Online retail has become a popular business around the globe. This industry is fast growing. To stay competitive, online retailers should be aware of current online retail industry trends. We decided to share some of them in this article. Our main goal is to inform our customers so they could improve their business strategies.
In this article, you will find:
- The current market size of the e-commerce market
- The latest trends in e-commerce 2018
- Our recommendations to consider for your online shop success
Let’s get started!
What is the current market size of e-commerce?
In 2017, sales in e-commerce reached about $2.3 trillion. According to Statista, in 2021 they will hit $4.5 trillion. Now, in the US the sales from online stores represent almost 10% of the whole retail sector. The specialists predict they will grow 15% annually.
Image source: Shopify
Mobile e-commerce is also very popular among buyers. Around 11% of online shoppers said they used their mobile devices for buying online on a weekly basis.
Image source: statista
Social networks are becoming stronger as a sales and promotion channel. 31% of buyers claim they receive inspiration for purchases from social networks.
To achieve success in online retail, you need to be aware of current trends in this industry. Below we share the top seven trends to take into consideration in 2018.
What are the latest trends in e-commerce?
1. Social media is increasing sales
Image source: statista
You can use social networks as your alternative sales channels. The most popular are Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. Why? Because 31% of buyers said, social networks inspire them to make a purchase.
Moreover, 23% said that social recommendations influence their buying decisions.
84% of online shoppers in the US reviewed at least one social media resource before buying something.
The leader of social media that brings profit to online business is Facebook. 85% of orders from social media comes from this website.
Each social network that brings shoppers to a website has different average order value. While the average order value of buyers who came from Facebook is $55, Instagram shows a higher result. The average value of the order for this network is $65. Twitter has a lower result. The average order value of customers who came from Twitter is $46.
You can use this trend for your business and integrate your online store with popular networks.
2. B2B sector is spending more on e-commerce technology
The B2B sector can use the advantages of online retail. In fact, the sales of B2B e-commerce is around $1 trillion. Wholesale customers expect the B2C features from wholesale e-commerce websites. It means B2B online shops should be as convenient as B2C online stores. Thus, the convenience is one of the most significant b2b e-commerce trends 2018. They should including product catalog, shopping cart, and checkout options.
The line between B2B and B2C is blurring also thanks to marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba.
Alibaba marketplace generates 80% of all sales in China. This marketplace becomes a mediator between Chinese manufacturers and Western businesses.
Amazon is also becoming friendlier to the B2B sector. In October 2017, the marketplace launched a paid program Business prime shipping. They designed this program for B2B companies from Germany and the US.
You might also like: What is the best eCommerce platform for wholesale?
Modern e-commerce platforms allow for turning B2C online shops into B2B using extensions. If you want to enter the B2B sector, consider extra B2B features for your e-commerce website.
You might also like: 7 B2B eCommerce Payment Systems
3. Chatbots automate online orders
In recent years, chatbots have become an effective solution for online business. Why? Because you can use them for sales, customers service, and marketing.
There are 1.3 billion users of Facebook Messenger. Businesses often integrate chatbots into Messenger. This helps them save time and resources on live chats and online shop managers.
Image source: ipglab
The great example is Domino’s. This famous fast food company has integrated a Messenger chatbot to improve their ordering process. With full-menu ordering, customers make orders faster and in a way that is more convenient.
Online retailers can get the advantages of chatbots apart from Facebook Messenger. For example, you can integrate a chatbot into the chat of your existing online shop.
4. Mobile is becoming the primary channel for online purchases
At least 62% of users of mobile devices have bought something within the last six month using their mobile phones. This makes responsive design an important attribute of a successful online store.
Image source: statista
If the design of your online shop is not responsive, you lose your prospective customers.
Besides, more and more businesses launch branded apps.
Image source: jaygoldman
Let’s look at the Starbucks app. The company developed the Ordering and Pay app in 2015. In 2017, the app handled about 30% of payments from all orders. Take into account that an application for online business is one of the most popular mobile e-commerce trends 2018.
5. One-click purchasing is a must for e-commerce
A convenient customer experience is a must for a modern online shop.
Many online retailers integrate one-click purchasing and one-step checkout extensions. Which makes one-click purchasing a part of e-commerce website trends 2018.
Image source: baymard
In fact, 28% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart because the checkout process is too long and complicated. Multi pages check out is the third reason why shopping carts get abandoned. Other top reasons for the shopping cart abandonment are extra shipping (tax, fees) costs (60% of online shoppers) and no guest checkout (37% of online shoppers). A single page checkout makes the buying process much more convenient. This results in increasing conversions and decreasing the shopping cart abandonment rate.
Magento One Page Checkout overview. Image source: iksanika
There are many extensions, which optimize the checkout process. Still, you will need a developer to integrate these extensions to your online store. Moreover, an e-commerce developer will help you find a perfect solution for your platform.
You might also like: 6 Tips of E-commerce Checkout Page Optimization for Increase Sales
6. AI and machine learning for more personalized experience
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a powerful tool in increasing conversions. Online shops use this technology for more personal communication with customers. This, as a result, increases customer lifetime value and an average order value.
You can use AI for analyzing customer behavior. You can offer shoppers more personal discounts on the basis of their previous purchases.
Machine learning technology combines several types of artificial intelligence. Online retailers use machine learning to create a more personalized customer experience.
Chatbots powered by machine learning, collect input from shoppers and give them relevant answers. This way, machine learning can help to automatize customer support. This technology also suits providing customers with more relevant on-site search results. The technology generates a search ranking based on relevance for that particular user. For that, machine learning and AI are current trends in e-commerce technology.
7. AR and VR are giving rebirth to brick-and-mortar retailers
Augmented reality and virtual reality are very popular among retailers. Why? All shoppers adore these technologies. The report showed that 40% of customers would buy a product at a higher price if they can test it in VR/AR first. Moreover, 61% of customers are loyal to brands, which provide them with AR features.
Many brick-and-mortar retailers have already integrated AR technologies into their in-store experiences.
Houzz app overview. Image source: thisisinsider
Let’s look at Houzz, a home design and interior decorator company. After launching their augmented reality app, the company found it influences the buying decisions. In particular, shoppers are 11 times more likely to buy an item after using the app.
Image source: newatlas
Another example is a famous home interior company IKEA. Their AR app helped increase customer loyalty. The app allows customers to place 3D products in their homes and see whether they fit.
Dinarys recommendations for e-commerce business owners
The e-commerce industry is something that will never stop developing. There are many technologies and solutions available today. And all online retailers should keep up with top e-commerce trends of 2018. Otherwise, it's hard to achieve success. Online shoppers expect more from online stores. Outdated online shops with old features are no longer profitable.
We recommend integrating your online store with social networks. We often do this type of integration. It allows customers to share their reviews and feedbacks. Using social sharing buttons, website visitors post your items in their social feed. This way you can attract potential buyers to your website.
As for B2B businesses, many companies still use an old way of shopping – they order items via catalogs. Owning a convenient B2B e-commerce website gives your business more value and increases sales.
Responsive design is a must for a successful online business.
To get more sales from mobile shoppers, we recommend combining responsive design with one step checkout. The convenience of making orders is essential for high conversions.
E-commerce sphere has a very high competition. To stand out from the crowd you need to consider current trends in e-commerce development. The tips from this article might be useful in making the website more convenient for customers. With e-commerce retail trends 2018, you can increase the following business metrics of your website:
- Social media integration might decrease customer acquisition cost.
- AI can help your website increase an average order value by offering related items.
- A mobile app allows your business to get loyal customers and increases customer lifetime value.
You might also like: 7 Most Important Ecommerce Business Metrics Every Online Store Owner Needs to Track
We hope this article inspired you to make some useful changes at your online store.
To receive more detailed information on
- Social media integration
- Mobile apps development
- Creation of B2B website
- Checkout optimization
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