What’s Big for Ecommerce in 2018?

The ecommerce landscape in Canada and the United States continues to heat up as more users continue to ditch traditional stores in favor of online shopping.

In fact, according to a study conducted by eMarketer in 2016, worldwide ecommerce sales are predicted to reach 4 trillion dollars by 2020 (up from 2 trillion in 2016).

With a major ecommerce company like Amazon investing billions into their online platform, small and even medium-sized ecommerce businesses have had to make big changes to keep up. In order to tackle this lucrative, but incredibly fast-moving and dynamic scene of online shopping, it’s vital to keep up with the latest trends and it all starts with finding the right ecommerce agency.

To get your online business running ahead of the pack, consider these 8 new and upcoming ecommerce trends in 2018.

1: Shopping on Mobile

The added convenience of a store in your pocket is quickly gaining traction as Canadians are looking more towards their smartphones than their monitors when it comes to shopping. In 2017, almost a quarter of the population bought something online, a 9% rise since late 2014.

Shoppers are also paying with their smartphones. A fifth of Canadians have used mobile payments and digital wallets in 2017, a rise of 7% over the previous year. At the same time, concerns about overlooking product features or hidden costs are keeping customers wary of mobile checkout, a challenge ecommerce will have to overcome.

In addition, storefront apps are becoming popular. For instance, 10% of Starbucks orders were made on the company’s mobile app soon after it launched. Combine that with the low barrier of entry in making apps, and it’s clear why so many ecommerce companies are developing storefront apps to keep up with the competition.

2: Social Shopping

It doesn’t take a professional analyst to know that social media is a great marketing tool, but companies like Pinterest are taking it a step further. The company’s Shop the Look Pin feature lets customers buy products they see on posts. For example, you might see a handbag that interests you on a fashion model’s profile. Tapping that handbag leads you to the shopping page for easy access.

3: Machine Learning and Big Data

Ecommerce companies are always looking for ways to personalize the shopping experience. Through machine learning and Big Data, consumer data is collected and analyzed and the most relevant products can be recommended. Machine learning is also used to improve online stores’ search engines through analysis of a consumer’s purchase history and viewing habits.

Google’s AdWords is a popular implementation of this trend, increasing the effectiveness of advertising through search engines and consumer data.

4: Chatbots

Artificial intelligence is becoming advanced enough to talk directly to us in conversational English, and ecommerce web designers are looking into implementing Chatbots, digital assistants that help consumers solve problems and finish transactions right on the website without any staff input. A great example is Facebook’s upcoming Pay by Bot service.

If you are looking to build a chatbot for your business, you’ll want to work with reputable ecommerce designers that have experience working with them.

5: Extremely Fast Shipping

Amazon is so far the undisputed king of online shopping. If you see Amazon chasing after a trend, you can expect other ecommerce companies to follow closely. The digital age has enabled faster shipping, and consumers nowadays want their goods faster than ever.

Indeed, Amazon Prime, the company’s one-to-two day shipping service, is now ready to service over 100 million products. To keep up, the delivery industry will soon begin deploying driver-less trucks and even aerial drones to decrease shipping time.

6: Product Showcase Videos

More than three-quarters of the online population has visited a company’s website after seeing one of its video ads on social media. If you have something to sell, have your ecommerce web designers include a flashy showcase video.

7: Voice and Image Search

You don’t necessarily need a keyboard to find the products you want online anymore. Almost a quarter of customers own a voice-controlled smart appliance like Amazon’s Echo that allows them to buy products just by talking to it.

In the image department, Target’s Lens will soon let shoppers buy products they take pictures of, similar to the aforementioned Pinterest example.

Voice and image searching are expected to make up half of product searches by 2020, so keep your eyes out for more developments.

We’re Only Going Up From Here

There’s no doubting the potential ecommerce has. As an ecommerce agency located in Toronto, we provide a wide variety of services to help you design, build, market, and grow your business online. Whether you need our WooCommerce or Magento web design, or graphic design services, we are ready to help you build your online store.

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