It won’t be wrong to point out that this current era belongs to the eCommerce industry, which has already established its deep roots in the global market. If we believe the figures that Statista has presented recently, then the journey of eCommerce sector is rapidly moved to a trillion dollar industry. Yes, it has already reached up to $2.3 trillion in 2017 and is expected to surge towards $4.8 trillion by 2021.
According to one of the studies, 71% of the consumers believe that eCommerce business is offering better deals in comparison to the retail stores. In fact, this is probably one of the predominant reasons why it is growing by leaps and bounds.
However, another stat says that about 81% of the customers conduct an online research before making a purchase from an eCommerce site or app. So, it becomes imperative for the business owner to get accustomed to the latest eCommerce trends if they want to boost up their sales and thrive successfully to remain afloat in the competition.
1. Voice Search will Enhance Customer Loyalty
We have already noticed that voice assistant has become prominent ever since the arrival of Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. Now as we have high advanced speakers, such as Google home or Amazon Echo, the voice search offers an innovative technique of gaining more traffic to your web or app.
Even one of the reports from Consumer Research Intelligence Partners, suggests that Amazon’s customer loyalty has incredibly increased as the customers are making use of Echo to make purchases.
According to a research, about 40% of the millennials have already begun using the voice search even before making an online purchase. It wouldn’t have been easier to find a specific product on the large eCommerce platform.
The customer just has to speak the name of the product or brand and choose from the spectrum of options. It is important to upgrade your business with the voice the search facility or you won’t be able to bring a large base of potential customers who use this latest trend to shop online.
One can cite the example of Walmart which, has already partnered with Google and is offering this benefit to its consumers on the Google Express.
2. 2018 will be the Year of Mobile Commerce
There has always been a debate over which is better mobile commerce or the eCommerce websites. With the tremendous increase in the number of smartphone users in the recent times, the mobile commerce seems to outdo the websites.
In fact, a study has revealed that 62% of the smartphone users made a purchase using their devices during the last six months and this data would rise within the coming months. So, you need to shift your pattern and move towards a site that is best optimized for mobile devices. The best solution is developing a mobile eCommerce app.
One of the significant features that we would probably witnesses is the introduction of fingerprint and face recognition technology. In addition, it will also simplify the payments as the user will do it with just a single click or tap.
3. The Influence of AR and VR
Both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are no more alien terms in the technological world and mobile app industry. And as we are already in the middle of 2018, it will go further up as more and more companies will be literally starting to offer it.
In fact, the experts tend to view that AR and VR will not only augment the shopping experience of the customers and bolster their sales but also it would influence the packaging of the products to a great extent.
The well-renowned furniture company IKEA is also offering the AR experience to its worldwide customers in which the customers can place the 3D product at home and actually see if it is fitting in that particular spot or not.
4. Implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
One of the popular trends that will prove to be a major bonus for the eCommerce sector is the implementation of Machine Learning with Artificial Intelligence. Now, the question is how the machine learning will improve the eCommerce industry?
Machine learning will not assist in recommending the best of the products to your customers but also better their search experiences. AI will help you to individualize your customers with improved focus.
In addition, you can also enhance the communication experience with the customers through the chatbot service, where you reply to their queries in real-time.
This also allows you to tackle the complex tasks smoothly and you can find suitable ways to solve any problem. For instance, Facebook has offered the facility of chatbot to its retailers where they can handle all issues with Facebook Messenger.
5. Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO)
The ROPO (Research Online Purchase Offline) is an emerging tool that has great potential to convert the online research into an offline purchase. It basically targets those specific customers who are actually glued in shopping and always crave to avail the best possible discount and price. And surely this ROPO tool will largely influence the eCommerce business even more in 2018.
Now ROPO not only helps the customers to craft the best deal on a product and allows them to search for the specific product they are looking for but also lets the retailers represent their offline conversion tracking.
6. Use of Cryptocurrency in eCommerce
Well, this is going to a game-changing trend in the eCommerce sector as far as the experts have predicted. The use of cryptocurrency for making the payment will further revolutionize the industry and take it to the next higher level.
The use of cryptocurrency for conducting the transactions will not only make your payment more secure but also nullify the risks associated with transactions.
But the eCommerce industry hasn’t really welcomed the Blockchain technology as it is still in the trial and test mode. It is taking the time to adopt the new advanced technology with careful monitoring.
Amazon has taken a stride forward as it has registered three cryptocurrency web domains. But as time progresses, we are going to see more of Blockchain and cryptocurrency in eCommerce for sure.
7. The Impact of IoT
The Internet of Things as such needs no introduction at all. It has influenced a number of industries from healthcare to education and from farming to real estate. So, how can the eCommerce lack behind in availing its benefits? With the passage of time, more and more devices are getting linked-up with internet and this surely is good positive news for the eCommerce business.
Now how is it going to be useful? Firstly, it will help in the smart inventory management. With IoT, it will become much easier for the eCommerce business owner to keep the track of the stock of goods.
Secondly, it will also assist in managing the logistics. You can keep a real-time check on the products that are shipped and check delivery status. This will all improve the customer experience.
8. High-Quality Images and Videos
A picture says a lot more words than texts do, and the same is applicable to your eCommerce business as well. At a time when we are witnessing some of the optimal camera-based smartphones and devices, the images and video quality is going to be better and better.
Now, you have to present a 360-degree view of the product possibly from all angles around. It must be noted that customers scan the images of products before making the purchase. In order to provide a more dynamic look, you can try out the animated GIF that exhibits the features of the product.
Even the quality videos can convince the customer to buy the product more than just an ordinary video. Always add engaging content with video.
9. Faster and More Accurate Delivery
It can be said that this is one area where the major eCommerce giants like Amazon, Google Shopping Express, Walmart etc. are competing tough against one another as each of them is offering the benefit of same-day delivery to their customers.
And it is the consumer who will gain the maximum as he gets his products delivered the same day of purchase.
10. Mobile Checkout Options
Today we have a plethora of payment options that include Android Pay, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree etc. This will reduce the usage of traditional payment methods.
One click and your payment are done; this is what we are looking forward to in 2018. But the owners will have to ensure that their website remains optimized for mobile. The experts are expecting that the checkout process will further simplify in the approaching days.
The eCommerce industry is one of the fast-evolving business sectors that have seen a number of changes ever since its arrival. And not to forget that it is also the most competitive business areas where you have got some of the biggest players to compete against.
Therefore, it becomes predominantly important to update your eCommerce business tactics and stick to the current trends prevailing in the market.