Ecommerce is growing at an astounding rate. 2017 is the second consecutive year that e-commerce grew by 15%. And it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. The truth is that, in the world of commerce, e-commerce is the engine that drives growth, and we’re still far away from seeing it reach a point where digital commerce slows down to the level of analog commerce or the latter speeds up to the level of the former.
Like with any high-growth industry, you can expect to see more and more people join in on the fun. E-commerce is already a highly competitive field. But if you add to that the fact that everything with an “e” prefix to its name is quickly evolving, you’ll see a way to stay on top of the competition. Getting in on the trends quickly, and being quick to adapt to innovation, are the two things that will help you differentiate your business from the pack. And here are the things you’ll need to implement in 2018.
Omni Is the Way to Go
If there’s one buzzword that could be deemed a top contender for the e-commerce buzzword of the decade, it has to be mobile-friendliness. The rise of mobile devices has been steadily going on throughout the decade. The two milestone years were 2015 when Google announced that mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches in 10 countries, and 2016, when Google started experimenting with mobile-first indexing.
If you like to keep with the times, your e-commerce website is already mobile-responsive. The next step would be to go from omni-device to omni-platform and implement user tracking strategies that allow, for example, the display of relevant ads across different platforms. There will be no escaping you in an omni-device, omni-platform world.
It’s Getting Personal(ized)
Every customer that visits your e-commerce website is a person with their own likes, dislikes, and desires. And while marketers and salespeople find it beneficial to think in categories, customers are increasingly interested in an experience that’s more tailored to their personal preferences.
Ideally, you would be able to completely build your website experience around every separate user. While that might be hard to do, you’ll still have to do some things to achieve a higher degree of personalization. For example, you can use the enhanced site search developed by Instant Search to ensure that the visitors get more relevant search results on your website.
Micro-Moments in Focus
Micro-moments is a trend that is already talked about a lot, and we expect it to really boom next year. It’s probably one of the most valuable smartphone-enabled trends we’ll see.
What are micro-moments? Because people carry smartphones with them all the time, they’re able to access the Internet on the go and search for the things they’re interested in at any particular moment. When they want to access certain information, they will search for what they need to know. Or, they will search for the places they want to go. Or the things they want to do. Or the products they like to shop.
All of these searches are micro-moments which present you, an e-commerce wiz, the opportunity to serve your customers the thing they need. You can get an unprecedented insight into user behavior, and you can use it to offer your customers what they need at the moment they’re most likely to accept the offer.
Chatbots Are Coming
Chatbots are already changing the face of several industries. They are considered to be the next big thing in recruitment, and they are doing great things for healthcare. And e-commerce is the next industry where they are expected to bring about change.
With a chatbot, you can instantly interact with each and every one of your customers. As the bots get better, they will allow more human-like interaction. But for now, they can be utilized for everything from delivering personalized content to suggestions of special deals and noting down customers’ comments and opinions.
Video Will Dominate the Content Game
Video is already touted as a panacea for many of digital marketers’ ailments. We know that how-to videos and product demonstrations are one of the most valuable tools used in content marketing, and we know that almost every social platform that counts enables video in one way or another.
In 2018, you should think about taking it up a notch with video. Instead of using it only as a high-conversion content marketing tool, you should think about implementing more of it on your website. Video product descriptions, for example, are something you might want to try. Keep in mind though, that the video cannot slow down your website or otherwise influence user experience negatively.
Every year brings us some new developments in the world of e-commerce. In 2018, the big trends are driven by technologies such as Big Data, machine learning, and AI. It’s shaping to be an exciting year, so make sure you stay informed and be quick with trend adoption.