By Mélissa Toutant, marketing coordinator
Digital has become a big game changer in the commerce industry. Although online sales account for about 10% of retail sales, the internet influences 56% of in-store sales. Don’t miss your chance – or any sales! Without an online presence, trader cannot hope to prosper as well as others.
Businesses refusing to integrate technology will also make a concession on their customer experience. Clients like to learn about the company and its products or services before investing or making a purchase. As a result, social networking, optimized websites and eCommerce are all of extreme importance and will disrupt the business in 2018.
To get up-to-date and, above all, get ahead of the competition, here are the 8 eCommerce trends to follow in 2018.
It is wrong to say that retail business dies slowly due to the fact that it is always changing. Physical interactions are still important though, since 50% of millennials prefer to interact in person while making purchases. This means that online businesses will need to increase their physical presence, such as offering local purchases, pickup or returns. While physical marketers will need to digitize their methods while deploying new features based on their customer experiences.
Some examples would include:
With measurement tools such as mobile devices, customization criteria, geolocation, real-time inventory and information from CRM, ERP and other systems, retailers will be able to know which online ad has led to in-store procedures and purchases.
Mobile payments are becoming more and more of a feature that consumers appreciated. Merchants will have to consider it to give their business the best customer service. By the end of 2018, 70% of eCommerce traffic will be made by mobile-based retail purchases.
The main concern of many online shoppers is “What does it look like?”. With augmented reality, this question slowly fades. Potential buyers will be able to view articles in real sizes and proportions. In the field of furniture sales, this will be a considerable asset. People will be able to virtually test the furniture in their home and with their décor. This technique could also help reduce returns of goods as result of online purchases.
Artificial Intelligence will make it possible to personalize marketing and take advantage of data on consumers and their behaviours.
Chat-bots are becoming more and more common. This is when you create a robot that interacts with users to help give them guidance. Huge benefits for online customer service, chat-bots are built through AI and human exchanges.
This year, consumers will use their voice more and more frequently to interact on the web. Voice search and voice assistance will change the way you research and search for information. For eCommerce, the information of the products will have to be sufficiently detailed and optimized, in addition to ensure a real-time inventory.
Instead of words, images will be at the heart of Internet users’ research. People will be able to take an object in a photo and look for a similar product. By 2020, it is predicted that voice and image search will account for 50% of all product and service research. Better start optimizing right now!
Although the web browser remains essential, it leaves the door open to many other devices and platforms, such as mobile devices, applications, augmented reality and more. All of its enhancements will create a different shopping experience that better matches the real-time needs of consumers.
In short, the key words to remember are “customer experience”. All new technologies advancements are for the purpose of improving the customer relationship and their overall experience.