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How eCommerce Stores Can Stay On Trend In 2018

eCommerce Trends 2018
  • Written By Chris
  • Posted January 12, 2018
  • 6 minutes Read Time

Every new year brings with it a set of red hot trends for online retailers to try and maximise as best they can. In the world of eCommerce, latching onto these trends has never been more lucrative – or competitive. You need to incorporate them into your plans or risk falling behind.

Modern-day trends are huge business nowadays. People see something they want and they buy it (just like our wig-wearing friend in our main image!). Someone else will see that same item and buy it for themselves, and so on. When certain items get global exposure, they can explode in popularity – think fidget spinners.

A record number of shoppers are now choosing to buy their items online rather than heading down to their local high street stores, and 2018 is likely to be no different. If you operate an eCommerce website, attracting these ‘online-only’ customers can be the difference between success and failure.

So how can you ride these waves of popularity and make sure your business is at the forefront of these hot trends? Stay ahead of the game of course! Being prepared and laying the groundwork to capitalise on the hype is key, so sit tight – we’re here to help you out.

Here are some of the up-and-coming crazes we think could hit the headlines in 2018 and crucially, how your business can take advantage:

Digital Wallet Payments

First up, it’s the way in which customers pay for their items. With the increased use of smartphones and payments avenues like Apple Pay, customers want to be able to pay quickly and without hassle.

23% of all digital wallet payments are made through smartphones, but tablets and desktop devices still cater to this type of payment with 19% and 16% share respectively.

If your store is set up to take this kind of payment, it’s going to give you a clear advantage over the competition when it comes to mobile shopping. Its fast, convenient and gives you the opportunity to offer customers an added perk for paying in this way – maybe a discount on their next purchase, for example. Definitely, something to add to your site if you can in 2018.

Accepting digital wallet payments will give you a clear advantage over the competition when it comes to mobile shopping.

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Chatbots

This is an area that some customers will always avoid, but in today’s world, getting assistance on demand can be the difference between a missed sale and a satisfied customer – especially after regular business hours are over.

A chatbot can be implemented on almost any website, making it a viable way to support customers when your staff have gone home for the day. Any visitors to your site that need help will appreciate the instant live engagement a chatbot can bring, and chances are they’ll be much happier to stay and spend their money if their query is resolved there and then.

Influencer Marketing

One of the biggest trends of 2017 and one that is expected to continue into 2018 is the rise of influencer marketing. Driving customers to your eCommerce website through a popular celebrity via Snapchat or Instagram can pay huge dividends, especially if you decide to promote a new product or make a discount available.

The sudden growth in this area has even led to the development of influencer marketing software, allowing business to easily identify the best ways of targeting their audience. If you’re not already considering this for 2018, it’s definitely worth investigating!

More Same-Day Delivery

Thanks to the likes of Argos and Amazon Prime, the more traditional delivery times are now a thing of the past.

When eCommerce first began, customers accepted that they’d have to wait a few days for the purchases to arrive as this was the norm. Nowadays, you can order something online in the morning and it’ll be delivered to your door before the day is done. Consumers are more clued up on delivery than ever before, with many no longer prepared to wait more than a day or two. Statistics from market research organisation Forrester show that 30% of customers will happily pay more for their purchase if it means they’ll have it the same day.

Now it’s very unlikely that your business has the delivery network to rival Amazon, but the general trend for 2018 will reflect the fact that the shorter your delivery times, the better.

30% of customers will happily pay more for their purchase if it means they’ll have it the same day.

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Review Marketing

When a customer takes the time to give you a positive review of your product or service, you’re gonna feel great about it. Reviews are forming a bigger part of the eCommerce world with every passing year, and consumers are actively seeking them out before parting with their hard-earned cash.

A good number of positive reviews will resonate with your audience more than any promotional material ever could. It’s also true that a website showing hundreds of positive, but very few (if any) negative reviews, will be viewed by customers as untrustworthy – honesty is always the best policy here.

A great way to ride this trend as an eCommerce business in 2018 is to incentivise customers to leave reviews about your products. This is as easy as offering them something small, but worthwhile in exchange – free delivery on their next order, for example.

Triggered Emails

If you don’t already promote your store through email, what are you doing?! This is probably the most lucrative channel around for targeted marketing to a captive audience. Sending triggered emails to a customer after something takes place on your site is the perfect way to regain their attention.

Of course, you don’t want to bombard your customers with sales emails every single day – that screams desperation and will almost certainly have a detrimental effect on your reputation. Choose the right time to send your triggered email – by this, we mean follow up abandoned carts or incomplete transactions in a way that entices the customer back to your store. Amazon has struck the right balance here and are a great example to follow going into 2018.

See also: A Guide To Promoting Your Promotions On AdWords

AR & VR

Another huge growth area in 2017, both augmented and virtual reality are set to be even bigger this year. Some eCommerce retailers are already embracing the latest technology and it’s expected to become commonplace over the next few years.

Augmented reality (AR) is the technology behind crazes like Pokemon Go which swept across the entire world back in 2016. Millions of people grabbed their smartphones and explored different areas around them to ‘catch’ virtual Pokemon and compete against their friends. It’s this technology that retailers are now using to offer things like virtual tours, with some of the latest apps even allowing you to place furniture in your home to see what it looks like before you buy.

With over 171 million people expected to use virtual reality (VR) for retail purposes in 2018, it’s certainly a trend worth keeping an eye on – and if you can afford to invest in the technology right now, you should!

Summary

So there you have it, some of the hottest trends we think your eCommerce business should be all over if you want success this year. With more people buying online than ever before and online revenue figures only expected to grow, staying ahead of the curve is crucial to keeping your competitive advantage.

If you have any questions about these trends or want to highlight any others you think we’ve missed, let us know in the comment section below!