Next year, 2018, is only a month away. How many of you were able to accomplish your goals in 2017? With the New Year approaching, many people start reviewing what goals they have been trying to achieve in the previous year and what would they like themselves doing in the coming year.

We have already focused on the importance of e-commerce development platform in our previous blog. As important an exercise it is for your business, it is also critically imperative to get clear in your vision because I am sure, you wouldn’t want 2018 to be just another year that you let slither by without achieving your goals. Focus is the need of the hour but low and behold! Time has never been better for e-commerce than it is now. Online sales will continue to spike up and if you want to be part of it, you better brace yourself up.

Here are 5 e-commerce trends for 2018 to watch out for!

1) Mobile Shopping Experience will take the Centre Stage

Mobile commerce is evolving constantly. People faced many challenges related to shopping via smartphones and tablets in the past, but a lot of these bends have been straightened out.

Complex and prolonged checkout processes, for instance, are finally being carved out to the core elements. Because in the end, you will be converting a very a small number of shoppers if they are not getting what they want with the minimal number of click, taps possible.

In addition, there are some retailers who are already taking things to the next stage by introducing live chat support creating an immediate point of connection with their customers. If a reliable, along with consistent service and advice are provided to the customers, they are likely to become your most loyal customers over a long run.

IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group), a research hub providing in-depth intelligence on online sales, delivery trends and mobile sales both domestically and internationally, reached a tipping point with respect to online shoppers. According to them, the percentage of online retail sales made through mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) has exceeded 50% more than it was back in Q4 2015/16.

Smartphones and tablets accounted for 51% of UK online retail sales in Q4, which was a substantial increase on the 45% recorded in Q3 – and up from 40% in Q4 last year.

The percentage split of total online sales between the types of channel for Q4 2015/16 was as follows:

  • Desktop / laptop – 49%
  • Tablets – 33%
  • Smartphones – 18%

Visits to retail websites via mobile devices accounted for two-thirds (66%) of traffic in Q4, up from 63% in the previous quarter. This compares with 53% in Q4 last year.

This rise in mobile penetration appears to be driven by augmented confidence in using smartphones for online shopping. Sales growth through these devices rose piercingly in 2015.

In a nutshell, mobile shopping would be a domain where e-commerce industry will be looking to dominate in 2018 and beyond.

Mobile Shopping

2) Context-Based Shopping Experiences will become the new personalization

Data-based shopping will become the new norm. Although a few shoppers value tailored product suggestions, there are a few who are not happy to see the product they once looked at Amazon; continue to pop -up every now and then for weeks or even months on portals such as Facebook. Despite of their actual interest!

Therefore, retargeting may be useful and might even be incredibly germane, but it doesn’t always give preference to context.

It’s a thought that whenever a registered buyer shops at an e-commerce website, his preferences will be remembered. Now, even those to-be-customers who are not registered or logged in, are offered the same personalization experiences.

The customer journey thus becomes smoother and less friction is caused. By displaying the right content at the right moment, your business is bound to draw more sales by leading shoppers towards buying.

Out of date personalization, will be overpowered by contextual shopping. Customers will be looking at more related content coming their way than before.

3) Analytics in Real-Time

Data is a very useful resource which helps in determining how well your business is doing. Sadly, traditional analytics is not much of help. It slows things down and spotting trends or other problems becomes time-consuming. Because of traditional analytics, you were unable to deliver instantaneous assistance to your clients because they left your website, long before you could be available for them.
This is the part where real-time analytics could change the game.By real-time monitoring of clients and shoppers activity patterns, problems can be better identified in the sales funnel. The customer might face an issue with a coupon code or he might have problems in checking himself out. Numerous sales might go down the drain that way. But once, problems are dealt with on the fly, or interaction with the customer is maintained before he/she abandons the shopping cart, you will observe how dramatically the conversion rate accelerates.

Tracking in real-time will let online retailers deliver a more holistic shopping experience, leaving fewer opportunities to put your attention to.

4) Video Marketing

Businesses are now taking a step up with branded, customized video content. Although the importance of SEO-optimized product details and HD photography for e-commerce websites cannot be denied, but if you want to stay ahead in the game, video marketing is the answer to it.

Videos are a great way to educate, entertain and pass on informative messages to prospective customers. They build a trust level with the customers by engaging them in a story. Video demonstrations, Live streaming, 360-degree product rotations are now taken as practical marketing strategies.

Moreover, it gives your site’s SEO a credible boost leading to conversions, making the content more shareable, as well as project maximum information in lesser time.

There are many e-commerce businesses, who have generated huge YouTube followings, while there are some which prefer using apps like Instagram and Vine to grab the attention of customers.

5) Collaborating Socially

The need for social collaboration is rising dramatically in the e-commerce world. Having products that your customers want is one thing, but allowing customers to further customize the product is another. That’s exactly what’s happening in popular marketplaces such as Etsy.

Customers can freely alter the designs of the existing items and come up with something eye-catching, unique and beautiful wares.The best part is, implementation of these out-of-the-box tools for interaction and social collaboration allows for consumers to experience themselves as part of the creation process. The gist is, customers can have one-of-a-kind product of their choice, not just the one that’s displayed.

Look forward to see more social creation in the year 2018. Especially, in the apparel sector and accessory e-commerce domain.

Concluding Thoughts

This is high time to be in the e-commerce industry, as businesses keep on innovating and are getting an edge in the marketplace.

Remember, innovation does not always mean to invest in new initiatives. Often, capital has proven to be a hurdle that gets in the way of innovating because creativity is what makes all the distinction. Money is not the core requirement when it comes to businesses, it’s the out-of-box thinking that’s the need of the hour.

Brace yourself to come up with new ideas because we are expecting fascinating and extraordinary transformations in the e-commerce realm in 2018.