Ready to.... stare into your crystal ball? To turn your visionary "superpower" on and... get a glimpse of the future of ecommerce? Not the distant future, but the future of 2018. And hopefully, identify the 10 ecommerce trends in 2018 that you should integrate into your digital marketing strategy and start capitalizing on.
ASAP, needless to add! Way before they even grow into powerful trends and competition in the digital marketing arena becomes a... throat-cutting one.
No need actually! For I've already sneaked a peek into the near future for you (no need to take out your crystal ball anymore, you can jump straight to turning information into gold). And I've identified the trends in the ecommerce industry that will rule in 2018!
Here are your “10 ecommerce commandments”:
1. Unlock Customer Reviews' Full Potential (Even the Negative Ones')
Not joking: pushing forward, right into the spotlight, exclusively the positive customer reviews will just lower users' trust in your brand (ironically enough).
Perfection generates suspicion, right?
So, always “bet on”... transparency.
Well, of course, it goes without saying that a significant “load” of honest high scores does have a huge impact on your conversion rate and on your brand's overall reputation.
Now getting back to customer marketing as one of the huge ecommerce trends in 2018: it's a strong proof that you're valuing your users' feedback.
Which leads to recurrent shopping and attracts prospects like a magnet: you'll be regarded as a trustworthy, transparency-valuing brand, that does “give ear to” its own customers' feedback.
In other words: strive to encourage your customers to review their shopping experiences with you. For instance, a redeemable voucher/discount could make a powerful incentive, don't you think?
2. Add an Augmented Reality Dimension to the Shopping Experience
From a shopping experience to... experiencing shopping. Seize the difference?
If the use of VR/AR technology for retail purposes ignited in 2017, it will simply... explode in 2018. It will continue to be one of the most influential ecommerce trends in 2018.
So you'd better join brands' “race” for coming up with innovative visual ways of showcasing their products. And, thus, make it possible for your customers to interact with your products while enjoying that true-to-life feeling that... might just turn them into buyers.
- a virtual tour of your brick and mortar store
- a new AR feature integrated into your online store, rivaling Ikea's own “Place” app
- any other functionality for turning your users' shopping experiences into virtual interactions
… you'd better hurry up and start brainstorming ideas
3. Influencer Marketing Will Only Get More... Influential in 2018
That's right, influencer marketing will continue to dominate the retail landscape this year. It's an increasingly valuable resource for you to tap into.
In 2018 even so more, since influencer marketing software comes to streamline your efforts in this direction:
it's built to point out to you — the online store owner/digital marketer — precisely the suitable methods to use depending on the specific leads that you're targeting.
Now, this is gold!
4. Community-Led Marketing: One of the Rising Ecommerce Trends in 2018
Watch for the “community-lend brands”! Or, even, better: become one!
And it's customers themselves — communities of customers, that start seeing themselves as “brand representatives” — that will be pushing these newly emerging brands right in the very first line this year.
How can you, too, capitalize on community-led marketing?
Here are a few sure strategies to turn your customers into your own brand's advocates. Into your marketing strategy's driving force:
- set up the perfect contexts on your social media channels for your customers to actually discuss your products
- encourage them to share their honest experiences after trying/using your products (user-generated content turned into an incentive for new prospects!)
- allow them to actually test your products and let them answer other prospects' questions on your Instagram or Facebook account
A customer-centric approach with a focus on user-generated content! Or valuing user feedback to such extent, that customers eagerly turn into your brand's advocates.
This is what community-led marketing comes down to, and this is precisely why it will turn into one of the most powerful online shopping trends in 2018!
5. Don't JUST Be Present on Multiple Channels: Be Consistent!
“About 85% of online shoppers start a purchase on one device and finish on another” (Google)
Need I add more? Your “cluster” of presences on multiple platforms should turn into ONE consistent presence on them all. Into one seamless visual and UI experience for your customers.
And how do you achieve consistency while going omnichannel, omni-device and after you've integrated all your presences on different channels?
Here are a few common sense tips and tricks:
- from navigation
- to payment gateways
- to the design itself
- to all the branding elements
- and social media content
… make sure you stick to the same self-imposed guidelines. It's one and the same entity that your customers should feel like they're interacting with, not one having... multiple personalities.
End of Part 1! Till we meet again to analyze together the other powerful trends identified for you, do take your time to ponder on these first 5 ecommerce trends in 2018.
Have you anticipated them already? Are they relevant enough to your own ecommerce business? Do you find them powerful enough for “fueling” your online marketing strategy this year or are you still a bit skeptical that they're more than just buzzwords?