As the new year begins, we’re excitedly thinking about the new developments we’ll begin to see in ecommerce, as well as the trends that will be hot in 2018. According to Statista, global retail sales of ecommerce are expected to bring about approximately 653 billion US dollars next year, so with such exciting times ahead, let’s take a quick look at what we predict will be big in ecommerce in the next 12 months.
There’ll be a rise in mobile shoppers
Ok, so mcommerce has been on the rise for the last few years, but over Black Friday 2017, we saw that at certain times, mobile traffic’s share reached 59%. This indicates that in 2018, it is set to get even bigger. Shoppers now have access to their favourite stores at any time and from any location, making the potential for shopping easier than ever, and with further increases in technology, many people are now happier making purchases via their phones, regardless of where they are. However, online retailers shouldn’t become complacent. It is becoming increasingly important to ensure that the mobile experience is as simple and frictionless as possible.
Delivery innovation will be a must
Consumers are now able to make purchases from the comfort of their own homes, at their desks and even on the train – and, as we mentioned above, on a range of devices. This is a great technological achievement that can see many retailers reap the benefits, but it also has its drawbacks. For example, with increasing advancements in the way we shop, also comes increasing demand for quicker delivery. This year, we have seen next-day and even same-day delivery start to take off, which can only lead to higher consumer expectations.
If retailers want to meet the needs of their shoppers in the coming year, they will need to ensure that they get creative with delivery innovation while ensuring address data is clean and accurate so as to avoid failed deliveries. According to our report Fixing Failed Deliveries: Improving Data Quality in Retail, we found that 62% of online shoppers experience delivery issues, and 65% of retailers say this is a significant cost to their business. This indicates a strong need for world-class data quality that will need to be met.
Though there is talk of drone deliveries, we foresee this taking more than a year to become a nation-wide occurrence, though it is likely to take off sooner in larger cities such as London.
The golden quarter will surpass Black Friday
Black Friday has been growing from the one-day event to a week-long extravaganza for the past couple of years. However, we predict that the longer sales period will drive the emphasis away from Black Friday being a single sales event, and instead, retailers will begin to profit from the ‘golden quarter’, with sales spanning right the way across the festive period.
It is also worth mentioning how huge Singles Day 2017 was, and how much bigger we think this is going to become, reaching out all the way from China to the rest of the globe. This year saw Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales hit £19.2 billion, which certainly can’t be ignored. We could even see it becoming part of the golden quarter – meaning that British retailers certainly can’t ignore it if they want to cash in.
UGC will be a big deal
The desire for personalisation within ecommerce content has undoubtedly been growing over the past few years, but more recently we have seen an uplift in the amount of user-generated content (UGC), and we predict it to be an important trend in 2018. While extremely personal, and effective, UGC doesn’t require a huge budget, and can be used across a range of channels, making it ideal for businesses large and small. Whether you are aware or not, your customers are constantly posting about your brand on social media, so you may as well get involved. Companies such as Starbucks have really taken to UGC, encouraging their consumers to spread the word thanks to successful campaigns such as the plain white cup, where fans of the brand added their own personal designs to the cup and tweeted about it for the world to see.
Voice purchasing will really take off
With the smart home becoming increasingly popular thanks to devices such as Google Home and Amazon’s Echo, and Alexa and Siri, supported on the iPhone, it is becoming so easy for shoppers to search for an item without doing any of the legwork. We predict that this will become huge over the next 12 months.
According to Walker Sands’ report – Future of Retail, 19% of consumers made a voice purchase last year. The percentage of Millennials who made voice purchases in the same period was much higher at 37%, and this is only set to increase. According to the research, another 33% of consumers plan to make voice purchases in the next year. And it’s only the beginning. According to BI Intelligence, 18 million US consumers have used voice payment, and in the next 5 years, this number is set to increase 4-fold.
What do you predict will be huge in ecommerce in 2018? Join the conversation below