The Ecommerce Trends Survey, carried out by 2Checkout with more than 1,200 companies across the world, has revealed their latest digital commerce priorities, challenges, and plans. The participating companies span a wide spectrum of industries, and sizes, yet they all report similar concern and approaches around ecommerce.
2Checkout is the leading all-in-one monetization platform for global businesses. The impact of technology is on the rise, although businesses are playing it safe by looking at tried and tested tools for immediate implementation while 2020 budgets look promising. Here are some additional findings from the survey.
Customer experience is a significant focus, according to 43 percent of respondents. Brand building and awareness (32 percent), and analytics (31 percent), are also top priorities for ecommerce for 2020. Closely related to analytics, optimization initiatives also rank high, with site cart and mobile optimization totaling 48 percent.
Choosing the right technology remains the top challenge for 40 percent, with even greater emphasis compared to the previous year. With technology’s increasing impact on both online business optimization and growth, it is not surprising that this is up 14 percentage points compared to 2018.
Conversion rate optimization (35 percent), generating targeted traffic (22 percent), customer support (21 percent), and localization (19 percent), are all reported as important focus areas. Finding the right partners (18 percent), and additional sales channels (17 percent), are also mentioned as challenges for 2020.
2020 ecommerce budgets are looking solid, with a whopping 61 percent looking to increase their budgets, 15 percent staying the same, and only 5 percent facing a budget cut. 19 percent were still reviewing budgets at the time the survey was taken. Marketing budget dynamics are very much aligned to the ecommerce budget.
In terms of budget allocation, SEO (57 percent), and paid advertising (53 percent), take the big checks. Social media (34 percent), demand generation (20 percent), and content (19 percent), follow with the boxes checked for the highest stipend.
Marketing departments continue to lead digital commerce efforts (37 percent), followed by sales (15 percent), and dedicated ecommerce function (11 percent). While sales, and ecommerce ownership stay similar to 2018, marketing has stolen ownership points from other departments, such as product, and operations.
Regarding automation tools, most online businesses use tried and tested automated email marketing (70 percent), followed by targeted social ad campaigns (56 percent). Up-selling and cross-selling tools are also used by 39 percent of respondents.
Pertaining to 2020 new implementations, the survey population looks at targeting and personalization as a top priority (37 percent), followed by mobile apps and optimization (34 percent) and chatbots (30 percent). The least popular are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), with only 19 percent of respondents looking at them for 2020, despite the hype around these.
Technologies that companies are mostly looking at are also those with the highest adoption rate, including targeting and personalization, already implemented by 32 percent of respondents, followed by mobile apps at 29 percent and chatbots at 24 percent. The most used technologies support shopper preferences, which mostly utilize email and online chat, for getting support when they purchase something online.
Regarding payment methods, most online businesses already accept major credit and debit cards, as well as PayPal, with the interest of adoption next year turning towards additional methods, such as mobile payment (31 percent planning to implement), and credit cards with installments (29 percent).
Growth plans are directed to overall international markets (76 percent), followed by domestic market growth (37 percent). North America is still a popular expansion target, with 64 percent of respondents looking at this market, Western Europe following with 54 percent, and Eastern Europe at 45 percent. With APAC mentioned also by 39 percent of respondents, it is clear that businesses are looking to expand simultaneously in more international markets. This is also in line with shoppers’ inclination towards cross-border shopping to find products that are not available in their home market or at lower prices elsewhere.
In terms of compliance efforts, ongoing work on GDPR continues to take the limelight, followed by various ISO frameworks. The new privacy laws in California and Brazil are next in line, with 28 percent of companies taking these into account for 2020.
“It is no surprise that customer experience and personalization remain drivers in the upcoming year, as digital commerce becomes more competitive and sophisticated, this is a natural response. We are also seeing technological advances improve the experience for both the sellers and the buyers, which we expect to persist. Finally, maintaining compliance and dealing with regulations worldwide are aspects that vendors can easily relieve merchants of to a great extent, giving them additional resources to focus on growth and optimization,” stated Erich Litch, President and Chief Operating Officer at 2Checkout.
For more insight into 2Checkout’s 2020 ecommerce trends survey, please view the 2020 Merchant Survey Infographic.