You cannot get away with these 7 E-commerce Trends

According to a study published by eMarketer, the e-commerce sector will experience double-digit growth until 2020, when sales are expected to exceed $4 trillion.

Few industries can boast such a bright future, which makes looking forward to what’s next in the world of e-commerce all the more exciting. Today, we’ll be taking a look at seven of the most significant and potentially disruptive e-commerce trends that marketers and consumers alike can expect in 2018.

We’ll be examining the current state of each of these areas, as well as taking a speculative look forward for the rest of the year to see what opportunities – and challenges – e-commerce retailers are likely to encounter in 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

Few industries can boast such a bright future, which makes looking forward to what’s next in the world of e-commerce all the more exciting. Today, we’ll be taking a look at seven of the most significant and potentially disruptive e-commerce trends that marketers and consumers alike can expect in 2018.

Faster Shipping and Better Delivery Logistics

Looking beyond the idiosyncrasies of specific ecommerce platforms, one of the very few remaining genuine differentiators in the ecommerce sector is that of shipping times and delivery logistics.

Amazon is the indisputable king of ecommerce delivery and seems poised to remain on its throne for the foreseeable future. Amazon is notoriously secretive when it comes to specific figures, but an infographic recently published by the ecommerce giant states that Amazon shipped more than 5 BILLION items worldwide via Amazon Prime’s free one- or two-day shipping in 2017. Even more interesting is the data on Amazon’s fastest deliveries – just eight minutes for a forehead thermometer, and just nine minutes for five pints of ice cream.

Greater Integration of AI and Machine Learning

YIWU, CHINA – MAY 18: (CHINA OUT) A “female” robot waiter delivers meals for customers at the robot-themed restaurant

Given the appetite for machine learning technologies in Silicon Valley and beyond, it’s inevitable that the ecommerce sector will continue to be disrupted by greater integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology in 2018.

Machine learning has already been integrated into many ecommerce systems, from product recommendation engines to improved search functionality. However, 2018 will see a dramatic increase in the applications of these technologies, allowing ecommerce retailers to offer customers exactly what they want in less time with less effort.

Augmented Reality Inches Closer to the Mainstream

Until very recently, nascent augmented reality technologies have been largely novelties – think Snapchat filters rather than the glittering future once promised by Google Glass and the like. However, this year will see AR tech take a giant stride forward toward true mainstream adoption, with ecommerce businesses leading the way.

Many leading retailers have been refining their AR offerings for some time, and the results have been striking. Everybody’s favorite Swedish furniture retailer IKEA debuted its Place app late last year, which allows you to see how various IKEA products would look in your home.

Although early versions of the app were a little buggy (particularly in smaller dwellings with limited floor space), newer iterations are reportedly much more stable and intuitive.

Explosive Growth in Mobile Checkout and IoT

No list of anticipated ecommerce trends would be complete without the almost-obligatory mention of the continued meteoric rise of mobile – specifically, mobile checkout and payment systems, and the continued rise of internet-connected devices.


Mobile payment has been one of the most dramatic changes to the way people shop since the advent of ecommerce itself. The growth of the mobile payment market has increased steadily year-on-year since 2015, and there are at least 10 different mobile payment platforms available today, including mainstays like

Apple Pay and Google Pay (the recently announced merger of Google Wallet and Android Pay), as well as proprietary offerings from banks including Chase and Softbank. (Oh, and don’t forget everyone’s favorite cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.)

Voice Search Everywhere

These days, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to talk about mobile without mentioning voice search. In 2018, Voice will be one of the leading drivers of innovation in the ecommerce space – and not just on mobile.

Ecommerce trends for 2018 Adobe Insights smart device appliance sales figures graph
Image/data via Adobe Digital Insights

Adoption of smart home appliances such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home units has been a major driver of voice search, particularly in the ecommerce space. Use of these devices to complete purchases has also grown, with 19% of consumers have used their smart appliance to make a purchase, and a further 33% of consumers planning to do so in 2018.

The Rise of ROPO

ROPO – Research Online, Purchase Offline – has been an observable consumer shopping habit for some time, driven largely by thrifty shoppers and eagle-eyed bargain hunters looking for the best possible deal. In 2018, we can expect to see a great deal more ROPO in the ecommerce sector.

 

More Storefront Apps

With so much focus shifting from desktop to mobile, ecommerce shopping will be further transformed this year by storefront apps. Many major retailers have offered apps for several years, and shoppers are already well-accustomed to using dedicated storefront apps to browse and shop from their mobile devices. However, 2018 will see smaller businesses leverage storefront apps to drive sales and, perhaps even more importantly, customer loyalty.

 

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