Key Trends and Key Metrics Changing

This is the first in a series of blog posts early in the year that will tap the expertise of Accorin’s team to understand how they see 2020 unfolding for e-commerce merchants across a range of verticals. We pay particular attention in this post to trends that are going to impact your core e-commerce metrics this year.

More Channels = More Metrics and More People

It’s no surprise that e-commerce operations are occupying a larger share of attention across the enterprise in both B2C and B2B-focused industries. And now with an exploding number of channels that e-commerce retailers need to pay attention to, your metrics need to keep up. Your attribution will get more complex and campaign tracking will require more work.

These marketing channels exploded for e-commerce retailers in 2019 and they will continue to grow in 2020: Pinterest. Instagram. Facebook for B2B. Google Discover. Google Shopping. Google Merchant Promotions. Google Local Inventory Ads. Also, the number of marketplaces beyond Amazon and EBay continue to explode for B2B merchants and with new marketplace platforms it’s now even easier to create your own.

We predict more specialty and industry-specific channels will launch in 2020 and that will mean more testing and evaluation and stronger dependence on complex metrics for merchants to accurately measure where their sales are coming from.

Consider a Business Intelligence platform that connects and aggregates all data from 3rd party transaction and marketing channels. For example, check out Magento Business Intelligence (BI).

How will your metrics change?

Increased complexity managing campaigns and conversion funnels. Conversion rates may drop for some channels and increase for others.

Mobile Wont Just Take Over – It Will Dominate

Many of our clients saw mobile browser / visitors to their e-commerce sites take over in 2019 regardless of business or industry. This trend has been growing over the last 5 years but now mobile browsers are also turning into mobile buyers and for most B2B merchants mobile buyers were over 50% of conversions for the first year ever in 2019.

This trend will continue to grow in 2020 and customers will continue to crave specialty apps for certain aspects of the e-Commerce buying experience, especially in B2C. How can merchants best optimize their sites for mobile in 2020? Test new mobile themes in development, Simplify your user interface and of course if you have a complex content strategy in front of your checkout process consider a “headless” approach. Also, see PWAs below.

How will your metrics change?

The current spread in conversion rates between desktop and mobile will shrink. This is the year mobile matches – and maybe even surpasses desktop conversion rates.

Headless Architectures Will Gain Real Traction

Everyone talked about “headless” approaches in 2019 (us included) and with headless e-commerce platform solutions like Moltin, Spryker becoming available it’s no wonder. Headless approaches take advantage of merchants’ existing content management solutions, social media and other inbound channels on the front end creating unique shopping and merchandising experiences while leaving the checkout, transaction and administrative aspects of e-commerce to a true, secure platform.

Examples of headless approaches we like include:

Headless isn’t necessarily just for B2C merchants either! We are currently working on a B2B-focused Magento powered re-platform for a distributor that has a catalog with 100K SKUs and a “headless” requirement based on the complexity and content requirements of the business.

How will your metrics change?

Assuming your analytics package is set up properly – and remember the complexity with cross-domain tracking – you should see lengthier sessions, increased return visitor sessions, higher cart abandonment opportunities to take advantage of.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

PWAs allow merchants to distribute shopping and merchandising experiences to shoppers without a need to visit the iPhone or Android app stores. These hybrid apps allow users to view content while not connected and to keep the content and shopping experiences they want at their fingertips as an app icon. Magento’s new release has a PWA studio which will enable a merchant team’s designers and developers to roll out PWAs relatively quickly. While Magento announced the availability of its PWA studio almost a year ago, many merchants have not taken advantage of the technology yet. Now customers are asking for faster, easier ways to interact with e-Commerce sites so many merchants are including PWA in their 2020 development roadmaps.

How will your metrics change?

Well, tracking PWAs are tricky. If you’re using GA make sure you consult the absolutely most recent documentation on setting up and testing the tracking of PWAs.

The Bottom Line

We don’t claim to be The Nostradamus of e-Commerce but we’ve read our tea leaves and tarot cards and these are just some of the trends we think are on the horizon for e-Commerce. Right or wrong, we’re certain it’s going to be a great year and we’re excited for everything 2020 will throw at us.

Have a project to throw at us? Bring it on!