12 Dominant eCommerce Trends in 2018

12 Dominant eCommerce Trends in 2018

Over 50% online shoppers prefer messaging  apps rather than traditional methods to contact businesses.

According to a Statista report, the global retail eCommerce sales is predicted to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021. It shows that the eCommerce is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. To offer your customers the best online shopping experiences, keeping up with the latest eCommerce trends is a must.

As recommended by SAI Digital marketing experts, the below list includes 12 dominant trends you should focus on when developing your eCommerce business in 2018.

1. Animation

Catt Small – Senior Product Designer at Etsy affirms that eCommerce can learn from game design and shares her excitement to see more people use animation in 2018. She explains: “In games, motion attracts players and gives them useful feedback for what to pay attention to, when they’re doing well, and how they could improve. In eCommerce, motion can be a signal of delight, personality, or urgency. Motion makes an experience feel more alive”. However, according to Paul Randall – Senior UX Architect at Evosite, you need to be careful because using some forms of movement can enhance the customer experience but overdoing it will annoy rather than improve.

2. Better photography and videos

Undoubtedly, 2018 is the year of high-quality content. “Stay away from poor stock photos that will immediately cheapen your brand”, warns Paul Randall – Senior UX Architect at Evosite. As recommended by Paul, instead of using boring still photos, there are many other ways to enhance the visual experience on your eCommerce site such as a 360-degree image of a model wearing a product, an animated GIF which shows off the features of your product or high-quality videos that showcases your products in a real context.

3. Social shopping

In 2018, social shopping is believed to have a massive impact. At the present, Pinterest and Instagram are the two highly visual platforms that allow merchants to bring their products to their customers in the most attractive, natural and convenient way. “When you click on a particular part of an image like a piece of clothing, it would then bring up a modal window and allow you to purchase it there and then. This would let you purchase the item without having to leave your story or switch between sites or apps. That is the future for Instagram, I believe”, said Mark Kelso – Director of Belfast-based web and marketing agency Glaze Digital.

4. Automation

As over 50 percent of online shoppers prefer sending messages via online apps to contact businesses (Source) rather than traditional methods like email, phone or contact forms; there is no better time than now to consider using chatbots for your online store. Sharing about this, Rachel Jacobs – Head of content and partnerships at Pixc believes that automation is the most effective way for online merchants to scale their eCommerce business: “As more and more eCommerce merchants turn to social media to drive traffic and sales, it makes sense to automate the process as much as possible.”

At SAI Digital, our Marketing Automation solution will help you execute all the manual and tedious tasks, so that you can spend more time on the other new and exciting marketing initiatives.

5. Machine learning

Related to automation, another big trend that continues to grow is machine learning. You can use machine learning to make better decisions and convert more customers. Jason Stokes – CEO of Eastside Co says that eCommerce traffic is still dictated by search, but that the ways we can search is changing — another opportunity for automation and machine learning. “Customers are turning to virtual assistants and visual search to find products and services,” he explains. “Technology moves at such a pace that it quickly becomes available to everyone, and even the smallest eCommerce retailer needs to be ready for it.”

6. Mobile commerce


As shared by Rachel Jacobs, an estimated $600 million in mobile commerce are predicted for 2018 and 40 percent of all eCommerce revenue will come from mobile over the next year. We can see that mobile will continue to gain an even more important position in 2018. However, according to Kelly Vaughn the Shopify expert, although the number one trend is the continued movement towards using SMS to communicate with customers, it is still essential to make sure you are continuing to target customers via email campaigns as well.

7. Easier checkout

One-click purchasing will be the dominant trend since it makes online shopping faster and more convenient. “This is something I have noticed myself doing,” remarks Mark Kelso – Director of Glaze Digital. “I will just purchase something within one click through Amazon Pay or Apple Pay. I feel all businesses will adopt this model now!”

No need to enter any details, just click ‘buy’ and the rest will be automated based on your preferences. This will be the future of online checkout process.

8. B2B embraces eCommerce


B2B eCommerce has already reached $7.7 trillion in 2017, dwarfing B2C figures (Source). It is predicted that in 2018, we will see more trade vendors looking to take their ordering process online. As an expert in eCommerce, especially for B2B platforms, SAI Digital offers proper solutions from SAP Hybris to ensure smooth eCommerce online shopping experience for your trade customers.

9. Omni-channel becomes more seamless and prevalent


Physical stores remain important because the conversion rate in a shop is 10 to 20 times higher than on the web. Nevertheless, since customers now want a full-service solution that links their online store with their physical store, if you want to improve customer experience, you need to focus on building an omni-channel system that makes the online experience blend seamlessly with another offline one.

10. Simplicity over complexity


Flashy technologies can be fun and exciting, but they must be used with purpose. For example, slideshows aren’t always a proper design solution for all homepages. At the end of the day, all the retailers need to understand that their website is all about serving their customers, not themselves. Therefore, in 2018 we will see more brands investing in quality content over flashy tech.

11. Brutalism design aesthetic


Brutalism design, which entered the mainstream last year, will be utilized by more eCommerce brands in 2018. Describing those designs that are big and bold, often featuring analog-style design elements, and using little animation, brutalism web design is getting more and more power because of its incredible uniqueness.

12. Web performance


Beyond frameworks, beyond libraries, beyond the latest design trends, it’s performance that ultimately matters the most,” says Jem Young, a senior software engineer at Netflix. “For eCommerce businesses especially, where the difference of 200 milliseconds can mean the difference between gaining a customer or losing them to a competitor, keeping your site performant is crucial in order to stay competitive in 2018.”

Understanding this, SAI Digital will assist you in improving your web performance with our expertise in eCommerce and Digital Marketing.

We hope that these above trends will help you figure out the strategy for your eCommerce business in 2018. You can find a more complete article on e-commerce here (including other trends to stay ahead of your competition)

SAI Digital experts can offer you not only useful advice when applying the above trends but also the most effective eCommerce and Digital Marketing tools to improve your customers’ online shopping experience. If you have any question, feel free to contact us here.