Today, eCommerce/digital influences up to 56% of in-store purchases, while eCommerce itself represents almost 10% of U.S. retail sales and that figure is growing by nearly 15% annually.
Right after the holidays, though, will be the perfect time for brands and leaders to go into their caves and carefully plan new strategies for 2018. ?
To help you prepare for the holiday rush and the following year of opportunities, here are 10 e-commerce trends to pay close attention to in 2018:
Trend 1. The rebirth of brick and mortar
A new breed of retail stores and in-person experiences, rooted in digital, will begin to replace outgoing retailers.
Shop retail is not dying, but a painful transformation has begun
Here are some interesting facts:
Online menswear brand Frank And Oak have opened 16 physical stores in North America. The in-store experience includes premium coffee and barbershop services.
Online box-mattress pioneer Casper has opened 15 pop-up shops in cities around the US in 2017.
Trend 2. The Consumerization of B2B
The perfect storm is about to hit the nearly 1 Trillion $ B2B eCommerce sector.
Marketplace behemoths Amazon and AliBaba have become the “Google of shopping” in several B2B environments and are blurring the lines between B2B and B2C.
Trend 3. AR in your house
From “What WOULD it look like” to “What DOES it look like” in your home.
The future of AR is very, very bright. In 2018 Augmented Reality will be in our homes as brands roll out features that allow consumers to use their mobile devices to visualize items in their home or office before purchasing.
Trend 4. The new measure of a retailer’s digital sources
Measuring the in-store ROI of digital ads, finally.
Retailers will now know how many dollars of in-store sales are attributable to every dollar spent on digital thanks to a reliable attribution model between digital and in-store: ROPO Ratios (ROPO: “Research Online, Purchase Offline”)
Trend 5. Mobile checkout overtakes desktop checkout
Mobile eCommerce’s biggest challenge will become its greatest asset
From buying products and renewing services on the go to actually checking out or buying in-store, mobile checkout will become a convenience that no consumer will want to do without and that no merchant can afford to ignore.
Trend 6. Machine learning X e-commerce
Machine Learning + A.I. Will Create The Ideal Customer Experience
A.I. will create the perfect, customized customer experience which means that millennials will likely be the last generation to be marketed to as, well, a generation. 2018 will signal a shift in most retailers’ and brands’ targeting strategy, veering away from marketing to a pre-defined, relatively large and varied group of people like Millennials or baby boomers.
Trend 7. Amazon and the year of marketplace maturity
Amazon, the quintessential marketplace, is expected to continue its relentless growth. Much like its Chinese counterpart Alibaba, Amazon will be a ubiquitous element in every eCommerce Business Plan in 2018.
Trend 8. Voice will change SEO forever
How do you sell online if a consumer never visits or sees your website?
In 2018, consumers will speak to their devices and use voice to interact (conversational AI) like never before. Retailers, merchants, and brands will have to change the ways they communicate.
Trend 9. Photo Shopping
An Image (search) Will be Worth A Thousand Words.
Instead of typing in words, many consumers will use image-based search for the first time in 2018. In fact, image and voice-activated search may make up 50 percent of all searches by 2020.
Trend 10. Reaching peak browsers
“VHS, audio cassettes, rotary dial phones… Internet browsers.”
In an Internet-of-things (IoT) world, our dependence on browsers will begin to wane. Mixed in with mobile apps, AR interfaces, and voice interactions, the browser will become one channel among many and no longer the de facto means by which we purchase products or services digitally.
The facts are taken from 10 e-commerce trends