In 2018, data from Statista indicate that e-commerce manages to contribute 11.9 percent of total retail sales worldwide, this figure is expected to rise to 13.7 percent for next year and this tells us about the role increasingly important that electronic commerce plays today. Due to the importance of becoming increasingly involved – by 2021 it is estimated that 17.5 percent of total retailers’ sales come from e-commerce – here we present some of the main trends in e-commerce to follow during the next year.
E-commerce trends for 2019
According to the firm Absolunet, these are the e-commerce trends that will dominate in 2019.
Growth of activist consumers and ethical e-commerce
For consumers, especially those of more recent generations, there is a concern about the environmental and ethical impact of the footprint left by the purchases they make, this is an aspect that is increasing and also includes digital purchases and the real and hidden as well as the costs of e-commerce and consumerism in general. E-commerce consumers reward merchants who generate a resonance with their value systems through sustainability work or work properly and ecologically with the packaging of products.
This is leading to more and more brands, large and small, using the digital section to appeal to consumer values, as consumers are guided more and more by their values and ethics when making purchasing decisions.
As the source points out: “The social and environmental impact is exerting an increasing influence on consumer choice, and brands with digital knowledge are taking advantage of electronic commerce to create the visibility and transparency that customers seek.”
Possible end of free returns
As the second of the trends in e-commerce, highlights that the actions of return and reimbursement are becoming a problem for firms involved in electronic commerce, only in the United States, data shared by Absolunet indicate that the 400 billion dollars retailers in costs that this represents will imply a necessary change.
Nowadays the rates of return in the e-commerce are of 2 to 4 times bigger than in the physical stores and the expectations of the consumers for obtaining generous deals in the section of the return policies is reaching an expensive end to retailers, currently 44 percent of retailers point out that profit margins are being impacted by returns, handling and packaging. For the above, it is not surprising that firms like Amazon intend to “ban” buyers who have the habit of making constant returns.
All this situation raises that in 2019 it is possible to see a multitude of initiatives to discourage returns, from the imposition of more complex return conditions to efforts to motivate consumers to pick up the products in the store.
In the case of e-commerce in the United States, by 2019 it is expected that consumers will now pay taxes applicable to all their purchases, and merchants will have to manage sales taxes in multiple jurisdictions. This is a trend that could be considered imposed and that undoubtedly generates divided opinions, 69 percent of retailers point out that collecting taxes online will have a very negative impact on their businesses.
Merchants, both in the B2C segment and the B2B will have to determine what tax applies to each client, region, product and more … While this only applies in the United States, for firms in the country that have international clients there may also be measures to take to cover the section on taxes.
As a fourth of the e-commerce trends, it should be noted that the mobile section is getting faster thanks to the PWAs. Progressive web apps are changing the way that e-commerce and mobile coexist, brands and retailers will begin to move their sites and apps to this new standard to offer better experiences that allow for better results.
PWAs are a hybrid between sites and apps that have a significant impact on loading times, offline capabilities and push notification management.