The 21st-century marketplace is a landscape of robust e-commerce and numerous emergent forms of technologically assisted marketing. According to experts, the retail and e-commerce landscape is shifting dramatically. With the increasing use of the Internet and smartphones, e-commerce has emerged as the most popular shopping retailing trend. Let us find out what is likely to happen in the retail and e-commerce sector in 2018 according to experts.
E-Commerce is fuelled by the Internet
E-commerce is the selling and buying of goods and services on the Internet. It is an activity where the Internet is used to reach customers and redefine relationships between organizations and individuals or among organizations. Today more people are embracing e-commerce and ditching traditional brick-and-mortar retail locations. Current retail trends reveal that 51% of Americans prefer online shopping. This percentage is expected to increase as more consumers are willing to integrate technological devices into their shopping habits.
E-Commerce will become more popular than ever in 2018
Experts predict that e-commerce will become more popular than ever. According to Tomas Slimas, the Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Oberlo, e-commerce entrepreneurs will increase in the near future. With easy access to the Internet and sophisticated devices, launching online stores, selling a product or starting an advertising campaign will be straightforward. Entrepreneurs who couldn’t get into the world of e-commerce earlier will be able to do so in 2018.
Automated customer service will increase
As from 2018, more companies are expected to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot interfaces. This is powered by the need to provide the best customer experience to all consumers. A survey carried out by Business Insider revealed that 80% businesses will have chatbot automation implemented to some extent by 2020. Brick-and-mortar retailers will digitize their physical infrastructures in an attempt to offer full convenience. With blockchain innovation and AI software, the future of retail will be more personalized.
The customer journey will be enhanced
According to the Chief Product Officer of BigCommerce, more individuals will prefer shopping with brands that demonstrate customer centricity. In order to improve customer retention, companies will need to find ways to exceed customer expectations. From customized customer-centric marketing to shopper-friendly shipping and return policies, companies have to create a memorable experience for their customers. An e-commerce journey should be designed with the customers’ happiness and satisfaction in mind.
Amazon will gain more popularity
One of the world’s largest online companies, Amazon is expected to grow further in 2018. The company which started with only one product category – books – is today considered as the most innovative company. Staying connected to what consumers want is what has made Amazon so great and popular. Andrew Youderian, the Founder of eCommerceFuel, believes that Amazon will have the biggest impact on e-commerce in 2018. This is not a surprising fact as Amazon continues to innovate and introduce opportunities such as voice-activated shopping. Moreover, Amazon continues to grow at an increasingly significant rate and is influencing independent merchants in their business.
Content is king in e-commerce
Content is at the heart of today’s online marketing strategies. Without content, online companies will not be able to sell their products or services. As consumers have fast and easy access to the web and social media, they also want clear information about products and services. Therefore, marketing with valuable content is a win-win for companies and their customers. Valuable content helps position your companies, thus bringing more customers. Bill Widmer, an E-commerce Marketing Consultant says that more brands will incorporate content into their business strategies to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Technology is changing the digital landscape
Thanks to technology, traditional retailing has been transformed into online retailing. While technology is getting more user-friendly, consumers are becoming more tech-savvy. New e-commerce customer engagement is now possible with new mobile, cloud and big data technologies. They help companies come closer to customers, thus providing them with full satisfaction.
Online shopping will become personalized
Experts predict that in 2018, e-commerce will become more personalized. Online buying and selling is expected to go beyond recommended products. Companies will start giving catered recommendations based on your personal preferences. Successful omni-channel initiatives are about putting the customer at the centre of business strategies and building a compelling customer experience. More companies will offer personalized and tailored suggestions based on specific consumer wants and needs.
Subscription box models are the new trends
Subscriptions provide both greater efficiency and effectiveness for e-commerce businesses. According to experts, more brands will adopt subscription box models in order to survive and adapt in the highly competitive business world. The subscription business models take shopping to the next level by eliminating the hassle of shopping and offering utmost convenience. In 2018, more companies will become aware of the benefits provided by subscription e-commerce models. The latter can help an online store achieve lower retention spend, greater profits, higher margins and order predictability.
Once again, Amazon is always ahead of the competition. Its Subscribe and Save program offers a discount of 10 percent or higher plus free shipping when customers sign up to receive monthly shipments. Customers’ overall discount rises as they subscribe to more items.
The retail sector is an ever-changing landscape
It is evident that e-commerce is here to stay and has changed the way people shop for goods and services. Therefore, it is in the best interest of all retailers to adopt the changing facets of e-commerce if they want to sustain in this increasingly competitive and crowded business world. Expanding a business to operate online can drive up profits to a large extent.
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