Originally published: February 18, 2018
If you haven’t met me yet, I live and work in Saigon in the fields of professional writing, education advisory, lecturing, people development, and corporate training. Low cost, warm and tasty South East Asia fits me perfectly well, and I can easily network with digital “smarties” and high tech geeks, at the same time as the lifestyle and opportunities are just so different here compared with many other parts of the world right now.
This article sheds some light on hot e-commerce trends in 2018 and I hope this writing can help you develop your business with more satisfied customers. Don’t forget to add me on social media as I am a big fan of communicating with my followers and fans and share ideas and experiences.
11% of online shoppers use smartphones for their purchases and 35% state that the smartphone will be their main purchasing tool according to Shopify. 39% of online shoppers get their inspirations from social media so there is definitely potential to reach new and existing customers with your products and services through below e-commerce trends.
E-commerce trend 1:
The use of imagery with motions that can help you to express your brand and share delight. This trend makes an experience feel more alive which is what customers want in 2018.
E-commerce trend 2:
Improved photography and videos. Avoid poor slack photos which makes your brand look cheap which you don’t need. Another trend in this space is to add a 360 degree image of a model wearing your product and you may want to add animated GIFs to better illustrate your product features.
E-commerce trend 3:
Social shopping. Instagram and Pinterest enable merchants to bring their offerings to their clients without buyers realizing it. Social media is becoming more important than ever as customers look for reviews, compare prices and talk with existing users of products they aim to buy. With social media, retailers can create buying scenarios by showing offerings on apps which are frequently used by customers. Let’s say that you click on a picture/item you really like, this will then appear in a new window for purchase and you don’t have to switch between apps.
E-commerce trend 4:
AR technology allows you to test a product in your home before making a purchase. IKEA uses similar technology where a customer can stay home and take a picture of a room, and swap furniture, and change positions, to see how well they fit in a given context before making a purchase.
E-commerce trend 5:
The use of more chatbots is a must as over 50% of online shoppers prefer to use messenger apps instead of traditional methods such as email, phone and contact forms. Minimize abandoned shopping baskets and answer customer requests 24/7 for a better customer experience.
E-commerce trend 6:
Implement machine learning and artificial intelligence in your e-commerce system. Machine learning helps the retailer to make faster and better business decisions and many tasks can be automated saving operational costs. By knowing who the client is , what they bought in the past, and what they seek at this point in time; this makes it much easier for the retailer to make tailored and personal offerings. Let’s say that a client purchases product X every quarter. Accordingly, the Machine learning system sends a tailored and personalized message of similar product at a price that is in line with or beats competition!
E-commerce trend 7:
Voice search. 40% of millenials make voice search before making a purchase so this is definitely a technique worth implementing for online retailers.
E-commerce trend 8:
Mobile commerce. It has been predicted that mobile commerce will hit $600 Mn in 2018 where 40% of all e-commerce revenues come from mobile purchases.
E-commerce trend 9:
Blockchain and cryptocurrency. With advanced technology, this allows for almost zero risk of payment frauds. More shops offer this method of payment and this should therefore become standard in your payment options besides trendy PayPal, Alipay, and other common payment methods.
E-commerce trend 10:
Omnichannel for a complete solution. Link your online store with your physical store and the customer gets what they want at the right price. Manufacturers are connected to the retailers and get data of storage size, purchases and anticipated needs. Clients know when and where they can find just what they need at any given point in time which therefore maximizes the client experience at the same time as the retailer sells just what is needed at most attractive price, and with minimal storage costs as a result.
However, remember that physical stores are still key as they convert 10-20% higher than web stores. Retail stores must take a new approach and here are some examples of what to do: A menswear online store could open a physical store and offer premium coffee and a barbershop service. Another example is to open physical stores with no merchandising and instead focus on tailoring, try-ons and stylists besides providing fresh juice and manicure. Why not offer a physical store where customers can test a jacket in real winter conditions? Famous American Wells Fargo provides the opportunity for customers to withdraw money from ATMs with their mobile phone.
Let me know your thoughts around e-commerce trends and how to create a better customer experience with maximised revenues as a result. Email me or find me on social media. Thank’s for reading and sharing this article and see you soon again.
By Anthony Eric
I’m Anthony Eric, and I have been working and studying in 7 different countries including England, Sweden, Germany, China, Vietnam, Cyprus and Ireland, and I speak 3 languages fluently.
I work in far east Asia with education and people development which includes but not limited to education consultation, education management, lecturing, English teaching and professional business training.
This was preceded by previous position of Director at Concordia international school, and lecturer universities in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) and various mid-level positions for SMEs and large enterprises in Europe.
My near-term plans include to continue and help as many underprivileged kids as possible by coordinating digital crowd funding on peopledevelopmentltd.com/charity.
I’m writing on my second e-book: 395 days in Saigon; this will be released at the end of 2018. My first e-book about leadership and project management success was released in 2016, and is available at the price of 5 USD on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk -> LINK.
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