Each year brings something new and exciting in the world of eCommerce, and constant development of technologies causes serious changes in customers’ behavior. This represents a major problem for many of the retailers as they are too slow to react to these changes, and some of them are so drastic and so impactful that slow changes can bring the entire businesses in jeopardy.
2018 has brought some really interesting trends in shoppers’ tendencies. Some of them were expected and most of the retailers have already devised strategies to answer these new models of behavior. The other ones have the potential to seriously shake the entire market and change not only eCommerce but the entire internet from its foundations!
The 5 most important trends in 2018 are:
• Mobile commerce domination
• Augmented reality emergence
• Machine learning in personalization
• Social shopping
• Image and voice searches
Mobile shopping domination
This is a trend that is not new at all. Since nowadays almost everyone uses mobile devices, and the phones have long ceased to be devices for making the calls, it is no wonder that people are buying using their mobile devices in most cases.
This impacts the market in a way that mobile responsive design has become a staple feature, but shopping apps are also becoming increasingly important!
Augmented reality emergence
The emergence of augmented reality was a fun moment as it was mostly related to Pokémon Go and similar games. Still, this is something that has a huge potential application in eCommerce.
Using augmented reality technologies in order to be able to see how certain items would fit the surrounding could be a key factor in selling things that need to be composed into it. For example, furniture, garden, or car appliances can be sold in a much easier way if the customer has the chance to see how the end result would look like!
It is expected that the best and most advanced companies will follow this strategy and implement elements of augmented reality in their eCommerce ecosystems. Suffice to say that Ikea already uses that option.
Machine learning in personalization
Machine learning is nothing new, and the case is pretty much the same with personalisation as well. Still, when these two technologies are combined, the results are much better than usually expected.
Not only that machine learning in personalisation gives the opportunity to rely on less 3rd party service providers, but it also allows advanced customer behavior tracking. This becomes so advanced that soon there will be no limitations in regards to categories or even types of products being sold. Machine learning will allow full customer analysis and recommendations that will maximize chances of sales across different niches and that can be a real game changer, especially for huge outlets that cover more than one niche.
Social media play important role in eCommerce and in advertising for a rather long time now, but this becomes really important in the past few months. People tend to shop directly on social media, without ever going to the actual websites.
In these terms, implementing social shopping options is becoming the most important thing in the B2C segment, especially in niches that cover commonly sold products. Retailers that wish to maximise their turnover simply have to include social shopping in their arsenal, as social media marketing is not giving the same results.
Image and voice searches
SEO has been for a very long time a cornerstone of visibility on all search engines. People would simply type in the words related to the products they are interested in and that would be it.
With the emergence of new technologies, textual searches are becoming slowly replaced by image and voice searches. This is something that could radically alter the entire eCommerce world and impact the entire internet in a way that hasn’t been seen ever since Yahoo and Google became a thing.
Shopping is often a great indicator of the new directions the online world is taking, and these new moments could easily be the defining ones in years to come. The only thing retailers can do is to adapt as fast as they can.