the competition and expand their online presence by studying and adopting these trends.

The advantages of AI and automation in enhancing the entire customer experience have also been covered.It is crucial for businesses in today's digital environment to keep abreast of, and flexible with, the latest developments in the realm of electronic commerce. 

With any luck, this manual has given businesses the tools they need to improve their online presence and keep up with the competition. Do not forget that you can only succeed in eCommerce by keeping abreast of and adapting to the ever-shifting conditions of the industry.

Streamline order management, grow your bottom line, and get back hours of your time with BlueCart. Schedule a demo now:
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