2018 brings exciting new developments to the future of e-commerce and with emerging markets and technology, the way companies sell their goods online is set to change.  So what do business owners need to know about the future of e-commerce?

It was reported that last year that worldwide e-commerce sales reached $2.290 trillion and are estimated to skyrocket to $4.479 trillion by the year 2021.  That’s a huge increase in a seemingly small amount of time.

But what will contribute to this increase in e-commerce sales?

Warren Buffett says that in 10 years the retail industry will look nothing like it does now.

Well, many trends have been identified as factors in the increased use of e-commerce, but here we will focus on 3 important trends set to open the door to a much wider customer audience by the end of this year.

#1.  Personalisation

Offering ppersonalizationas part of a marketing/customer experience strategy is a great tool to boost sales; reportedly between 6 to 10 percent at a faster rate than retailers not implementing this technique.

Ways to easily incorporate personalization into your e-commerce business could be as simple as suggesting items the customer may be interested in, based on their previous purchases or member profile or even just being more personalised in your social media marketing engagement.

#2. M-Commerce and Omni-Channels

By now, we all recognise the importance of mobile shopping but by the end of 2018, more people will be using a mobile device to purchase goods.  And with advancements in technology, mobile payment options will be a top choice checkout method for ease of use and efficiency.

But that’s not all.  With 85% of online shoppers apparently starting a purchase on one device and completing the purchase on another, it’s important that the customer experience, branding, advertising and design all integrate together as part of the omni-channel strategy so customers can get that emotional connection to the company, no matter which device they choose to use.

#3. Voice Search

With the introduction of software such as Siri, Amazon Echo and Google Home, it was only going to be a matter of time before businesses needed to optimise their e-commerce sales listings with voice search access for it to be a success.

By conducting research into the types of spoken queries your target audience may use within these types of software, you can use this data to transform your online presence and update your voice search functions accordingly.

#4. Ecommerce Curation & Pay Monthly Models

Product curation and pay monthly models are likely to continue to form an increasing part of the future of ecommerce. People don’t want to buy generic products from you – Amazon is cheaper and quicker. But they do want to buy curated products, lifestyle products, and ecommerce packages where your product knowledge and expertise can create an altogether more enjoyable, rounded experience.

#5. Pop Up Shops

Customers are already shopping in new, alternative ways to before. “Showrooming” and “webrooming”, where customers visit a local shop then buy online for a cheaper price, or vice versa, present new challenges for retailers, in bridging the gap between the online and offline. As an online-only ecommerce retailer, you miss out on the webrooming aspect, because any sales made in a physical retail environment off the back of research on your site will be lost on you and your business.

For example, you are selling Men’s Grooming Beard Conditioning Balm – in your pop-up store offer passersby free samples of your beard conditioner – and a e-voucher to buy from your web-store.

Pop up shops can provide the answer and can serve as a low-cost way of reaching out to new customers and winning new long-term fans. Pop up shops give customers a chance to connect with your brand in a physical way, while helping you reach corners of your market that might otherwise have been impossible for you through your online channels.

The future of e-commerce is of course still unclear. But any prudent ecommerce business owner should take stock of what analysts are saying about the future direction of their industry, so they can be sure to capitalise on these new opportunities as they arise.

As you can see, e-commerce is growing at a rapid pace so it’s important to keep up with the trends if you don’t want to get left behind.

Whichever strategies you choose to implement, make sure they are falling in line with your e-commerce business objectives and be sure to monitor the outcomes to see if it’s working well for you.

So, how are you going to transform your e-commerce business going forward?  We would love to know what kinds of techniques you plan to implement on your e-commerce sites – leave a comment below!

Looking to start your own e-commerce business? Check out our ready made stores or enquire about your own custom branded web-store.