According to many surveys, global ecommerce sales have been bloomed in recent years and predicted to double in 2020 (approximately 4.5 trillion). Undoubtedly, this is a high-potential and dynamic market; therefore, we need to always update its emerging trends to stay ahead in the competition. Today, we will show you top ecommerce trends that dominate from the beginning of 2018 up to now. If you want to grow your e-business, keep reading…
Let’s Figure Out 20 Ecommerce Trends In 2018…
1. Progressive Web App (PWA)
Have you heard anything about Progressive Web App? In short, PWA is a new way to deliver a better experience for users on the web. In other words, PWA is a web app that takes advantage of advanced web capabilities to provide the amazing app-like experience to the customers. Moreover, there are some standard criteria for PWAs, including Progressive, Responsive, Independent (on network connection), Fresh, Safe, Discoverable, Engageable, Installable, and Linkable.
Many ecommerce stores have integrated this new technology and gained certain successes. Check out some examples here.
2. Responsiveness Is A Must, Not An Option
As you might know, more and more people prefer using their smartphones and tablets for online shopping to browsing on their desktops, laptops. Because of that, besides optimizing the website appearance on large-screen devices, all ecommerce businesses now must take care of the display on other popular equipment. This means that the site needs to be responsive, mobile-friendly and nicely presented regardless of the devices the customers use.
3. Personalized Experience
Delivering flexible shopping experience based on buyers’ actions and preferences is one of the most prevalent ecommerce trends. To be more particular, different customers will approach different content on the website, for example: seeing various suggested products according to their past purchases, location, existing items on cart/ wishlist, demographics and so on.
4. High-quality Videos
Video is a form of content that is immensely effective in drawing consumers’ attention. Many pieces of research show the higher possibility that people will make a buying decision after viewing a video introducing about the product compared to seeing images and text only. To make a good video, the store owners need to invest in content and make sure that it is concise, useful, informative and entertaining (a plus).
One of the most common problems that many merchants have to face is their channel fragmentation (between offline and online channels or among different online channels). Fortunately, now we have “Omnichannel”, which helps to deliver the seamless experience to the customers with cross-channel content strategy. Taking Starbucks for example, they give each customer a reward card to accumulate reward points and save the customer information. The special thing is that you will be able to check and reload your card in either Starbucks website, phone, mobile app or in their physical store. Moreover, when you make any changes to the card, it will be automatically updated on all other channels at the same time.
6. Image Search
The image search has been raised as a new ecommerce trend that is predicted to make up more than a third of all search functions in 2020. Many companies now equip their stores with the image search function, parallel with the traditional search by text. Thanks to the image search, the customers can easily find their favorite item or similar ones in the stores without remembering the name of the product or browsing on the catalog.
7. Voice Search
Besides the image search, the voice search has gained a lot of preference from the users due to the increase in the shopping on mobile habit. Therefore, it’s crucial to optimize your e-commerce store for the voice search from now on, or you might lose the vast majority of purchasers who adopt this technology. Here are some tips for voice search optimization: research on long-tail keywords, write content with natural-sounding language, create queries based on common question phrases, offer concise answers for questions, and pay attention to your Google Business Profile.
8. Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO)
More than half of the customers now are likely to research products online and then go to the offline stores to complete their purchases. Owing to that, they can find the wanted items with an affordable price before making a buying decision. For the store owner, ROPO means deploying offline conversion tracking, in other words, analyzing data taken from location tracking, social media, payment history, mobile devices, and advertisements with the data from CRM, ERP systems in order to figure out which activity of the business leads to the offline purchase. After that, the firm will know which marketing method they are applying is most effective and focus more on that.
9. Mobile Checkouts
The growth of the mobile payment ecommerce trends has been strong from the year 2015. Up to now, there are over ten popular mobile payment platforms, e.g.: Google Pay (Google Wallet) and Apple Pay. Therefore, what you need to do is optimizing your site for mobile, selecting proper payment gateways, providing mobile payments online and offline, as well as offering one-click checkout.
10. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Nowadays, machine learning has been applied to various ecommerce systems, from product recommendation to search functionality. In the first three quarters in 2018, there was a significant rise in the utilization of this technologies, empowering the retailers to offer exactly what customers want in minimum time and effort. In short, AI will help us to understand deeply customers’ shopping habits based on the huge amount of data. As a result, we will gradually switch from keyword-based recommendations to a much more intelligent system that considers multiple factors to deliver personalized results.
11. Augmented Reality (AR)
“Trying before buying” ability, empowered by AR, is another hot ecommerce trend. Plenty of e-businesses are making a great investment in AR to enrich their customer experience and improve sale conversion rate. An impressive example is the Place app of IKEA, which allows the customers to see how the furniture products would fit on their room/ home. This results in a lower return rate and higher customer satisfaction as well.
12. Speedy Delivery
In the competitive ecommerce market, in order to overcome your rivals, besides providing good products you also have to concern about the related services, especially shipping and delivery. Some merchants are very good at this field by offering “rocket delivery” under different names such as “one-hour delivery, same-day delivery, next-day delivery, etc.” and get a lot of successes. Although these ecommerce trends sound very attractive, it’s quite hard to implement for most of the e-businesses.
13. Big Data
In recent years, big data has transformed most of the industries, not ecommerce only. Due to that, every single action of the users can be turned into some kind of data, which contributes to building a precious customer database. Then, it would be a useful source for marketers to deploy promotion campaigns, email marketing and so on. However, it would be a waste if you only apply big data into marketing since it also can help you in new product development, online reputation control, cost savings, etc.
14. Chatbots and Automation
The era of messengers and chatbots are coming. For the online businesses, the chatbots play an important role in automating the communication process between the stores and their customers. In general, the merchants use the chatbots to create personalized content, suggest different purchases option, provide deals and coupons, ask customer feedback, and take care of the purchasers.
15. Micro-Moments Marketing
Micro-moments, one of the hottest ecommerce trends in 2018, give online stores a great opportunity to interact with and influence the consumers at a key point in the purchase cycle. For example, when the shoppers research about an item or seek the instructions, there are certain most potential touch points called “micro-moments”. And so as to fulfill customer needs, the store must take relevant actions based on these micro-moments.
16. Pay Later
In order to handle the high rate of cart abandonment, some ecommerce stores have applied the “pay later” programs under different names such as “post-paid, purchase now pay later”. Many times, the customers leave the site without completing payment just because of doubting the quality of the product. Therefore, with the “pay-later” policy, they can pay for the items only after receiving and satisfying about the products, which as a result decreases the cart abandonment rate significantly.
Have you ever wondered why you see a product repeatedly on different web pages after viewing it on a certain website? In fact, this is not a coincidence but remarketing strategy of ecommerce firms. To be specific, the remarketing allows the store to target the buyers, who visited the website without purchasing, until they change their mind.
18. Influencer Marketing
Co-operating with influencers to boost the sales is not a new method but it still works. But the new ecommerce trends are paying for micro-influencers, who have just a medium number of followers/ friends on social networks, instead of celebrities. The reason is that people no longer believe too much on the advertisement that is promoted by the celebrities as before. Moreover, working with micro-influencers might help the store to cut the cost while getting good results.
19. Social Media Advertising
Deploying the social media channels, e.g.: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc., effectively will help the ecommerce brands to run marketing campaigns, drive enormous traffic and close sales. Among that, advertising on Facebook by far has been the most popular one to retarget customers, to show reviews and feedback and more importantly, to build a loyal online community.
20. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
The final ecommerce trend that we want to mention is the conversion rate optimization. The major purpose of CRO is to run tests and define exactly which component in the site leads to sale better than the others. To implement CRO successfully, you should use Google Analytics to know your most frequently visited page(s)/ landing page(s). Then, it’s a good idea to use some proper tools to understand customer’s behaviors in your site. Also, you can use your default store analytics to define what the customers are looking for and make it more stand out.
If you are a store owner, catching with the emerging ecommerce trends is a must to succeed. Otherwise, you will always be a follower and left behind by your strong competitors. Now, looking back to your website and see how many ecommerce trends have already applied.
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