10 E-Commerce Trends To Watch Out For This Year 2018
Ecommerce is a huge industry. Here are a few mind-boggling numbers for you. According to Statista, sales from eCommerce in 2021 are expected to exceed $4.8 trillion. And how’s eCommerce shaping up in the US? Retail eCommerce sales in the US are expected to exceed $485 billion in 2021. To be upfront, eCommerce is one of the few industries to register double digit growth rate year on year in many countries.
Savvy marketers and aspirational eCommerce entrepreneurs should identify, assess, validate and invest in major emerging trends. The express purpose of this article is to throw some light on 10 eCommerce trends to keep an eye on.
Let’s get started.
Trend #1: Voice Search
Voice powered devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Echo, etc., are gaining immense traction. This brings us to the inference that voice search is quickly becoming one of the most preferred methods of search.
How does it affect your business? Your eCommerce store should be optimized for voice search. Otherwise, there’s a huge opportunity loss!
Giants like Walmart, Target, Costco, etc., are very much in the process of making it possible for customers to place voice-activated orders.
By the way, voice search is 3 times more likely to be local. This means that your business listings should be present on Google with details such as business hours, exact location and address, reviews etc.
Trend #2: ROPO
ROPO stands for Research Online Purchase Offline. It’s an eCommerce phenomenon. It’s all about translating your store’s online reputation management to offline sales. Online reputation management entails social media management, in-store analytics, effective drop shipping, CRM system, mobile and wallet payments etc.
Is online reputation management important? Yes! According to salesforce, as much as 85% of people research products online before making any purchase.
Landing pages should be A / B tested. Also, different types of digital ads and CTAs (Call –to – Action) should be tested for their performance. Savvy digital marketers should flawlessly create targeted campaigns to grab the attention of audiences.
To cut the long story short – your eCommerce store should have great reputation on various digital platforms to create very high – conversions.
Trend #3: SD / NDD
Wondering what SD and NDD signify?
SD stands for same day delivery. NDD stands for next day delivery. Customers love fast and cheap deliveries.
Amazon, the Washington based eCommerce giant has opened many shipping centers in recent years to ensure same-day delivery to its Prime customers. Google is doing its best to challenge Amazon. Google launched its own delivery service Google Shopping Express to ensure same day delivery from reputed stores such as Walmart, Costco, Target, PetSmart, Walgreens etc.
Trend #4: Image Search
Just picture this scenario – You are in an electronic goods showroom and see an amazing TV model. Your proclivity for purchasing it is intense. However, you don’t like paying full price.
There is little reason to be disappointed. You can take a picture of it and search for a similar model on eBay. It’s highly likely that you may find the same model TV on eBay.
By 2020, image and voice searches are likely to account for as much as 50% of all searches.
So, what’s the lesson for eCommerce entrepreneurs? Ecommerce entrepreneurs should implement image search functionalities in their website and app. Giants like Target are already in the process of integrating this image-search functionality. There are sites like Pinterest which let users search for similar objects.
Trend #5: Animation
Animation in eCommerce may seem out of context to some extent. But to be upfront, animation in ecommerce is an emerging trend. Animated iconography can be used to express brand delight and provide visual feedback. Animation effects and micro animation can be used in emails to enhance customer experience. However, marketers shouldn’t overdo it. By all means, it should be subtle.
Trend #6: Automation
Looking to scale your eCommerce business?
Looking to include trending products in your eCommerce store?
You should bet your chances on a software kit that can create effective social media campaigns and automate email marketing. As a matter of fact, Shopify has a dedicated software kit which automates almost everything for eCommerce merchants.
Another trend which continues to mature is that more than 50% of online shoppers love to interact and communicate with businesses through messenger apps. There are enough reasons to invest in ecommerce chatbots.
Trend #7: Personalization
This isn’t a new trend. But it’s worth mentioning. Why? Because, it’s still profoundly relevant.
Is personalization really required? Of course, yes!
It’s important to understand your customers’ needs and subsequently create compelling offers. You are required to extract and identify data patterns. To learn about their preferences, create and run polls. Don’t forget to consider parameters like demographics, activities and purchase history.
Are you keen on delighting your customers? Try this out – Offer them great product variations. For instance, if you are selling shoes, let your customer choose color. Let him / her choose size. Offer personalized recommendations by using a behavioral targeting software
Trend #8: User Generated Content
User generated content has always been paramount to eCommerce businesses. Straight forward ads are losing their sheen. Consumers are looking for product reviews, product videos and recommendations. They are interested in product photos and rating.
No doubt, advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook is getting expensive. However, the effect and returns on advertising are declining. 2018 is all set to witness a huge deluge of user generated content.
Trend #9: Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality is one of the many coolest things happening now in eCommerce. Almost every big technology company is investing a fortune in AR. Let me run some numbers for you.
Facebook spent an overwhelming $3 billion (approximately) to acquire Oculus. Google invested roughly about $800 million in Magic Leap.
AR is currently being put to tremendous use in beauty and fashion industries. Take a look at Sephora Virtual Artist portal. The website contains many informative tutorials on how to apply makeup, use highlighter, create winged eyeliner etc.
Shoppers have to just upload their picture to either Sephora’s app or website and see the magic. They immediately get to know how different makeup looks on them.
AR is also being used predominantly in home furnishings industry. The reputed Swedish conglomerate IKEA has many AR apps that let users take advantage of virtual furnishing.
Trend #10: Multi-channel experience
Thanks to voice search, app based interactions, AR and VR interfaces, and conversational AI, ecommerce chatbots, etc., our excessive reliance on browsers is beginning to wane. For all intents and purposes, browsers may no longer be the de facto channel to purchase products and services digitally. So, complete dependence on browser traffic shall be detrimental to eCommerce businesses.
How are things unfolding for you in 2018? Do you have any issues? How are you preparing for 2019? Do let us know in the comments below. We are happy to help you.
Want to learn about trending products 2018? Keep watching this space. Hope your eCommerce venture gets you what you desire and deserve.
I am a professional blogger, guest writer, Influencer & an eCommerce expert. Currently associated with ShopyGen as a content marketing strategist. I also report on the latest happenings and trends associated with the eCommerce industry.
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