E-commerce is an ever-evolving industry and the pace at which it advances is hardly surprising when you consider the fact that it’s still a relatively new field. This means that every newly-emerging trend stands a chance to completely revolutionize it.
Nonetheless, some trends show more promise of changing the game than others, not all of them being new to 2018. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several most impactful e-commerce trends in 2018, whose influence might carry way past this year.
1. The blockchain technology
One of the greatest plights of e-commerce, ever since its early days is the lack of trust between the online retailer and the customer. This is mostly due to the fact that the two are physically separated every step of the way, especially when it comes to the drop shipping business model, in which the retailer acts only as an intermediary.
Due to the fact that the retailer usually has no headquarters or landline, this makes it for an audience that much easier to trust them. With the help of the blockchain technology, this problem might be solved once and for all, seeing as how this trend tends to raise the overall trust level in the digital world by quite the margin.
2. Mobile users
Another thing worth noting is the fact that mobile users tend to be a particularly lucrative demographic for e-commerce. Why? Well, because the checkout process for mobile phones tends to be somewhat faster.
Moreover, most apps on one’s phone are mutually connected, which includes one’s digital wallet. This alone means that the customers are far more likely to buy on impulse.
Now, the predominance of mobile users is a trend that exists since 2015, however, it took a while for this trend to synchronize its existence with the immense potential of e-commerce. Together, they created a truly powerful synergy that will reveal its full potential in the nearest future.
3. Open-source platforms
Another massive turn that a significant portion of the world of e-commerce is experiencing is a turn towards open-source platforms. Needless to say, this provides their user with a quality code, active community and greater adaptability. Furthermore, the customizability of this approach gives one more option when it comes to the localization of their e-commerce efforts.
For instance, if one decided to make a platform optimized for China e-commerce, it would be much easier to achieve so via a specialized and versatile tool. This, of course, includes optimizing both customer service and overall offer to the local language, customs and e-commerce trends.
Nonetheless, at the end of the day, this usually turns out to be well worth it, seeing as how it inevitably leads to a more solid presence on the foreign market.
4. Chatbots to the rescue
Earlier on, we named the apparent lack of trust between the two parties as the main problem of the e-commerce, luckily, this could be somewhat appeased with the help of an outstanding customer service.
The first line of defense should be entrusted to chatbots. First of all, the AI-backed chatbots (well, if not AI then at least an incredibly sophisticated IF function-based code), should be capable of resolving some of the most common issues.
Second, chatbots provide an immediate response, which is something that customers value immensely. To support the fact that this is a growing trend, one must mention the fact that the chatbot market grew by more than 24 percent in a single year.
5. Voice assistance
It’s estimated that about 41 percent of all adults use voice assistance feature on their phone every single day. Needless to say, including this feature to one’s e-commerce platform might, therefore, boost their sales by a significant margin.
Keep in mind that just a couple of years ago, voice search was one of those features that everyone knew about but no one really used. Nowadays, it’s all the rage, which is a clear indicator of the direction in which this trend is heading.
At the end of the day, one of the greatest difference between traditional retail and e-commerce lies in the fact that post-paid and pay later trends are still predominant in the first one.
This is bound to change and soon, we might see both of these payment methods in the world of e-commerce, as well. The main objective of this sharp turn in direction is an attempt to minimize the shopping cart abandonment that currently plagues the world of e-commerce.
As you can see, the future of e-commerce is both volatile and full of innovation. For this reason alone, those who intend to thrive and prosper in this field need to go with a flexible business structure.
Needless to say, pioneering in some of these trends might be the only way to gain and maintain a competitive edge against such odds.