Competitive, fast-paced and fashionable – the words that define online shops can be countless, yet they all have positive connotations. eCommerce stores have become a dominant part of the modern world. With the holiday season already over, it is worth preparing for the nextone, which will define your success in 2018.

However, careful planning is meaningless without a solid knowledge of the competitive battlefield you encounter every day.

We experience dramatic changes in online shopping, with sales figures growing by almost 20 percent annually. Experts  claim that the constant 23 percent growth of the market is a sign that the eCommerce world is defining the shape of modern business.

 top 6 greatest ecommerce predictions for 2018
 

Source: eMarketer

Which target zones will dominate for online shopping in 2018?

The year 2018 shows that having a user-friendly website is not enough – one has to optimize it for all existing platforms, browsers, resolutions and screen sizes. Shoppers tend to spend time for online research across devices, choosing the best deals on laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and smartphones.

1. Same day delivery, and why fast shipping helps you grow

Shipping time is one of the major factors that can help you outperform competitors this year. With the huge success of Amazon, which offers 1-hour delivery for customers, retailers should make the deliveries fast. Merchants have to fight to minimize the time between click and delivery. Don’t overlook this sphere of your business: it may become the key feature that builds trust and loyalty.

 top 6 greatest ecommerce predictions for 2018
 Another crucial part of eCommerce competition for 2018 is your approach to returns. If you fail to deliver the easiest and fastest return policies, don’t expect fair play from your customers – they will forget about your brand instantly.

2. Mobile devices change the face of modern shopping

The year 2018 shows that having a user-friendly website is not enough – one has to optimize it for all existing platforms, browsers, resolutions and screen sizes. Shoppers tend to spend time for online research across devices, choosing the best deals on laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and smartphones.

 top 6 greatest ecommerce predictions for 2018

Source: Business Insider

 

After its introduction just a few years ago, mobile commerce grows every year. The predictions go further, claiming that mobile commerce or m-commerce will be the mainstream method of shopping in the next decade. It will become standard for customers to shop “on the go” and shift to multiple devices in one session.

3. User experience: well-rounded, friendly, smart

If you want to stay competitive with other eCommerce websites, you should show your customers you care about them. Appeal to their senses, evoke their emotions, and create personalized offers that will show your attitude to every single visitor to your store.
 
top 6 greatest ecommerce predictions for 2018
 

One of the most vivid retail trends that shape the year 2018 is the ability of a merchant to sell emotions! You will have to predict what impressions your target audience wants to get while shopping in your store. Prepare for a new sort of engagement that goes beyond ordinary expectations and employs creativity.

4. Every byte of data helps you sell more

Big data allows you to change the direction in which your online shopping will go in 2018. With big data and analytics, merchants can create personalized shopping experiences and engage with customers more effectively. As the technology uses real-time updates that influence purchase decisions, we will face big data as the major factor that converts visitors into customers.

 
top 6 greatest ecommerce predictions for 2018
 

The volume of big data is growing steadily, urging large sums of money to be invested into it. Follow one of the most powerful trends and employ data-driven technologies in 2018 to sell your product effectively.

5. VR stores will be a new reality soon

Appearing the eCommerce statistics of the year 2017, Virtual Reality (VR) technology is drawing a lot of attention from experts all over the world. They claim that VR stores will become a new reality, advancing online shopping to a new level. Thanks to the introduction of HoloLens, the revolution in digital content is set to change the overall landscape of Internet usage.

 
top 6 greatest ecommerce predictions for 2018
 

E-stores will be no exception: they have lots of potential to use VR technology to modify buyer behavior.

6. Internet of things (IoT) changes the way people shop

The rise of smart devices packed with IoT already influences the patterns of shopping. People use voice search and smart assistants at an unprecedented scale. There is a lot to study in this field, but the major trend remains the same: shoppers use new ways to find out about your brand.
 
top 6 greatest ecommerce predictions for 2018
 
What is the way to make smart devices work for your benefit? Pay attention to the way smart tech changes buyer behavior and modify your strategies accordingly.

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The year 2018 brings new opportunities to grow your business. It welcomes new trends that get absorbed into the daily routines of eCommerce merchants. Starting from competitive delivery and return rates, try to employ new approaches that are based on the way people shop online. Experimenting with new strategies is a sign you are ready for the growth of your business.