E-Commerce in 2018: Trends, Accents, Possibilities2017-12-20T14:35:10.000Z 2017-12-20T14:35:10.000Z The E-commerce market volume is going to reach $400 billion by the end of 2017. Such a dramatic increase was stimulated by social media advancement, hybrid digital communication channels development and successful synthesis of marketing tools and IT instruments.
The E-commerce market volume is going to reach $400 billion by the end of 2017. Such dramatic increase was stimulated by social media advancement, hybrid digital communication channels development and successful synthesis of marketing tools and IT instruments. Furthermore, computing technologies are opening broader opportunities for electronic sales, thus, in 2018 E-commerce operations amount may grow up to about 15% that will make this sector one of the most dynamic and perspective among others.
And this small financial data is not simple statistics. This is your chance to benefit from discovering totally unseen horizons of E-commerce value. If you are in, here we present the most significant E-commerce trends for 2018.
More Speaking, Less Typing
The truth is online shoppers became spoilt, so instead of walking along the streets to find “the one” dress or a new smartphone, the millennials, being the most active consumer's group in this segment, don’t bother themselves with browsing the internet to do shopping by typing brands and stores. Now they have an option: simple verbal commanding their personal devices to find what they want. Older generations may resent because of such laxity but nevertheless, the E-commerce market experts state that these days more than a third part of all millennials utilize voice help in order to buy something and this share is expected to grow in 2018 and later by reaching half of the target group in few years.
Although these days voice navigation services can help the clients with simple tasks such as to find the nearest electronics store or to order Vietnamese food, there is no doubt, the scale of virtual assistant’s available services and knowledge will dynamically grow too in the next year.
In order to benefit from voice help technology, you are advised to pay more attention to the website names which have to be exclusive and eye-catching, also you have to improve Google My Business listings and to provide sufficient information related with your product or service online, so it would be easier to find it. At the same time, it won’t be too much to focus on your communication strategies by building long-perspective connections with a customer.
As it is already surprising to no one that most of the customers use different devices to buy online, it is hard to keep your E-commerce startup alive focusing on single sales channel. Instead, it is necessary to enlarge presence of your business via various pieces of digital electronics, e.g. PCs, smartphones, on multiple information platforms such as websites, social media, chats, groups and so on. And what is crucial, all these devices and apps have to be mutually integrated, so the data will be concentrated around your specified client. Aren’t you persuaded enough? Well, the experts declare that these days more than 80% of online customers start and finish their shopping journey with different devices and this figure is predicted to go up in 2018.
To avoid your online store tuning out the customer decision-making journey, you have to synchronize the access from multiple devices and platforms with your business and to integrate the client in this system using visual and UI tools. In particular, your company’s sales strategies, brand exclusiveness, communication models, payment options and customers support have to be combined in a single customer-surrounding environment.
Paying Attention to Velocity and Small Details
As the competition in the E-commerce market becomes tougher, delivery speed is one of the most crucial factors impacting customer’s preferences. A few years ago, it was quite normal for a client to wait for 2-3 days until the parcel arrives at the front door. Now, the delivery is expected to be received within same day when the order has been made. In 2018 more suppliers are expected to accelerate shipping processes, so the customer will get a purchase a few hours earlier before working days closing which is comfortable for the representatives of the middle class who are most inclined to receive bought goods while staying at the office.
Furthermore, the experts believe that more attention will be paid to the details of your products and services in 2018. While small things always seem to remain invisible, they often play determining role in customer’s decision-making course. For example, short greeting in social media, sent to the customer after he made a purchase, can hold him for the longest period among your regular clients.
Visualization of Your Web-Content
Obviously, many of us have already noticed that the balance of text and video content in social media as well as on the other online platforms was tipped in favor of visual stuff which is more lively, dynamic and entertaining. It is forecasted, by the end of this decade less than 20% of internet information will be in text format. Indeed, video allows users do serious things and have fun at the same time, also the advertisement creators recognize the value of visual products as it is more memorable. In parallel, marketers claim that online content visualization is capable to reinforce electronic sales by enlarging E-commerce trade volume twice in few years.
As the video creating tech is already available to the regular users, the design and sharing visual content has become the new type of digital communication between a supplier and a customer. For instance, the manufacturer of vacuum cleaners was actively publishing promotion videos of its products in social media before Christmas holidays in order to increase sales by informing customers about season discounts. At the same time, the company invited its subscribers to film their Christmas home interiors to show how clean the floor is despite pine needles and those persons whose video is the best, got a prize. Surprisingly, such video competition allowed increase sales for more than 40% per month. Indeed, more cases like that will appear in 2018.
Artificial Intelligence at Service
Due to growing E-commerce market volume, the people, employed by online companies and shops, are no longer able to maintain personalized communication with a client. So, often human managers are replaced with robotic colleagues, ready to serve the client round the clock. As the recent research shows, more than half of users who are visiting the online stores are quite interested in the product but are hesitating whether to ask a question or not and when chatbot sends a message offering information help, this number decreases to about 20%. Being highly effective tool in terms of digital marketing, artificial intelligence is expected to be employed more in E-commerce in 2018.
Virtual and Augmented Reality Rise
Use of Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality, especially when VR and AR apps are synchronized with a mobile phone, delivers the broad scale of advantages to the online supplier. Primarily, it is a chance to place the product into client’s hands, virtually speaking. In other words, the customer can see, feel or listen to the product without physically visiting a store which can be especially beneficial when buying digital devices and electronics. Moreover, it helps the customer to adopt his purchase in the environment where the product can be utilized that will be of use when purchasing furniture or décor, requiring prior placing it into the interior.
Subscribed Sales Raise
Comparing with a single-time purchase, the sales based on subscription looks more beneficial for both the supplier and the customer as they spend less time to organize next buying, the sellers receive regular purchasing schedule and the buyer is granted with persistent products or services delivered. Thus, this trend is forecasted to stay hot in 2018 too. Still, the E-commerce in the next year may have extra specifics, for example, the range of communication channels to reach clients in order to prolong subscription will be expanded with new chat and social media platforms.
Improved UX/UI Reinforcing E-Commerce Effectiveness
Actually, in order to launch successful E-commerce startup, two things have to be taken into account: the product or service should be promoted exclusively and the customer should fully understand their value. Accordingly, it can be achieved by focusing on optimization of UI/UX patterns. In particular, to reach this goal the following steps can be made: improve website design to make it more reactive as it is the primary source of product information; to upgrade user’s interface with unique content to attract client’s attention; to help customer compare your product or service with similar offers in the market as it will show your brand’s transparency.
Big Data Impact Strengthening
Big data processing has become a hot trend in numerous sectors as it allows extract maximum efficiency from the obtained and stored information. Similarly, in the E-commerce, the analysis of huge amounts of data provides with excellent opportunity to find out the most common customer type, to list and rank his preferences as well as to forecast client’s behavior and decision-making patterns in future. Thus, in 2018 experts in marketing predict that more companies will deploy big data analysis mechanisms in E-commerce to increase their profits.
Sales Structure is More Perceivable
The sequence of sales subjects and processes is an integral part of E-commerce, determining the order of delivering the commodities and services from the supplier to the customer. As long as whole E-commerce industry is being gradually transformed under the impact of modern digital technologies, the supplying chain is also going to be changed. First of all, in 2018 IT will bring more computing components into the sales system that makes it more safe and fast. Secondly, it will enable better information exchange between personnel and computers on trade operations that will also increase speed and quality of sales. Finally, it helps to focus more attention and efforts on every single customer with developing more individualized sales schemes.
Tracking the Client
Possessing the power of big data analysis, it is logical to assume that collecting as much data on client’s browsing, product preferences, decision-making patterns, regularity of purchases and other behavior components as possible in order to generate the most individualized and competitive offers will be one more E-commerce trend in the next year. This assumption is proved, in particular, by Google which introduced its own mechanism, Think by Google, to track even the smallest tips on customer’s online shopping journey from his mobile phone browsing details. Obviously, in 2018 more companies will act in the same way and use the micro-hints to benefit from learning more about their target customer.
Innovative Narrative Creation
Marketers often say: you don’t sell the product itself, you sell the experience. And it is all true as the customer while choosing among enormous product range of competitors’ brands, is always searching the extra value to be delivered by a supplier. In specific words, the customer wants to become a part of the brand’s style of life, perceiving its values, concepts, stories. Consequently, in 2018 the E-commerce businesses are more likely than ever to focus on developing more exclusive and quality storytelling online content to wrap its products and services in an outstanding manner.
According to these trends, in 2018 the E-commerce will continue its prompt development absorbing latest digital innovations, thus, if you want to upgrade your online sales and to outflank competitors, visit HUSPI to learn more about our experiences.