Top 8 ecommerce trends likely to dominate the rest of 2018 – words Alexa Wang

The ecommerce landscape is constantly evolving, with new opportunities, challenges and technologies emerging every day.

Savvy merchants who are able to capitalize on new opportunities and innovate around challenges come out as big winners while those who stick to trends from previous years see their customers flock elsewhere. Therefore, it is crucial to keep up with today’s trends if you want to stay ahead of your competition.

Here are eight ecommerce trends worth focusing on this year.

 

Brick-and-mortar

There is a common misconception that ecommerce stores are crushing physical stores – this is not true. Brick-and-mortar stores are far from dead – trends demonstrate that “online-only” is a very complex business model, and that merchants who sell products only over the internet are unable to compete with merchants who run both online and physical stores.

Click and collect is a trend that is becoming popular in physical retail stores. Click and collect services allow consumers to order online and pick-up their order at a brick-and-mortar location on the day and time of their convenience. This will not only reduce shipping cost but will also drive customers to a physical store.

A physical retail store gives the consumer a chance to interact with a product – some consumers may be worried about buying online without seeing, feeling and trying a product first. Even online giants such as Alibaba and Amazon now have physical retail stores.

Voice search

The way consumers search for products online is changing. Increasingly, consumers are using voice search on their smartphones, or voice assistants (such as the Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home units) to search for products online. Experts are of the opinion that voice search is the future of web browsing. If their prediction is anything to go by, ecommerce merchants should optimize their sites for voice search in order to reach the technology-sound customers.

Optimizing for voice searches and textual searches are a little different. If you are just starting with the online sales industry, create a beautiful, fully-featured store, use a good ecommerce website builder, then find an expert to help you with voice search optimization.

Email

Email isn’t by any means a new e-commerce marketing tool. Despite this and many doomsday predictions of its demise, it is stronger than ever. It shines in areas such as cost, success, measurability, and flexibility.

While email is a good ecommerce marketing tool, it is crucial to remember that if your messages aren’t crafted correctly, it might not work for you. Your emails must be interesting, interactive, valuable, relevant, and timely.

Influencer marketing

An influencer marketer can help you increase brand awareness, sales leads, and traffic to your website. As an ecommerce merchant, find a high-quality influencer marketer in your niche and sponsor them to endorse your brand on their social media platform.

A high-quality influencer is one who has a substantial number of followers.

Video

Video marketing is an incredible way to connect your audience with the human side of your brand. It can convey information more clearly, increase user engagement, increase brand awareness and boost conversion rates for ecommerce businesses of all types.

Add videos to your website as well as social media channels. However, to make the most out of video marketing, ensure that the videos are in line with your brand strategy. This means maintaining the same fonts, logo create, and colours as they are in your blogs and articles. Additionally, you need to upload your videos natively instead of linking them from YouTube or other hosting platforms.

Chatbots

Today, chatbots have become an essential part of customer service as they have the ability to handle customer service inquiries and can function 24 hours a day. For this reason, many companies are incorporating chatbots into their marketing strategies to give shoppers a personalized shopping experience as well as reduce customer service costs.

Mobile optimization

Mobile optimization has been one of the top ecommerce trends for quite some time now. This year, however, it’s more than just making mobile sites user-friendly and responsive.

With more users shopping via smartphones and tablets, you ought to create a shopping app for your brand. You also need to incorporate new ways that enable customers to search for products via your app.

And if you haven’t integrated a mobile checkout into your ecommerce website, now’s the time to do it. Customers are demanding for more streamlined payment options such as Google Wallet, PayPal, AmazonPay, and ApplePay.

Social Media

Social media platforms might be all about selfies and celebrity gossip for most of the general public, but for ecommerce merchants, they’re tools that help them increase brand awareness, improve their online presence and deliver high-quality customer service.

To use social media, determine which platform(s) will give you the exposure you’re looking for. Once you’ve done this, post relevant content then connect with your audience, so they feel more comfortable buying your product.

These eight trends are worth focusing on; they could help make 2018 the best year yet for your ecommerce business.

Top 8 ecommerce trends likely to dominate the rest of 2018 – words Alexa Wang

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