E-commerce trends 2018
2018 is yet another year of development of the e-commerce industry. Observing the changes in online sales, several trends have been noted, which will dominate the industry this year.
The first trend is the ubiquitous personalization of content. Customers want first-rate online-shopping experience. Sellers who are able to skillfully collect and analyze data concerning their customers, such as their preferences, and market trends gain an unquestionable advantage in the market. Adapting the content to the audience to display it at the right time and place has become the leading trend in 2018. Good personalization in e-commerce often requires significant financial outlays, but taking into consideration that personalization is currently one of the hottest trends and promises higher conversion rate and customers’ average lifetime value, it is definitely worth considering investment in high level personalization.
Same day delivery
Delivery of goods from online shops to customers is undergoing a further evolution. Customers live according to the "here and now" principle, and they expect the same from their vendors. Customers expect quick delivery of the ordered products. Some even wish to receive their shipments within a maximum of two days. This poses enormous challenges to the logistics industry. Online shops must act on the principle of “the sooner, the better”. Shops offering faster delivery are well ahead of the competition. A survey conducted in 2016 by Stuart company shows that more than 70% of customers are willing to spend more, if the shop offers instant delivery.
The year 2018 will not be the year of artificial intelligence yet, but certainly the development of innovative algorithms will have a huge impact on the development of the e-commerce industry. Advanced algorithms can be used for personalization, product recommendations, more accurate search results and quick & helpful customer service. With the dynamic development of artificial intelligence and algorithmic technologies, it has become possible to forecast the demand for products allowing companies to shorten their delivery time.
Everywhere Mobile, everywhere
Mobile is the King - over the past few years, it has resounded throughout the eCommerce industry. Mobile devices already account for more than half of all Internet traffic and continue to increase their advantage over desktops and laptops. The main concerns are security issues during the transaction and the failure of online shops to adapt to this distribution channel.
Buying by Image and Augmented Reality
Many people who are looking for their dream furniture, shirt or shoes start with browsing various lifestyle portals. Such websites process the natural language of their users. Looking through the pictures of dresses users can find their perfect one and with a click be forwarded to the online store that sells the item. In Poland, a portal has been created which aggregates other shops and allows to search for items by slogan, e.g. "suit shoes". The portal “Allani” was a great success.
Many customers wonder if this chest of drawers will fit in the wall under the window. How can the purchase process, for example of furniture, be made easier? Through augmented reality!
The user takes out his or her smartphone, photographs the room and furnishes the room on the screen in a user-friendly app. Now he or she can be sure that the purchase will be successful. A lot of valuable time is saved by avoiding unnecessary returns or meticulous measurements.
The expanded reality is being used in the home & garden industry and beyond. The furniture industry leader IKEA, as well as smaller shops selling designer items, have expanded the reality for their customers online. The innovation has been warmly welcomed by consumers and will certainly continue to grow.