Top 4 Greatest eCommerce Predictions for 2018

Research
 
07 December 2017 2529

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s a perfect time for eCommerce stores to start carefully planning new strategies for 2018. 

 

Annually, eCommerce sales are growing by more that 20%. The eCommerce market is huge, but it’s going to become even bigger. In fact, in 2018 experts predict eCommerce revenues skyrocket to $460+ billion. 

 

eCommerce also promises to be more competitive than ever, which means that entrepreneurs need to find new techniques to attract clients and follow most recent trends.

 

It’s time to ask: What major trends are going to shape eCommerce industry in 2018?

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To find out some hottest 2018 eCommerce trends, we asked industry experts on what entrepreneurs can expect this coming year in e-commerce. We have listed top 4 predictions that may influence the whole ecommerce niche during the next year!

1. From VR games to VR commerce    

Future technologies depicted in science fiction films and books are much closer than we think. Actually, they will happen extremely soon… right in 2018.

 

The global market of Virtual Reality (VR) hardware & software is projected to reach $22.4 billion by 2020. After the splash made by the arrival of virtual reality headsets a couple of years ago, VR has drawn a lot of attention. 

 

Moreover, 2017 has already proved that VR trend is a long-lasting and developing and sooner or later will impact all aspects of our lives, including online shopping.

“In 2018 you  will be able to come in to a virtual store, and buy a 3D product.” 

It is so hard to imagine, but we already all the necessary technology to build first VR stores.

 

“I believe that first VR commerce will appear in 2018 thanks to HoloLens - incredible gadget created by Microsoft” - mentions Daniel Russo, Magento Developers admin.

 

Microsoft HoloLens is the first self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you.

 

This means that online shopping will advance to the totally new level. Buyers will see the product from your stores right in front of them. 

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Imagine you need to order a sofa, but you are not sure if it will fit into your room. Just pick VR headsets, open VR store and choose sofa that will be a perfect match!

2. From Faster Delivery to Fastest Returns     

Delivery matters, which means that your potential clients may choose your competitors with faster delivery and lower rates. However, it’s not the only thing that you need to constantly track and improve. While online market spending are increasing with the superman speed, returns may become a brand new feature that makes difference for your customers.

 

Here is what our expert John Lawson, CEO at ColderICE and admin of The Ecommerce Facebook Group says: “As we have pretty much exhausted the delivery speed since we are down to 2-hours delivery. I don't see that getting much more competitive for a while.”

“I am personally dubbing 2018 as the "Year of the Return" policy.” 

The next area to conquer is the competition for who can make returns the fastest and easiest for customers. Shop online and return in the store is an advantage that brick and mortars have over pure-play retail.

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What’s more, you already can see Amazon taking this challenge seriously. Recently they have piloted a program for instore returns with Kohl's. This is the new frontier we will face in the race to dominate the customer purchasing behavior.

3. From Impression to Story

eCommerce stores will focus on continued engagement with their audience. Personalization has already become usual and won’t get tons of sales by adding {FirstName} to your email. The next step to your clients is storytelling and creativity.

“Be creative and relevant to convert hundreds of fans into long-lasting clients.”

Gary Ng, admin of Shopify Newbies group proves it by saying that “with the competitiveness of numerous online sellers and due to the low barriers of entry of setting up an online store, one has to stay uniquely relevant and creative in order to establish a brand which attracts hordes of fans and convert them into customers”.

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Offering a discount or a free present is not enough – you need to make shopping an experience and sell not only products, but emotions. How do you do it? Carefully develop a content strategy for your store, think about impressions that wish your clients would have. Then, turn it into a story and apply it to all stages of your business, from order confirmation to delivery.

4. From website to mobile app

The success of an ecommerce business obviously depends on, how well the products/services are showcased. Today, having a nice looking website is a must, but it’s vital to go mobile unless you want to lose half of your clients.

 

In fact, estimates say that 50% of eCommerce revenue will come from mobile this coming year. According to Google, “About 85% of online shoppers start a purchase on one device and finish on another.”

 

Owing to it, OpsWay experts suggest eCommerce owners to focus on:

 

  • Mobile-responsive design, as mobile devices are becoming the primary source for product research and purchase.
  • Smooth UX/UI with SEO-friendly user interface and loads of visual content like videos, animations, and real-time photographs, to grab the customer's attention.
  • Mobile apps that can be accessed from any device to extend your customers base and support omnichannel customer experience.

 

Don’t have mobile-friendly version of eCommerce store yet? What are you waiting for, 2018 is close! Learn how we can help you to stay on top of eCommerce trends!

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