Tracy Watson 12/03/2021 #Popular #Retail 7 min read Online shopping grew exponentially last year, and this trend is expected to continue in 2021 and the next couple of years as well. In fact, e-commerce is expected to grow by 14.3% this year, while many experts believe that this number will grow to 22% by 2023. Having said this, brick-and-mortar stores are expected to make a recovery, so retailers will need to start maximizing sales opportunities in their physical locations as well. Since there are so many factors to account for, it would be a good idea to take a look at some marketplace trends for this year and beyond. However, before we get into all of that, let’s first define our terms to make sure we are on the same page. What is a Marketplace? A basic marketplace definition is simply an arena of commercial dealings. In the past, this was restricted to a physical location, and later on, some basic e-commerce functionality evolved. Nowadays, there are so many online marketplaces powered by technologies like Magento and many others that allow for robust functionality, smooth and easy transactions, and user information security. This also allowed retailers to tap into new markets and revenue streams that would otherwise be impossible to reach. Having said this, retailers always need to be on top of the latest trends in the marketplace to stay competitive. Let’s start exploring these trends in the next section. It Will Be Important to the Experiences of Combine Brick and Mortar and Online StoresAs we mentioned earlier, brick-and-mortar stores are expected to make a comeback, so it is important to use your online store to boost the physical one and vice-versa. For example, you can have product demos and in-store trials to cater to the needs of customers who need to hold an item in their hands physically. With your online store, you can run all kinds of marketing campaigns that drive visitors to landing pages and increase engagement with your brand and increase the level of exposure to the in-store events you may be having. AR in Retail Will Continue to GrowAR is becoming one of the essential marketplace tech retailers cannot live without. The reason it is so effective is that it offers customers additional conveniences both online and in-store. In fact, according to Goldman Sachs forecast, by 2025, the market for AR and VR only in retail will reach $1.6 billion. Online shoppers can virtually try on clothing items and even more personal things like makeup items. We already see brands like Cosmia offering customers such opportunities by giving them a chance to try on individual makeup items and ready-made looks. As for the in-store experience, many retailers are using AR mirrors to allow customers to skip the dressing room and virtually try in clothes in front of a mirror. These are some of the conveniences that will make AR a staple of an innovation marketplace. ROPO Will Be HugeIf you are not familiar with the term ROPO, it stands for research online, purchase offline. This trend ties in with some of the things we mentioned earlier about enhancing the in-store experience and offering AR’s conveniences. Some customers do not want to wait for the company to ship the item to them and then having to wait for the package to arrive. They want to utilize all of the advantages of e-commerce to find the item they need and get it in their hands right away, which is why you should expect ROPO to be huge over the next couple of years and beyond. Customers Will Prefer Voice Search While many marketers are focused on SEO, voice search is expected to change the search engine landscape drastically. Research has shown that by 2022, voice-activated shopping is expected to grow from $2B to $40B in the US alone. The reason voice search is the future of the US marketplace is that it allows for frictionless shopping. The custom can simply interact with personal assistants, like Alexa and Siri, and by exactly what they need because the technology will be advanced enough to understand their exact request. This will be especially important to the younger generation of shoppers looking for even more conveniences. Trust Skywell Software to Take Care of All Your Ecommerce Development NeedsCustomers expect more and more functionality and convenience from online marketplaces, and you will need a reliable development partner to create and implement such solutions. Skywell Software has extensive experience in eCommerce development, creating entire online marketplaces, customer loyalty programs, and various AR solutions for some of the world’s leading brands. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.