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There’s no getting around it: eCommerce had an amazing 2017 and the year-end holiday season was a thing of digital beauty. The predictions we’ve heard about responsive design and mobile opportunities not only started to make sense, but they also started to materialize.

While 2018 is still fresh and new, online retailers and intelligence shops have been quick to showcase what happened in recent months to highlight their successes and lessons. We’ve distilled major reports down to 10 of the most important trends and facts, plus added some thoughts on how you can use those to your advantage throughout 2018.

1. Fifty-One Percent of Americans Prefer to Shop Online

Your audience is online. Not only do more than half of Americans prefer to shop online, but 96 percent of those with Internet access have made at least one online purchase. About 80 percent of those same Americans bought something online last year. Grow your online presence to reach more of the market.

2. Amazon Accounted for 44 percent of All U.S. eCommerce Sales

We all know Amazon is a digital behemoth, but it’s hard to understand the sheer size until you hear this stat. Ready for your mind to be blown even more?

Amazon’s sales equaled roughly 4 percent of all U.S. retail sales in 2017.

The brand’s reach can’t be understated, and this might be the biggest reason yet to consider selling your goods through its Marketplace.

3. Three Hundred Thousand SMBs Joined Amazon’s Marketplace in 2017

Your competition is heating up, and they’re moving to Amazon too. Half of all sales on Amazon are made from SMBs on Amazon’s Marketplace. It’s becoming a very crowded sales channel, but one few eCommerce brands can afford to look past.

4. eCommerce in Canada is Just 2.6 percent of Retail Sales

Knowing your market is extremely important, especially in places where eCommerce is growing but not yet dominant. In Canada, for example, eCommerce sales jumped about 19.4 percent in October but only accounted for 2.6 percent of overall retail sales. Infrastructure, community and culture all play a role, and eCommerce brands should take time to learn about target demographics whenever they can.

5. Finland Broke Nearly All Previous eCommerce Records in Q4 2017

Heading the opposite way from Canada is Finland, which saw eCommerce sales rise 8.2 percent in Q4, giving the country increased sales, order volume, package delivery volume and more.

One reason to call out Finland, in particular, is that the growth is being pushed by foreign sellers. Increased competition has led to a variety of new models, slimmer margins and big sales days like Black Friday.

6. Mobile Shopping Hit $2 Billion on Cyber Monday

Mobile devices accounted for more than $2 billion in sales on Cyber Monday 2017, the first time that’s ever happened in a single day. Not only did smartphones make up just under a third of all online sales, but they accounted for 37.6 percent of retail visits. Smartphones tend to lag sales on desktops and tablets, but their conversions increased about 10 percent compared to Cyber Monday the year before.

It’s never been more important to have a responsive site design that allows you to reach these mobile customers.

7. U.S. Shoppers Spent $5.03 Billion Online During Black Friday

We’ve known that Americans love a bargain, especially when they don’t have to stand in a line. Now we know that they love it even more in the palm of their hands.

American shoppers spent 16.9 percent more online during Black Friday 2017 compared to the year before, reaching a total of $5.03 billion. Mobile devices again played a major role, hitting 54.3 percent of all site visits and 36.9 percent of all online sales.

8. Small Retailers May See Up to 30 Percent Higher Mobile Conversions Compared to Large Retailers

Take that love of smartphones to the next level if you consider yourself a small retail shop. Adobe did a deep dive into online shopping habits and noted that small retailers saw a 30 percent higher conversion rate on smartphones compared to major companies.

An interesting note in the data is that small and large firms alike have seen steady increases in mobile traffic, but it was only recently when that traffic started to play a significant role in conversions.

9. Nearly Half of U.S. B2B Businesses Offer Their Full Product Line Online

It seems eCommerce is for more than just B2C and digital products. Retailers of all shapes and sizes are putting their full catalog online. This improves browsing and sales opportunities, plus lets your customers view your goods on their terms.

Those B2B buyers are also B2C shoppers. They’re starting to expect the things they see in their personal life to also show up in their professional work.

10. Most People Still Want to Go Into a Store During the Holidays

Now, take all those other stats with a grain of salt. The dominance of eCommerce still hasn’t quite yet won over our hearts according to surveys like one from ChargeItSpot. This found that 76 percent of people still prefer to shop in physical stores during the holidays.

Your key eCommerce takeaway is this: those same shoppers want stores to provide better service and personalization. So, you’ve got a few areas you can compete on throughout the year and maybe make holiday 2018 even more of an eCommerce success story.

Jake Rheude is the Director of Business Development for Red Stag Fulfillment, an eCommerce fulfillment warehouse that was born out of eCommerce. He has years of experience in eCommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others. 

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