It’s a busy time right now for E-commerce owners. We’ve just passed both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, leading into the holiday shopping craze you’re probably experiencing. Yet the end of the year is also approaching and, with it, the need to plan next year’s strategy. So, why not take a minute and learn about which E-commerce trends are going to dominate 2018?
1. Mobile traffic is still growing
If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ve likely seen us highlight how important a mobile friendly website is. Yet this will be more important than ever in 2018 so, if you still haven’t made these all-important changes, it’s time to do so!
Yet just why is this?
According to expert estimations, some 50% of E-commerce revenue will be directly from mobile sources next year. If you ignore these users, you might not just miss out on sales, you’ll also lose out on website traffic.
This year, Google announced they will be changing their search algorithm to one that prefers and prioritises mobile-friendly sites. In other words, if you don’t make these vital changes, you will lose your organic search rankings as well.
2. More delivery options
If there’s one thing consumers appreciate the most about online shopping, it’s convenience. Yet part of this convenient experience is a range of delivery options. Your customers expect it, so why not include them?
In 2017, we saw many new shipping trends emerge and they are going to continue to grow in 2018. More and more customers expect a 24-hour delivery option, for example, alongside being able to choose deliveries during evening hours only, or even a nearby location for self pickup.
If you need more information on this topic, we recently discussed this in one our latest articles on improving your E-commerce conversion rate. You can read it here.
When shopping online, customers don’t have physical or direct contact with the product, which is an important part of making a purchase. This is why, in 2018, personalization won’t just end at the marketing experience.
Indeed, more and more retailers will look to provide customers with a personalized way of interacting with their product. How can this be achieved? Some companies have already found some creative solutions. Lenskart glasses created an app that enables their customers to see how they would appear when wearing particular eyeglass frames.
Of course, you don’t need to be so advanced or invest in such an expensive option. As a retailer of personalized photo products, you’re probably already ahead of the game. If you have a well-designed product editor, your customers can see exactly how their images will appear the likes of mugs, t-shirts or photobooks while designing it. This lets them interact with the product, adjusting colours, fonts and more to suit their tastes. Check out how that works in our demo.
4. Omnichannel strategy
In 2018, it won’t just be enough to have a presence on multiple platforms. Instead, it’s important to seamlessly integrate them, ensuring customers have a consistent experience when exposed to your brand.
So what exactly does this mean? If someone conducts Google research on photo products and visits a few websites, including yours, they should see your ads on Facebook – or other websites – when browsing the internet the next day.
This is possible through the use of cookie-enabled ads, which are growing in popularity in the marketing world. This means your potential customer won’t have to look for your service again or spend time looking for your social media profile. Instead, you will be serving him or her directly, giving them everything they need to ensure your brand isn’t forgotten. All of this can eventually lead such a person to make a decision and purchase your products.
While this might sound quite futuristic to some, chatbots are already here. In 2018, traditional live chat features might not do the job. According to Hubspot, “40% of consumers do not care whether a chatbot or a real human helps them, as long as they are getting the help they need”. Most likely, you don’t need sales support staff waiting 24/7 to deliver such messages.
This year, Facebook added a chatbot feature within its Messenger app. With the help of a programmer, you can create a bot that answers basic questions and helps your customers find what they’re looking for. To see a great example of this in action, just take a look at how eBay implemented their own solution:
So, there you go – these are the most important E-commerce trends to expect in 2018. When you’re planning next year’s strategy, consider if your store, as well as your photo product editor, are ready for increasing mobile traffic via Google’s mobile-first approach. You should also think about the experience your customers have with your editor – does it allow for a lot of personalization? Can they see a visualisation of their product before they order?
If the answer to these is no, perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. Check out our demo to see how our software can improve your business in 2018.