Our predictions for Ecommerce Trends in 2018
The world of Ecommerce has grown larger each year and in this year alone revenues are expected to pass $400 billion. That is a huge number. There are numerous factors and trends which played into this incredible surge which has made many people wonder, what can we expect to see in the coming year? As a top web development company we keep our fingers on the pulse of all things web-based and have compiled a list of our predictions for Ecommerce Trends in 2018 which can be used to help brands craft successful strategies for the coming year.
Our Top Ecommerce Trends for 2018
- Convenient Delivery – The one area local retail can still outperform ecommerce is in the ability to obtain an item instantly which is why many retailers such as Toys”R”Us and Kohl’s switched gears to stay open 24 hours a day the last few days before Christmas in an effort to stay competitive and increase total sales before year end. With services like Amazon Prime offering two day delivery the expectation has been set and now we anticipate that two-day delivery threshold to be the bar ecommerce brands will try and beat with even quicker delivery, convenient scheduling for pickups or delivery, and increased consumer-centric return policies.
- Increased Email Campaigns – Email drives more revenue than all of the social networks, yet many businesses do not know how or simply aren’t making use of this highly effective tool. That alone should be reason to have email on your radar for the coming year. In addition, new companies have arrived that are changing the email game by allowing consumers to make secure purchases directly from an inbox rather than going to a brand’s website. That makes this powerful channel even more important.
- Smoother Mobile Experiences – Consumers will continue to expect the best experience possible when shopping no matter if it is on a desktop or mobile device such as a phone or tablet. Web and app based shopping that meets customer expectations will require better usability and speed along with intuitive designs if they want customers to be comfortable spending more on their platforms. An effort should be made to provide the best mobile experience possible if you want those big conversions.
- Automated Assistance – We have increased the use of automated assistance in multiple ways in 2017 and this trend should continue even more rapidly. Voice search is one of the big game changers on the horizon as ecommerce sites will need to adapt to the desire of consumers to use voice search and personal assistants to find and purchase items for them. Chatbots and other Artificial Intelligence tools will also be used more readily to handle customer service and other customer touch points during the sales cycle.
- Better User Experiences – As competition online increases and local retail options decrease, providing the best user experience possible will be one of the few ways to gain separation from competitors. That means listening to customers, understanding their wants and needs, connecting with them during the purchase journey and planning for long-term sustainability will be important for success now and in the next decade.
- Platform and Device Integration – Businesses make use of multiple platforms to connect to customers. Customers make use of multiple devices to connect to businesses. We have become a multichannel and multi-device community which then requires more work on the business side to deliver a seamless experience to the customer. In the coming year Ecommerce strategies should account for this idea by using consistent design, branding, storytelling, messaging, promotions, advertising, navigation, etc. to provide the same great user experience no matter how or where they connect to your business.
- Focus on Customer Experience – Following the idea of the two points above will create overlaps in departments as each group helps connect a brand to the audience and guide them through the buying experience. In this regard every department will need to focus on a positive customer experience and in many cases will create overlaps to ensure customer needs are being met. Businesses that are prepared in this regard and train employees accordingly will go much further than those with employees who are more concerned with “that’s not my job” versus “how can I help you today?”
- Increased Luxury Market – This is one area experience rapid online growth and we see that trend continue. As disposable income increases in both generational groups like Millennials and in other countries the luxury market is poised to take a larger share of the market in the coming year.
- Increased Video Content – Current estimates are that video content will make up over 75% of all online consumer Internet traffic. That is a huge number. Are you making the most of video? It has become incredibly affordable in comparison to how effective it is at creating engagement and driving business.
- Creative Storytelling – Now more than ever there is a need for creative storytelling in the online world. Most importantly this allows a business to showcase its brand more prominently while creatively engaging and connecting with consumers in a unique way. A perfect example of this concept is the new “Dilly Dilly” campaign from Bud Light. The campaign has gone viral and Bud Light has done a tremendous job of taking that story and integrating it into multiple facets including when the made use of a town crier to present a cease and desist letter to a small brewer trying to capitalize on their Dilly Dilly name. That is the epitome of creative storytelling.
The bottom line is that 2018 is shaping up to be an unprecedented year for Ecommerce. Our predictions for Ecommerce Trends in 2018 should be taken into consideration to help your business and brand succeed in the coming year.
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