10 eCommerce success trends to dominate in 2018
The $4 trillion estimated growth of the eCommerce industry in 2020 is a pointer to the fact that you have to gear-up and position your business to benefit from the impact of such growth and here are 10 eCommerce Success Trends In 2018 that will boost your business.
The e-commerce overall growth is startling, in 2017, the growth averaged at $2.3 trillion and is anticipated to rise to 4.5 trillion dollars in 2021 as stated by Statista report. As a result of this enormous growth, there has been a huge transformation and new strategies which continue to be improved daily for better output and customer satisfaction.
One goal you must focus on this year is providing a hyper-personalized customer experience. In a recent study, 88% of customers said they are more likely to shop with online shops that deliver personalized and connected cross-channel experience. This number is huge, thus, the need to make hyper-personalization of customers experience your 2018 focus.
As e-commerce continues to advance at a speedy pace, here are some wave-making trends that are pivotal to remain at the forefront of the competition.
Artificial Intelligence – AI
Artificial Intelligence has invaded every aspect of human life and it is here to stay. The idea of having computers take over work is sad news for many, but for eCommerce, it is a welcomed development. According to Business Insider, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without any human interference by 2020.
This modern technology allows you to provide your customers with more personalized experience by processing and analysing (faster and more efficiently) large amount of customer data to identify patterns in purchase behaviour, credit checks and any other indicators that can help you present to the customer the exact product they need or may be thinking about buying from you. One of the most sort after and rewarding Artificial Intelligence technology that you must consider in 2018 to dominate is the chatbots.
Chatbots, according to tech emergency, chatbots is expected to be the number 1 consumer application of Artificial Intelligence in the next 5 years. The amazing thing is that the use of this modern technology is limited only by your imagination and creativity. This bot can be used for everything from helping a customer reset a password, to getting an updated account balance or finding a specific discount item on your site. With chatbots, you can provide your customers with a very personalized chat experience and without a human agent at the other end. It can also create opportunities for returning customers to attract other customers to you because of their experience.
|Real-Time Pricing & Incentives||Natural Language Search||Real-Time Product Targeting|
|Visual Search||In-Store Visual Monitoring||Conversational Commerce|
|Predictive Merchandising||Sizing & Styling||Multichannel Marketing|
|Integrated Online & In-store Analytics||Location-Based Marketing & Analytics|
Below is a list of some of the vendors in this quickly growing space.
Virtual Reality – VR
Also called Immersive Multimedia or Computer-Stimulated Reality, this is a modern technology which is slowly but gradually creeping into the eCommerce industry, it mimics real-life shopping experience. It is predicted that growth in Virtual Reality will reach $4 billion in 2018.
With the Virtual Reality technology, you get to engage your customers at an emotional level, something other traditional marketing strategies lack. The customer is able to interact with a product as they would in a brick-and-mortar store. With this technology, customers will no longer be stuck on the static product page on your website but can wander in a virtual mall to make their purchase. The retail giant Alibaba launched a Virtual Reality store Buy+ which allows customers with the aid of a cardboard Virtual Reality headset and their smartphones to wander around a virtual mall while making their purchases in real time.
69.23% is the figure for average shopping cart abandonment rate for eCommerce, but with more immersive experiences of an interactive content and capabilities like a 360-degree video, this figure will be reduced drastically. This technology is completely immersive and engages the customer at the sensory level; this keeps their focus on you and what you have placed in front of them. More so, Virtual Reality can help you put a product in front of a customer before it is actually created, the feedback you get from these offers you a huge competitive advantage and saves cost. Just imagine the turn-over you will accrue if you have this kind technology incorporated into your business in 2018.
Augmented Reality -AR
Unlike Virtual Reality which creates an artificial environment, Augmented Reality integrates digital Augmented reality information with the customer’s environment by overlaying new information on top of it in real time.
Tactile contact has been identified as one of the factors that significantly increase sales but is impossible for eCommerce customers unless with Augmented Reality. A new study shows that 40% of customers will pay more for products, as long as they can have the touch-and-feel experience which Augmented Reality makes possible for eCommerce customers through impressive-quality 3D holograms.
The Augmented Reality technology also provides customers with the opportunity to modify and express their preferences as they shop. Preferences like color, size, and style are very important to customers and 77% of customers (as shown in a recent research) would prefer to use Augmented Reality to observe these diversities before they pay for a product. When customers are able to convert their imaginations to reality at your e-shop, they keep coming back to you.
Are customers able to find exactly what they want on your site? Relevance and accuracy of a search are one of the factors that build lasting impression on potential customers, with a high tendency of converting them to paying customers. Using ‘auto-strategic’ is a very strategic tool which allows your customers to articulate the particular product they want as they let you lead them to the desired landing page.
You should definitely maximize the benefits of Natural language processing in making searches smart on your site. Natural language processing is the technology that can help improve customer’s searches, bringing customized messages and solutions to customers at the right time and right platform.
Tailored Shopping Experience
One of the important customer information you need at your fingertips is the knowledge that customers shop for different reasons, as such a broadly defined experience will not work anymore (even if it used to). The deal right now is to give each customer a personalized service.
Using data analytics to understand the customer’s journey will help you achieve this goal. Insights given by the analytics of the customer’s journey (such as how the customer found you, what they are interested in, what affects their purchase decisions etc), will help you give a more personalized experience. With a customer’s purchase history, for example, you can suggest similar products.
Traffics to websites have been growing over the years and there is a predicted exponential growth of about 8-times the current rate by the year 2020. It is therefore important that you position your business to reap from the increase in conversions that this foreseen growth will produce when you increase traffic to your site. There are various means to achieve this, one of which is maximizing the numerous social media platforms available.
Studies have shown that videos increase sales by 70% because it gives customers a better understanding of the product they are paying for and it enhances their engagement. Getting the hang of how to use a product by watching a video for a few minutes is way more interesting for any customer than going through a heap of text. So increase customer engagement this year by including more product videos on your site.
A good understanding of your customer’s behavior is the key to bringing the increase in sales and conversions you desire in 2018. This is not Google analytics, but a more complex approach to processing and analyzing customer’s data. With this method, a more accurate portrait of a customer’s need can be gotten. Armed with an accurate customer image, you can tailor emails and offers to their particular needs and history. This level of personalization will greatly increase conversion rates for you.
Delivery on the Same Day
90% of customers wish to get their orders on the same day and this is almost impossible for most e-shops. This is a big opportunity for you to beat the competition. Considering the number of customers that will stick with you and the number of prospective customers that will get attracted to you if you deliver on the same day, then you should totally explore this trend.
Single eCommerce Network
This particularly has to do with online shopping with a convenient pick-up at a brick-and-mortar store. This is a flexible system that allows e-shops to cooperate and collaborate with a single network to ease pick-up of products ordered by their customers. This reduces the length of time for delivery and will surely save you cost.
At the heart of your eCommerce success in 2018 is the need to put your customer first, especially their need for a more personalized experience while shopping with you. Whatever choices you make this year, ensure it draws you closer to this goal. Very importantly, explore available technologies as much as you can to give your customers the best e-shopping experience. Remember to keep abreast with latest trends and development dominating the e-commerce industry.
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