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Ecommerce trends for 2020

    With global ecommerce sales set to reach $3.9 trillion by 2020, the ecommerce sector continues to grow and evolve as new technologies are introduced to the market.

    To understand which ecommerce trends will have the largest impact in 2020, we asked 19 industry experts to provide their take. With contributions from specialised academics and global ecommerce directors, this report demonstrates a wide range of views on topics such as user-generated content, augmented reality trends, and email marketing.


    Guy Redwood, the founder of SimpleUsability, a behavioural research company that specialises in web, mobile, and voice usability, was one of the first to feature. Guy described voice search as one of the most important innovations of the next ten years, suggesting businesses must adapt quickly to take advantage of this trend.

    Ed Kennedy, senior director at global ecommerce platform, Episerver, provided his own take on voice search. Ed suggested that, whilst voice search is important, the opportunity to convert eCommerce consumers is limited through virtual personal assistants (VPAs).


    Structured Data

    Ryan Cecil, marketing manager at RegEx SEO, discussed structured data and how it has developed as search engines become more sophisticated. He reiterated the importance of understanding different types of structured data as it becomes more prevalent.

    Matt Seabridge, digital marketing specialist at Attain Design, argued that although Google has stated that structured data is not a ranking factor, the search engine may use it to monitor calls to action and boost sites’ SEO in the future. He also suggested that we can expect to see more structured data functionalities in the future.


    Position Zero SEO

    Khalid Farhan, founder of digital marketing agency Passive Journal, argued that position zero is less important to ecommerce firms since the results are generated for question queries and not product pages. The controversy surrounding the effect of position zero SEO on click-through rates is debated further in the report.


    Native Advertising

    Native advertising was discussed by Steve Sharp, director of Fat Cow Media, Nik Andreev, digital marketing specialist at Compare My Move, Jacek Wieczorek, co-founder of SEO agency Pulno, Hollie Grave, paid media director at Banc, and Gary Taylor, deputy MD of media and digital agency tmwi Ltd. Here, the unique aspects of native advertising compared to other ad types are highlighted, with a few points of caution given to ecommerce brands considering this channel.


    User-Generated Content

    James Klymowsky, founder of, discussed user-generated content (UGC) and the essential role it plays for consumers today. Providing insight into the importance of UGC from a Generation Z perspective, James highlights the importance of adapting to this new marketing format for contemporary eCommerce brands.


    Shoppable Social Media Posts

    Tanya Hemphill, managing director of digital training company WeDisrupt and co-author of Digital Business and E-Commerce Management, gave us her take on shoppable social media posts. Using examples such as The Natori Company, Tanya provided useful advice on how readers can use shoppable social media posts to boost their revenue in 2020.

    Rob Miller, digital marketing specialist at PS Website Design Ltd, followed this. Rob explained how shoppable social media posts will impact on-site transactions and how social channels are driving this.


    Augmented Reality

    Ben Whitaker, EMEA director at  B-stock gave his view on the ecommerce benefits that can be provided by augmented reality. He also provided insight on which industry issues cannot completely be erased by the introduction of augmented reality.

    Jelani Harper, editorial consultant at KM World, discussed the increasing accessibility of augmented reality and how this will impact eCommerce in 2020.


    Entity Salience and Natural Language Processing

    Ben Garry, content specialist at Impression, provided his expert opinion on how entity salience and natural language processing can be utilised by ecommerce brands. As well as providing key tips for those hovering at the bottom of page one in the SERPs, Ben added key tips on entity salience for readers who are creating text for their site.


    Chatbot Technology

    Alex Debecker, co-founder and CMO of the UK’s leading chatbot company, Ubisend, argued for the importance of chatbots in ecommerce heading into 2020. Providing his suggestions on how chatbots will be used in the future, he confirmed the importance of chatbots for brands looking to deliver excellent customer service.


    Email Marketing

    Jenna Tiffany, founder and strategic director of Let’sTalk Strategy, focused on the use of automation and personalisation to presenting an email marketing strategy in 2020. With a particular focus on welcome journeys, she provides key insight for ecommerce platforms.

    Tom Morrison from Yoma Digital explained how GDPR has impacted ecommerce brands and their email marketing strategies. He went on to highlight how brands can use this to gain competitive advantage, making use of the rapid growth in AI.

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