Things like voice recognition, virtual reality, unified brand experience, and omnichannel will reshape the online sales landscape. Brands and retailers can either adapt to the changing market and stay competitive or ignore the technological revolution and watch their businesses slowly die over the coming years.
Did you know that millions of Alexa-enabled devices were sold during the 2017 holiday season, with the Echo Dot being the top seller on Amazon? Did you also know that you can already use, for example, Amazon’s Alexa to do online shopping? Combine these two facts and you’ll understand why it’s only a matter of time before e-commerce businesses start using smart speakers. They can significantly improve the customer experience, especially as voice-enabled search becomes more accurate and reliable.
Subscription is one of the hottest, fastest-growing trends in e-commerce today. And without a doubt, it will get even hotter in 2018. A subscription offers a longer, more profitable relationship with the customer and improves a company’s cash flow through automatic payments. Some experts even believe that anything that requires continuous, frequent purchases will eventually shift toward the subscription model, from private health care to computer repairs.Voice recognition, subscriptions, personalization, and omnichannel - these trends will fuel the e-commerce industry in 2018. Click To Tweet
Making it personal
Personalization will be another major trend this year. With recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI), it’s possible for a brand to deliver one-to-one personalization and serve an individual experience to each of its customers across all touchpoints. In practice, this means that online retailers will make product suggestions based on past purchase history, geographic location, and individual preferences. Also, personalization means that more and more companies will be updating their prices several times a day based on margins, supply, and demand. An interesting fact is that big players such as Amazon or Walmart are doing this already. Other brands will follow this approach, no question about it.
Seamless customer experience
Up to now, the idea of having a seamless customer experience across multiple sales channels has been something like a best practice. However, in 2018 omnichannel will become the new standard for the entire e-commerce industry. Why? Because people expect to interact with brands across many touchpoints including web, mobile, in-app, social, as well as in-store. Therefore, customer interactions must be choreographed under a single brand experience. And trust us when we say it, there can be no successful multi-channel commerce without having unified product-related content in all sales touchpoints.