eCommerce Trends for a Profitable 2018January 16, 2018 - Ben Froedge
New year, new opportunities. Lifting our eyes to the horizon lets us correct our course towards the place we want to be. Behind the wheel of a thriving, valuable business. Now is the time to give thought to the upcoming year. And to what you can do to achieve your goals in 2018. Let’s take a look at the top eCommerce trends for 2018.
What are 2018’s hottest eCommerce trends?
While we’ll be focusing a little less on products themselves and a little more on product categories, you should be able to draft some solid ideas from the list below. If you want to start a new line of business or expand a current brand, knowing 2018’s latest eCommerce trends is certainly a great place to start.
Handmade and Artisan
Homemade, handmade, artisan, one-of-a-kind, crafted, small-batch product. Items made with extra special care and ingredients are getting to be a bigger and bigger business. Pinterest has ignited a DIY craze, and Etsy gave handmade products a mainstream sales platform. The newest changes to Instagram also make it easier than ever before to market and sell these types of products.
The reason this matters for eCommerce is more than just the casual sales of Etsy sellers and artists. You can create high-quality, well-branded products at a larger scale. Take advantage of these markets and marketing tools to make a killing in 2018 as this eCommerce trend continues to grow faster than strange hipster moustaches.
We live on this planet called Earth. And unfortunately, thanks to our heaps of trash, it has some health issues. To combat that, there is a growing movement towards sustainably sourced, long-lasting products.
That means that eCommerce stores have a chance to do great things for the planet. And for their bottom line. Many buyers are willing to pay much higher prices for products that fulfill their needs AND do positive things for the planet (or at least don’t damage it).
This is an eCommerce trend predicted to dominate more and more. This year is a great time to find ways of making your business more sustainable. It’s a move that will help you profit well into the (hopefully) greener future.
We’re not quite the Jetsons, but we’re getting there! We’ve got:
- Refrigerators that reorder food
- Home security that lets you talk to visitors at your door from anywhere on Earth
- Energy-saving climate control
- Smartphone controlled lighting
- Wi-Fi connected fast order systems like Amazon’s dash button
Smart home technologies are being added to existing homes and integrated into new construction more than ever. They allow a new level of convenience and safety and present a big opportunity that eCommerce store owners should look to cash in on. Smart technology is an eCommerce trend set to dominate the industry over the coming years.
Nobody wants their tech to stay tethered at home. We’ve got a lot of really cool digital stuff, and we want to take it with us when we go places. We need to charge, maintain, download, listen, record, sync, work, and play everywhere we go. This includes our:
- Tablets, phones, and the endless accessories that come with them
- Chargers and Batteries, including solar powered
- Data Storage
- Speakers and headphones
- Smart watches and glasses
The market for tech-on-the-go will only be increasing in the coming years, and 2018 will be a great time to get in on the action. You know, just in case you want to make a lot of money this year.
What business strategies should you incorporate?
Heading into 2018, you should be looking to get ahead of the game. You can’t possibly know everything, but you can certainly make some educated guesses. The educated part of those guesses will give you an edge over your competition. What should you know about 2018 trends to help grow your business?
Here’re a few eCommerce trends to jumpstart your 2018 strategy:
Voice search and buying show no signs of slowing down in the coming years. Amazon’s Alexa and Echo allow easy purchasing with voice (they are ruling the home speaker space, too), while Google is working hard to get their Google Home platform lined-up as serious competition for shopping.
Improved voice functionality will require merchants to change the way they think about search and product listings. Try incorporating structured data and more natural, speech-focused search terms to stay competitive as voice-based search and buying take over an increasing share of the market.
Focus on making it easy for customers to find and buy your products with just their voice. Years from now, you will be grateful.
Increased personalization is set to be a continuing eCommerce trend for the coming year. It’s about speaking to people in a way that feels personal to them, a business strategy that has worked since the dawn of commerce. But when your buyers come from all over the world and you never meet them, that can be hard to do. A first name inserted into an email doesn’t cut it anymore.
The good news is that marketing automation tech allows you to deliver the right message to the right buyer at just the right time.
A number of tools allow you to tailor your marketing and on-site experience to individual customers:
You can personalize based on different criteria:
- Traffic source
- Past behavior and purchases
And you can use those criteria to personalize a lot of different aspects of buyer interaction:
- On-site images and product descriptions
- Product feeds
- Marketing and transactional emails
- Social Media content
- Advertising messages
Apps and Integrations
Apps, plugins, and integrations are drop-in pieces of software that fulfill a need or solve a problem within your website or business. Earlier we discussed Shopify’s virtual assistant Kit, which is a perfect example of this kind of functionality. You purchase (some are free) and install these apps directly through your platform’s backend.
If you are serious about growing your business, you should be looking at these apps as an opportunity. Rather than just installing apps that seem cool, look for chances to fix problems, automate processes, and reduce your overall workload without reducing the quality of your service.
What else will change?
Advertising will get tougher
As mentioned in our last post, Facebook ads were big last year, and they’re going to become an even bigger eCommerce trend in 2018.
The problem with that is that bigger brands with bigger budgets are also noticing the chance to get in on the action, and little guys may be priced out of premium ad space.
The key to a profitable 2018 Facebook strategy will be narrowing down your audience to the absolute core of people who will give you the best results. You should target your ads carefully, make sure that your audience cares about what you are offering, and measure and optimize your ad effectiveness.
Outside of Facebook, brands should be looking for new places to target their products as new social media platforms and interest communities appear. Check out our Ultimate Guide to Places to Sell Online for inspiration.
Mobile will keep getting better
Having a mobile-optimized store is no longer optional. 2018 will see more brands making a strong push to give their buyers a perfect buying experience on mobile and those who can’t do that will end up with a smaller market share.
More people have mobile devices, more shopping is shifting to mobile, and those trends are only going to continue. Part of that eCommerce trend is the increasing integration of social and mobile apps in the eCommerce world, allowing easier access to products for large markets that may never have found a store website otherwise.
We hope you found our overview of top eCommerce trends for 2018 helpful. If you do nothing else strategic in 2018, make sure that mobile buyers have flawless interactions with your brand. Look ahead to 2018 as an opportunity to grow your eCommerce store. Go forth and make more sales than ever before! Just like 2017, this article is over!