Things are changing fast in technology, so what e-commerce developments and trends can you expect to see in 2018? We have put together an overview of what to look out for and look forward to.
Mobile Mobile Mobile
In the past companies wanted to get their website right first and foremost. An adaptation for mobile use was less urgent and maybe, just maybe they left some budget for an app. In 2018 the priority has completely shifted with companies wanting excellent mobile experiences first while desktops receive secondary focus. With today’s growing number of online shoppers using their mobile device this is definitely the right hierarchy.
The number of millennials making use of voice search when shopping online is already high and expected to increase exponentially. Taking the projected increase in mobile commerce into consideration it makes sense to optimize your online store to enable voice search. For web designs such as WECREATE, voice search optimization will become more norm than exception in e-commerce projects.
Social media is proving an ideal landscape to reach new customers and increase sales. Selling merchandise through social media is expected to take off in a big way this year.
Visually showcasing your products to customers through popular social media apps leads to spontaneous buying scenarios. Just imagine people visiting Facebook or Instagram can click on an item within an image they like and will then instantly be able to purchase this particular item without leaving the app they were visiting. This spontaneous way of purchasing is believed to be the future of social media and we are already seeing it take off.
Paying and checking out
Beware impulsive shoppers, consider yourselves warned! In the near future you will just ‘click and buy’ with all other details being automated based on saved preferences. Spending money will have never been easier.
Thanks to the expiration of Amazon’s 1-Click patent in October the expectation is that checkout processes will become a lot faster and easier everywhere. No more filling out forms with delivery addresses and other details. Convenient but also slightly dangerous for shopaholics!
It’s all about the image
Your online photos and videos have to be authentic. No more filling space with cheap stock photos. Consumers in 2018 want authenticity and detail. Good photography is expensive so alternatives could be to display a 360-degree image of your product, a video of the product in real context or a series of animated GIFs that highlight the features and benefits of what you’re selling. Anything goes as long as it will not cheapen your brand.
AR and VR
Augmented and virtual reality will become a mainstream feature on many e-commerce sites. Already part of many in-store experiences (LEGO has an in-store screen that lets whatever is in the box you’re holding come to life right in front of your eyes), AR and VR will enter the online arena in a big way this year. Think of virtually placing items of furniture or decorations in your own living space to test what it looks like before buying. IKEA is already doing this and many others will soon catch on. The competition in the e-commerce AR space will without doubt intensify.
Automation and Machine learning
Machine learning is already integrated into many e-commerce systems. Think of being recommended products you may like and improved search functionalities and you’ll notice this technology everywhere. 2018 will see a huge increase in the use of these technologies. In less time and with less effort you will be offered exactly what you’re looking for online. Improvements in Machine learning also mean that you also may receive emails about setting up an automated repeat order for things you purchase on a regular basis or a response after abandoning a shopping cart mid-process. Automation and machine learning offer time saving in the e-commerce businesses and convert more customers into buying.
The use of motion and animation in e-commerce can make an online experience feel more alive and in 2018 we will see much more of it. Caution has to be taken though. The wrong kind or wrong intensity of animation can annoy rather than enhance so beware of this fine line.
Today’s new technology will be dated tomorrow. New developments are made incredibly fast and are becoming available to everyone. Even the smallest e-commerce retailer needs to get ready for it’s ever more demanding and expecting customer.
WECREATE knows all about how to help you get in shape for the e-commerce revolution of 2018 and beyond so do come visit us for a chat! Or feel free to give us a call today at+852 2555 7220 or send a message and our team will be happy to be of service.