Second Sunday of Advent

Now that it's the second Sunday of advent, we'd like to give you a little gift. This article provides you with insight into why more companies will be talking about personalised content, artificial intelligence, microservices, headless CMS, cloud and cybersecurity in 2020.

4 e-commerce trends to look forward to in 2020. And 1 you need to be prepared for.

Back in October, not one of the 1,000 people listening in the great hall at Øksnehallen made a sound when Jim Hagemann Snabe lined up the facts at the e-commerce conference. As Chairman of the Board of A.P. Møller Mærsk and Siemens AG, he is a gentleman worth listening to – and we did indeed make a mental note of his message: The e-commerce solutions of the future are responsible, sustainable and human. And, of course, carried forward by technological possibilities that pave the way throughout the customer journey. One of his points was: "If it ain't broke, fix it". He would say that if you have an e-commerce solution where you are simply doing what you usually do, you are not doing what the company is best served with. Opportunities for positive change abound.

#1 Personalisation as a purchase driver

It is human to want to be seen, noted ... and remembered. Whether you are shopping physically or digitally. It is thus not surprising that 8 out of 10 consumers are more likely to make purchases from companies that have offered them a personalised experience, as documented by Epsilon (epsilon.com). Customers will, even more than now, expect the user experience to be addressed to them specifically. This brings us to the next trend, which is about how artificial intelligence becomes even more prevalent as a way to create personalised content.

#2 Artificial intelligence improves the customer experience

In only a few years’ time, artificial intelligence has become an applied intelligence. The market will rise steadily over the next few years and will in 2025 amount to 190.61 billion USD – that is the message from the experts (marketsandmarkets.com). Retail trade is one of the industries where artificial intelligence becomes dominant. The customer data that companies collect can be used by artificial intelligence to suggest relevant and personalised products to consumers. For consumers, it means a better customer journey. For companies, it means improved competitive advantages, loyal customers and increased sales. This was evident in the 2018 Christmas trade, when Salesforce estimated that 35 % of revenue was driven by purchase recommendations made with artificial intelligence (retailnews.dk).

#3 Better customer journey with microservices and headless CMS

Speaking of customer journeys. According to Harvard Business Review, 73 % of consumers use more than one channel in the course of their customer journey (hbr.org). As more and more contact points emerge, consumers are increasingly demanding a consistent customer journey across all platforms. This requires companies to think in agile architecture, to ensure consumers a cohesive experience. Especially architecture such as headless CMS and microservices have been predicted wide recognition in 2020. With Headless CMS, back-end and front-end are treated as two separate entities (coredna.com), while with microservices you build the software architecture as individual parts that speak together via the API (read more about microservices here). Headless CMS and microservices make companies more flexible, because their architecture makes it easy to scale and enables them to make quick adjustments and updates without updating the entire software of the company.

#4 It's (still) happening in the cloud

If you have said microservices, you have also said 'cloud' and more will be moved to the cloud in 2020. This is evident in a report from Forrester, which predicts that the total cloud market will grow by 30 % in 2020 (forbes.com). One of the reasons is that, going forward, companies will use the cloud for more than just building new apps and infrastructure. This is already seen as several companies have begun to use the cloud to modernise processes and core business areas (forbes.com). This development has implications for Danish companies which, according to Business Insight, have to have a cloud-based infrastructure in order to be able to cope with competitors in the future (businessinsights.dk).

#5 A cyber security plan is a necessity

And finally a trend that is not to be overlooked. As personalisation and artificial intelligence become more prevalent, businesses are increasing the amount of data they store about consumers in order to deliver the best customer experience. Against this background, the Danish Center for Cybersecurity assesses that the threat of cybercrime for Danish companies is very high (fe-ddis.dk). In fact, a study by Epinion shows that 43 % of large Danish companies have already been affected by IT attacks (berlingske.dk). It puts pressure on companies which, in addition to complying with GDPR regulation, also need to have a clear plan and strategy for IT security in 2020. Challenges in drawing up an IT security plan? Here are some links to get you started: