Embarking on the new year with a solid marketing strategy is one of the best things you can do for your brand. While we can never be 100 percent sure how the market will shift, we’re pretty certain that some of the more recent eCommerce trends are likely to get even bigger in 2018. Here are the top eCommerce trends to look out for as you prepare for the year ahead.
Video Marketing Is Getting Bigger
Marketing experts predict that this year, consumers will engage with branded videos more than ever. Given a choice, 75 percent of consumers would choose video over written content, according to a recent study by HubSpot. Plus, shoppers who watch videos are almost twice as likely to purchase a product than non-viewers. In short, creating a well-defined video marketing strategy can lead to greater sales in 2018.
- Live Videos — A cool way to connect users with the more human side of your brand, live videos allow loyal followers and new customers to engage with your company right in the moment. Live-streaming via Facebook, Periscope or Instagram is a good way to garner more interactions than pre-recorded video.
- Virtual Reality — There’s no denying it: Consumers love the potential of virtual reality. Brands will use VR catered to wearables to catch the attention of potential customers and help improve engagement with their brands.
- Sponsored Videos — Paid videos have been proven to multiply conversions for businesses of all shapes and sizes, whether that means producing sponsored ads for YouTube or partnering with influencers to tout your products.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile… and More Mobile
There’s nothing new about optimizing for mobile. After all, it’s been one of the top eCommerce trends for several years now. But this year, it will be all about how you market to your mobile users. During the holidays this year, a record number of shoppers purchased items on mobile devices, so this is definitely a trend you want — in fact, need — to leverage in the next 12 months.
- Voice Search — With more users shopping via a smartphone or Bluetooth speaker, the volume of voice search queries has compounded in recent years. Ensure that your content is ready for voice search by using the right tools. For example, pick an eCommerce platform like Magento that recognizes misspellings to keep those conversions coming.
- Omnichannel Purchasing — One buzzword you’re likely to hear over and over again this year is “omnichannel” purchasing. This refers to a user’s likelihood to start the buying journey on mobile and complete a purchase on another device. Optimizing your site for all devices and measuring user behavior will help you make the most of out of this trend.
- Beyond the Browser — With more users spending more dollars via smartphones and tablets than ever before, marketers will spend big bucks in 2018 building storefront apps and shopping apps just for their brands. In the same vein, consumers demand new ways to search for products via apps, such as image-based searches.
- Mobile Checkout — If you haven’t yet integrated a solid mobile checkout into your eCommerce platform, there’s no better time to do it. Consumers will begin to demand more streamlined, simplified payment methods — including facial recognition, fingerprint recognition and other fast-checkout options — and companies that ignore this fact are likely to see a spike in cart abandonment this year.
Growing eCommerce Industries
Historically, certain eCommerce industries perform better than others, especially consumer electronics and media. This year, we can expect to see new segments dominating the online space, which means more opportunity for growth in new areas.
- Transforming B2B Sites — Traditionally, B2B eCommerce sites look, feel and function differently than consumer-facing ones. This year, forward-thinking marketers will take advantage of a more digital-savvy workforce to transform B2B sites into ones that look more like B2C ones. That means leveraging big data to understand how to B2B shoppers tend to behave and putting a greater emphasis on customer experience.
- Hot eCommerce Segments — According to KMPG’s 2017 Global Online Consumer Report, eCommerce is likely to see even more growth potential this year in verticals that were always purchased in brick-and-mortar stores, including household appliances, furniture, wine and healthcare products. Though it might be tempting to thank the millennials for this trend, it’s actually the Baby Boomers who are making large online purchases.
We’ll continue to keep you updated throughout the year on how eCommerce is growing and evolving so that you can always leverage the biggest consumer trends to your advantage. In the meantime, be sure to download our eBook which covers the four stages of marketing maturity for SMB eCommerce merchants.