18 Ecommerce Predictions for 2018: Part I

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While we can’t predict the future, we can say there’s a good chance these ecommerce trends will shape how retailers and e-tailers do business online in the coming year. Check out our first nine predictions for the new year in part one of our two-part series!

1)    Mobile Ecommerce

Mobile ecommerce now makes up ten percent of all retail purchases. Consumers have increasingly turned to mobile devices to shop in recent years; in fact, forty percent of all Black Friday sales occurred on mobile devices in 2016. Mobile is also becoming relevant in brick-and-mortar stores. By the end of 2018, 3.5 million mobile "beacons" will be installed in stores. These beacons, placed physically throughout a store, inform the mobile apps consumers might be using while shopping to scan or review a product.  

2)    Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality  

Today’s consumers want more than static images of a product. They want a comprehensive understanding of it, via an experience that mimics viewing an item in a store, without actually being there. That’s why thirty-five percent of consumers said they would shop more online if they could virtually interact with products.

3)    Cross-Platform Experiences

Consumers now engage with retailers online across multiple platforms and devices. Many research products on mobile devices and then checkout on a desktop or laptop. Searching for products across Google, Amazon, and Pinterest, in addition to a retailer’s website, is also increasingly common. Ensuring quality, consistent content is available across all will therefore be paramount for retailers in the months ahead.

4)    Real-Time Analytics

Think of all the digital footprints consumers leave across your ecommerce site: how long they spend on a certain product page; what percentage left the site after just three seconds; the average time it takes consumers to check out. Retailers that effectively compile, analyze, and act on this information are better equipped to adapt to consumer expectations. And, when these footprints can be analyzed and acted on in real time, retailers can do things like show products related to a consumer’s previous searches.

5)    Social Commerce

More than forty percent of B2B companies have found clients through Facebook. Social media has become a space where companies can not only find consumers, but create opportunities for consumers to make direct purchases from social sites.

6)    Complete Product Information  

According to the Shotfarm Product Information Report, seventy-eight percent of consumers say that quality product information is very important when making purchasing decisions, and eighty-seven percent said if provided incorrect product information, they’d be unlikely to shop from the retailer again.

7)    Micro Moments  

Micro moments”, a term coined by Google, refer to the times when consumers turn to a device (usually a smartphone) to learn, watch, do, or buy something. Google predicts that retailers who capitalize on micro moments – by understanding what their consumers are searching for and delivering quality, at-the-ready answers – will be best positioned for success.

8)    Cyber November

Retailers have increasingly extended holiday online shopping deals. Amazon, for example, offered deals on Black Friday that lasted 35 days in 2016. Expect that retailers will extend deals in the coming year throughout the month of November.

9)    User Input

Consumers are more likely to buy your products when they know that others have had positive experiences with them. That’s why retailers that feature customer reviews on their ecommerce sites and have a strong social sharing presence (both of which are considered “user-generated content”) are successful. Consumers that interact with user-generated content are twice as likely to convert than those that do not. 

Stay tuned for our next nine ecommerce predictions for 2018!