6 Trends For The Ecommerce Industry In 2018
BY victoria.greene
1 year ago
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It is no secret that e-commerce is big business that’s getting bigger. Conservative opinions predict online retail sales are expected to reach $4.5 trillion1 by 2021.

What’s also true is that it’s an industry evolving at an exponential rate. As rapid technological advances combine with the requirements of consumers for an increasingly personalised and efficient user experience (UX), it’s crucial that you pay attention to the latest developments.

By staying on top of these changes, your business will arm itself with the tools needed to gain new customers and increase brand loyalty.

This post looks at six trends which will shape the e-commerce industry in 2018 and what they mean for your own business.

Recommended reading: Step Up Your Customer Service Using Chatbots

1. Augmented Reality to get real

When all reality becomes augmented will it mean that reality itself ceases to exist?

Such questions are best left for the philosophers, but what’s certain is that augmented reality (AR) is here to stay and will play a huge part in the future of e-commerce. TechCrunch have predicted the AR market will reach $83 billion by 2021.

That’s fantastic news for consumers.

A tool like ARKit, for iOS 11, has made it much easier for developers to implement AR strategies. A great example is IKEA Place. Using their phones, customers can see what IKEA’s furniture will look like in their actual home. They no longer have to rely on a tape measure and their imagination.

Expect many more online retailers to follow suit.

Credit: ARKit
Try not to think of your online shop window in the traditional way. Imagine what it could look like in an augmented universe - picture how you can present your offerings in order to best showcase them to your customers.

2. Stand and deliver – quickly

In the crowded online world, delivery times and the availability of flexible shipping can make or break a business. Finding ways to increase efficiency is now an essential part of your ecommerce strategy.

It’s here that Amazon’s dominance is most obvious.

In a recent press release, the retail giants announced that they shipped more than 5 billion items via their Prime one-or-two-day shipping service in 2017, with their fastest delivery time being an almost unfathomable 8 minutes.

Amazon are now offering a one-hour delivery service in some areas. Competitors will have to up their own logistics game in order to have any hope of keeping up.

How efficient is your own delivery system? You could partner with a logistics company to provide your customers a more convenient service?

3. User Generated Content, easy as 1 2 3

User-Generated Content (UGC) is going to be more influential than ever this year and it’s no surprise; social shares, reviews and scrolling carousels of customer photos are ideal ways to boost SEO while providing an invaluable service to consumers.

What’s great about UGC is that it is real content which you don’t have to create yourself.

It has been said that a customer is 97% 3 more likely to purchase after having interacted with UGC and there’s no doubting that this type of content is incredibly effective. What’s more, it’s a way of obtaining genuine feedback on product/ services and solidifying relationships with the customer.

Credit: Pexels
Work out what your customers can do for you and what you can give them in return. Perhaps offer entrance into a monthly raffle for those who share relevant UGC images. It’s a win-win.

4. Checkout before they get out

The evolution of online checkouts looks set to reach a vital stage in 2018 - with the demise of the traditional payment form.

The expiration of Amazon’s one-click patent means that even more mobile shoppers can experience a streamlined checkout process. Options such as Apple Pay, Paypal, Android Pay and Amazon Pay are here to stay.

A clunky transaction is one way of putting off potential customers. It’s therefore no wonder that businesses want to upgrade their checkout mechanisms and, in doing so, increase impulse buys.

Credit: Flickr
Consider streamlining your checkout system, removing those outdated payment forms and adopting a one-click mechanism.

5. Boom of the subscription box

The popularity of subscription services looks set to accelerate this year. With an increase of 800%4 between 2014 and April 2017, it’s a market that will continue to grow.

The success of companies like Stitch Fix and Ipsy, who send out personalised clothing and make-up items each month, has led to the likes of Under Armour and Gap offering their own subscription service.

It’s not just fashion. Subscriptions services are available for curated record collections, razor blades and recipe ingredients! These monthly packages offer value for money (the content is often discounted), personalisation and efficiency to the consumer and guarantee recurring customers for the retailer.

By providing a service that is personalised and ensures value for money, you’ll be able to turn those occasional browsers into lifetime customers.

6. It’s good to chatbot

While the machines haven’t taken over the world just yet, chatbots have changed the sales potential of the ecommerce and retail world5. There’s even potential for these little helpers to address the ROBO (Research Online, Buy Offline) balance, a particular concern to businesses with no offline presence.

The beauty industry has pioneered this technology, such as Foundation Finder, and shown that chatbots are no longer just a way to help with FAQs. Powered by algorithms, they are able to improve UX by acting as a virtual personal shopping assistant who can give customers the individual advice often missing in the ecommerce world.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder that 48%6 of consumers prefer to connect via live chat over other means of communication. We predict that these bots are here to stay, and we’re welcoming them with open arms.

Credit: Flickr
Even if you’re not in a position to incorporate chatbots into your ecommerce infrastructure, now is the time to familiarise yourself with the technology. Start with the brands that you admire, how do they use these virtual assistants?

So there you have it - Six ecommerce trends that also offer opportunities for all online businesses.
By embracing technology, streamlining and improving the consumers UX, it’s possible to create an ecommerce platform that will be the envy of your competitors. If there’s an overarching theme it’s that these trends will make the online customer in 2018 more fulfilled than ever before. That can only be a good thing for all concerned.

1.  Statista.com
2.Tim Merel,’The reality of VR/AR growth’, blog, published January 2017, Techcrunch.com, accessed January 2018
3.  Business Insider
4. Richard Kestenbaum, ‘Subscription Businesses Are Exploding With Growth’, article, published Aug 2017,  Forbes.com, accessed January 2018
5. Lauren Ufford, ‘Chatbots for Retail:What Are They and How Retailers Can Use Them to Spark Sales’, blog, published June 2017, Shopify.com, accessed January 2018
6. Whitney Blankenship, ‘ 6 Ecommerce Trends to Jump on for 2018’,blog, published October 2017,  Divvit.com, accesssed January 2018



on 30th November 2015 / by nayanathara
Staying ahead of your competitors in today's fast-moving markets is not an easy job. Your competitors might be continuously releasing a host of better products and adopting the latest technologies and aggressive pricing strategies. In this scenario, your success is determined by pricing intelligence – and this has to be accurate and completely up-to-date. Online shopping has created a strong sense of consumer empowerment by giving the consumers a range of choices and making it easier to for them to purchase things. Moreover, it has also triggered the trend of comparing the product prices and making the final decision to buy the product on minimal margins. Compare prices, double your e-commerce sales Price comparison is an innovative concept that has dramatically transformed the E-commerce industry. Price comparison tools or price crawlers or shopping robots, employ crawling techniques or web data extraction to automatically scan web pages and retrieve the prices of a product. In this way, a price comparison tool helps to fetch a significant amount of product and pricing data and uses Data intelligence to display the data feeds. So what you ultimately get are real-time price updates, helping you stay on top of your game. Comparison shopping engines: What do they exactly do? Comparison shopping engines (CSE's) such as Shopzilla.com, Shopping.com and PriceGrabber give ecommerce merchants the opportunity to attract new customers, increase sales, and go head-to-head against the competition. Comparison shopping engines gather all kinds of information about products from the participating retailers including the pricing, which is displayed on the results page when a shopper enters his/her search query. This enables the shoppers to compare the price offered by each retailer and the shipping options and ultimately select the retailer that offers the best overall value. Benefits for businesses: Gives your business a competitive edge: Pricing is always the crucial factor in making a buying decision. By using price comparison tools, business owners can maintain a check on prices offered by their competitors. You can even create a promotional strategy such as providing discounts or revalue price points to attract a lot more consumers. Pricing Intelligence: Price Intelligence offers you greater visibility into the pricing of your competitors as well as the array of products that they offer. It also helps you make significant pricing decisions and building pricing strategies that are lucrative for your business. Analysis of current market trends: With comparison tools, the current market trends can be analyzed. The positives as well as the negatives can be accurately assessed and improvements can be made accordingly. Effectively track consumer buying patterns: Price comparison tools can be used to effectively track the buying patterns of consumers. This enables business owners to find out the impact on the existing consumers, how to draw new ones and what is essentially needed to enhance the traffic for their products and categories. Improved customer services: To stand out in the market, you need to have a better customer service. Using product and pricing data, customer service can be invariably improved. Benefits for customers: Whenever you’re buying any product, particularly expensive ones, it’s always best to do a comprehensive research and comparison of prices so that you get the right products at the right price. Price comparison tools give consumers a tremendous amount of bargaining power. Besides, it enables shoppers to get the best deals and save a significant amount of money. Here's something worth thinking about... Today, price comparison sites are mushrooming in every nook and corner of the world wide web. So, if you are on the lookout for cheaper products and services, and want to shop pretty quickly, then price comparison tools offer plenty of choices for you. But this is just one side of the coin. Is it a good idea to display competitor prices on your e-commerce site? Does it involve serious ethical issues? Think before you take the big leap! Be part of the discussion and share your valuable comments on the same. References: How to Save Money With Price Comparison Tools Five Best Price tracking tools The 11 Best Shopping Apps to Compare Prices Costly comparison How do comparison shopping sites make a living? An update Ecommerce Price crawler Price comparison tools Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker *

on 02nd December 2015 / by Moses Raymond
The online e-commerce and retail websites are growing at a super fast rate and are evolving into better sites constantly. As consumers expect to get newer and better experiences every time they shop, the technology driving these sites too needs to be growing and evolving simultaneously too. This will ensure that the modern shopper is given a whole new shopping experience with every trip to the online store. In its latest version, Drupal 8 has made adequate changes and additions to its platform to elevate the engagement level with the consumer. Drupal ecommerce sites have the innate capability of merging commerce and content, ensuring that the customer goes through a wholesome content-driven experience. Being an open source system, Drupal Commerce is extremely customizable and a dedicated e-commerce framework which allows the user to tailor the website design in terms of the structure and design. Why Drupal Commerce? Stores that have a huge inventory of colours/sizes/options benefit a lot when using Drupal commerce for their website, as it allows quick and easy expandability and maintenance is hassle-free. Ease of billing and shipping is an advantage as every SKU is allotted as a separate node, which means that every field has a different weight and spec. Robust features such as promo codes, discounts, tax calculations etc. are extremely easy to add to the framework. With the inclusion of shopping cart and checkout process, Drupal Commerce is a totally integrated package. Store makeovers for older establishments and additions/improvements for better functions make Drupal commerce completely future-proof. Drupal 8 is a focused mobile-ready platform that has been built and upgraded as per the changing technology and increased use of hand-held devices like mobiles and tablets. This mobile-first approach is expected from a first-rate platform like Drupal 8, as the future of ecommerce literally lies in the hands of the consumer. Laptops and personal computers lag far behind while considering the usage of mobile phones for access to shopping sites. Drupal 8 has game-changing features which augur well for the future of commerce: Improved loading speed: Drupal 8 has reduced the front-end usage, drastically boosting the loading speeds. This also aids in retaining traffic and decreasing the bounce rate. Mobile toolbar: The administrative toolbar has made access to the various areas of the site easier, while collapsing icons allows vertical orientation for small sized screens. Responsive Theming: As per the use of the devices, whether it is a laptop or a mobile, themes like Stark, Batik and Seven, make automatic size changes to elements and blocks. These features are responsible for making Drupal 8 a winner in all departments and has paved the path for the future of commerce for mobile users. Developers are bound to take to Drupal 8 in a flash, and that’s the sole reason why Zyxware has focused on this fascinating development in the world of web development. Call us to know more about our Drupal development services and ensures that your ecommerce site has the winning edge of Drupal 8 that makes customers happy. References: Drupal 8 is Mobile-first, Global ready Ubercart Vs Drupal Commerce – Which Platform Should eCommerce Owners Choose In 2015 The Future of Commerce on Drupal 8 (and beyond) Drupal Development services Drupal Development Drupal 8 Ecommerce Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker *

on 21st December 2015 / by Moses Raymond
Ecommerce is evolving at lightning speed and so is the technology that backs it. Recent surveys have pointed out that the dependence on physical purchases for certain products and services will significantly reduce in the coming years, and by 2018, 50% of the world’s population would be part of the online shopping revolution that is sweeping across the globe. In the coming years, ecommerce businesses will have to work smarter to devise newer ways of gaining and retaining customers with better strategies and attractive offers. As 2015 comes to a close, let us look at the ecommerce trends that are expected to rock the New Year. Evolving Buying patterns and behaviour: ecommerce businesses will have to dig deep into their historical data and analyse their customer’s behavioural pattern with regard to: What drives their buying decisions? What do they search for? Why do customers search the way they do? Once this analysis is done, organizations will find it easier to hold the customer’s attention and drive them towards decision-making. This could also lead to a tremendous increase in sales. Mobile-way or no-way: As an organization, you might have already taken the step towards making your website mobile-friendly. If not, it isn’t too late to do so as your potential customer is already a mobile user, and it is the best way to reach and influence his buying pattern. As per the statistics, around 5 billion individuals around the globe own a smartphone and is gravitating towards m-commerce. By 2017, 50% of ecommerce revenue from the US is expected to come from mobile shopping. Hence, reaching out to your potential customer via his/her mobile is the way to future growth and not doing so will take away a large chunk of your business revenue away. Multi-channel Shopping: Surveys indicate that a consumer may not only browse or make purchases using a particular device but could use devices depending on his location. For example, a desktop may be a preferred device for an individual in office while the mobile may be favoured at homes or public places. In this scenario – that involves the use of a variety of channels by the customer in the shopping process - your organization would do well to device a multi-pronged strategy, thus ensuring that you do not miss out on any possible sales or engagement opportunity. The Social Media route: Mobile phones and other handheld devices have pushed the social media interaction to unimaginable levels, as social media users are not location-specific or time-specific. Social media marketing has made promotion of products and special deals as easy as making a phone call. Understand your social media options at hand and choose the best that works for your business. To understand and implement the latest ecommerce trends that will augment your business, join hands with Zyxware and explore the most viable options for your organization. We have fine-tuned IT solutions to near perfection and will be happy to partner with you in boosting your online business.To know more about our Drupal website development services, please get in touch with us. References: 7 ecommerce trends to watch out for in 2016 The 2015 Global Retail E-Commerce Index™ 5 Ecommerce Trends That Will Be Game Changers in 2016 Drupal Development services Ecommerce mobile commerce online shopping Leave a reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marker *
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