There has been a seismic trend shift in the way consumers now shop.
Online shopping is fast becoming the new normal worldwide, with businesses everywhere scrambling to satisfy the demand for eCommerce. Although the prevalence of eCommerce is hardly a shock, there are some key trends to watch out for this year, particularly if you are a young, up-and-coming operator within your industry.
These trends are not just going to be keeping eCommerce developers busy, but business owners too. It is crucial for merchants across all industries to embrace the digital age and transform their business models to accommodate it; eCommerce in the U.S. is expected to exceed the $1 trillion mark within the next few years.
Here are the main eCommerce trends for 2018...
Consumers are Getting Younger
It has been a while since the internet belonged almost exclusively to ‘millennials’, however, it is estimated that over half of eCommerce consumers are part of this demographic. Today’s youngsters are tech-savvy and very switched on, often opting to buy commodities online than visit their local shopping centre or pop down to the shops.
Companies need to recognise this and adapt their digital operations and digital marketing strategies to adapt to the preferences of a younger crowd. These young consumers want instantaneous, simple and intuitive shopping experiences which require as little effort as possible. Moves such as adopting social commerce and enabling PayPal payments are two examples of how you can appeal to an audience which makes up over 50% of online shoppers.
Tying into social commerce, social shopping is where social media and eCommerce fuse together to provide the ultimate user-friendly shopping experience. Social commerce enables consumers to transact with merchants without having to leave social media, navigate a website and input all their personal details.
Instagram is an example of where social commerce is most prevalent, with retailers such as Nike cashing in massively on it. Social media is the new perfect landscape through which merchants can create enticing, engaging advertisements and close the deal right there and then. eCommerce sites in 2018 are not just going to be sites anymore, they are going to be spreading their reach across all major social media platforms to draw in customers.
Animation & Motion
Something which is going to keep eCommerce web designers busy this year is animation and motion. You may be surprised to find this here, however, it has long been recognised that motion is a way to attract and keep somebody’s attention.
In video games, motion grabs the players’ attention and provides them with feedback, develops an emotive connection and shows them what they should be paying attention to. This has obvious applications to eCommerce, where retailers can use animation and motion cleverly to make the shopping experience feel more alive, personable and urgent. With new tools like Principle, we will no doubt be seeing more animation and motion on eCommerce sites in 2018 as merchants try to enhance the end-user experience and make shopping feel more alive.
Artificial Intelligence & Voice Searching
As voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home appear in more and more homes, it is a virtual guarantee that we will see more voice-based integration within eCommerce. Although voice assistants still have a long way to go in terms of overall usability, WalMart and Google have been in talks for a while about developing shopping through their Google Home device.
Google have said that 20% of all its mobile-based searches are carried out through the spoken word. This, in addition to the increase in use of home-based virtual assistants, makes a compelling argument for the likelihood of voice-based searching to become a mainstay for eCommerce in 2018.
Simplistic and Intuitive Checkouts
Android Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal and other modern payment options have increased the demand among consumers for a quicker and more intuitive checkout process. Consumers no longer want to be inputting their card details and other personal information each time they make a purchase.
In 2018, we are going to see the ‘traditional’ checkout being used less, with simple one-click purchasing taking its place, making eCommerce faster, more convenient and more attractive to the end-user. With mobile shopping being an increasing trend in eCommerce, one-click checkout is something which all merchants need to adopt alongside their mobile-friendly websites.
The shift in eCommerce trends has not only been from desktop-based shopping to mobile devices.; there are a number of key areas which will be changing throughout the course of 2018. With consumers increasingly demanding simpler and more intuitive shopping experiences built into the websites and platforms they use each day, alongside the growth of the smart home and voice-activated virtual assistants, eCommerce is changing in ways which were not always thought to be possible.
2018 is going to be a challenging year for eCommerce operators, with many significant changes having to be made at the very heart of their eCommerce business models.