2018's Top eCommerce Trends You Can't Ignore
Halfway & Hectic; Our List of 2018 eCommerce Trends So Far
It's July and we are 7 months through 2018 and a lot has happened. Predictions were made; some came true and some we have yet to see in the world of eCommerce. But what have we seen is growth in areas that are causing businesses to be more and more aware of their entire digital strategy. Follow along to see the trends we've seen take ahold of the eCommerce world, from those predicted to those that just keep growing from years before.
Reviews Lead to In-Store Sales
More and more we’ve seen how much research is done before purchasing decisions are made. As much money as you put towards your product--if it’s not good, people are going to find out; but if it is good, let your customers have a platform to share their thoughts. FierceRetail reports that 45% of all physical store shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase.
Our opinion when we come across a site we think should have reviews that doesn’t makes us question not only the product but a business; do they not trust their consumers to post a positive review? Are they afraid of what people will say? If you’re afraid you won’t have any reviews, there are incentives to offer your clients to write a review, but your goal really should be to create something so great that your clients can’t help but tell others.
Omni-Platform and Omni-Device
It’s always been a best-practice, but now more than ever clients are craving a seamless experience. Huffington Post reported that 85% of online shoppers start a purchase on one device and finish on another. Your entire website should have consistent branding, from the homepage to the checkout, and it should go across platforms to your Instagram and Facebook. We often see beautifully manicured Instagrams lead to poor conversions on the website due to a lack of continuity throughout the branding.
One of our favorite rebrands from this year, Chobani, is a shining example of continuity throughout their entire marketing plan. From Instagram, to their masthead, the campaigns they're running and posting are on brand and allow for seamless transitions. Maintaining a sense of continuity allows for customers to get a good impression of your commitment to quality throughout the entire product you’re offering. This also just gives a great user experience for potential customers, making them more likely to buy.
Amazon's Reign Continues
Forbes predicted it’d be an even bigger year for Amazon, and they were right. Last year we saw the acquiring of Whole Foods, and this year they opened their first cashier-less store called Amazon-Go, and already have plans to open another. 55% of Americans begin their product searches on Amazon; so whether or not they’re going to buy it there, they’re looking for reviews, comparisons, and general credibility. Whether you want to sell on Amazon or not, it offers credibility, and there are great ways to show your product without losing all your business from your own online store.
The world of Amazon is a confusing one to navigate, so we are working to offer management and optimization services for our clients. You can find more information soon!
Insta-Shopping on Instagram
We’ve already seen the growth of popularity in Instagram stories since their launch, and they’re slowly overtaking Snapchat. A report by Recode showed that by the end of 2017 we saw 25% more users posting to Instagram stories. With 80% of users following a business on Instagram and 60% of them hearing about a product or service through Instagram, there’s a lot to be said about making your presence known.
And Instagram is making it even more usable for businesses by adding image searching and shopping. In 2017 Instagram posts became shoppable, with products able to be tagged and directly link to their product page, and recently Instagram released shoppable stories that will allow for products to be linked right in those 24-Hour video and photo snippets. This is allowing a cohesive brand experience, from Instagram straight to the shop. Using the right tools, you can link your shop to your Instagram and optimize your brand’s Instagram.
The millennial buyers care now more than ever the story behind the business. From local bakeries to founder stories, we are seeing the rise in telling the story in a new and unique way. The design, interactions, and entire digital marketing strategies need to be done with the experience of the user in mind; they want to be entertained and learn about the heart of your business.
This is where having a specific brand, custom design, and most importantly, passion is crucial to your brand. By being able to convey your brand and the passion behind it through your digital marketing, you’ll be able to offer that connection for those clients who only encounter you through a digital platform, like your website.
Mobile Checkout Overtakes Desktop Checkout
As with most trend updates, the mobile world is still taking over, and for the eCommerce world it’s the ease of use of and reducing the number of steps to a purchase. How many times have you committed to purchasing something until it was terribly difficult to fill out all of your information and you abandoned ship? Businesses are noticing, and making a specific mobile-responsive design for check-outs.
Making sure that you remove any possible obstacles can push your potential clients into actual customers. Not only does this mean a well designed checkout, but one that also offers as many ways to pay as possible. From PayPal, to Apple Pay, and yes, even cryptocurrency, there are a lot of people who want to pay with what they want to pay with… and if you don’t accept it, someone else probably does.
Another part about mobile check-out that we are finally starting to see growth in? Paying in-store with mobile apps. In Q4 of 2017, Starbucks reported 10% of their transactions were through mobile order and pay. The lines between Brick-And-Mortar and eCommerce are blurring, and potential customers are seeking a similar experience.
B2B Treating it Like B2C
One trend we’ve seen a lot of this year especially in house, is B2B companies who are turning more of their focus on creating a space that is either direct to consumer or more similar to that experience.
According to Oracle, the average age of a B2B buyer is now under 35 years old. This means that the experience needs to be tailored to what a 25-35 year old expects from their buying experience, and businesses must innovate in order to meet this need. This means creating digital experiences from discovery, to research, to purchasing. Using platforms like BigCommerce will allow wholesale purchases to be made in a similar B2C-like format, with the extra complex functionalities required for B2B ordering.
We are also seeing a lot of B2B companies who are slowly looking to cut out the middleman and go straight to the consumer. Many consumers are craving transparency and by having a company go straight to the consumer, they are cutting down costs as well as removing the veil of transparency.
Last but not least--the rise of subscribe. If you have any type of perishable product and aren’t offering a subscription model to your clients, there’s a major spot of business you may be missing. We first saw subscription models grow in popularity on Amazon with things like diapers, house-goods, and beauty products. Then, businesses like Stich-Fix offered a subscription for clothes to be delivered every month. Now, the subscription model has become so popular, people are creating entire businesses out of them; from dog-lover boxes to baker-boxes to fitness-fiends, the subscription model is in full force.
This model is seeping into the health, fashion, and cosmetic industries as well, not just customized boxes, but with replenishing orders. Having this functionality allows your clients the ease of use with your product. Do you sell a cosmetic, that if used correctly runs out after about a month? First, email the client with a reminder, then offer a discount for subscribing to that product. We wrote about the importance of this model last month. We offer this crucial functionality through BigCommerce and have seen a lot of happy clients and customer, who both get what they want; an easy experience, and a returning customer, respectively.
What’s next? Who knows… the rise of AI, the growth of Amazon, and maybe even more cryptocurrency coming our way. Keeping up with the trends is crucial in this world, but can be a bit overwhelming. It’s our job to help you figure out where your business needs to be.
Is your eCommerce business keeping up with these trends? Not sure how to implement some of them on your own? Here at efelle, we specialize in only a few verticals, eCommerce being one of them. This depth of experience allows us to help you push your business to the next level… want to learn more? Fill out our form here or call us at 206.384.4909!