The past year went well for online trading. According to the Statista Digital Market Outlook (DMO), every German online shopper spent 1,132 euros on the Internet in 2017. And it goes further upwards. This year, the industry expects average revenues of 1,228 euros per user. According to DMO forecasts, total e-commerce sales in Germany in 2018 will amount to around 63,183 million euros. In 2022, network trading in Germany reached a market volume of 81,214 million euros. This corresponds to annual sales growth of 6.5 percent. Worldwide, online trade is even growing by 9.9 percent. However, anyone who wants to participate in this growth must move. Customers are becoming more demanding - conventional online shops are no longer tapping the full potential. This blog article tells you the trends for E-Commerce 2018, which you can use to increase the sales of your online shop.
Experts are convinced that in 2018, personalized forms of consulting will be a dominant topic in e-commerce. This should help to better research the wishes of customers and to be able to react quickly and comprehensively to them. Because even in online trading, individual advice is the be-all and end-all of success. Online shops should therefore focus on real-time consulting and offer instant messaging or live chat, for example, so that customers can also exchange information with consultants online.
One model that combines online retailing even more strongly with personal advice and is fully in line with the trend in 2018 is so-called "curated shopping". This is how it works, for example: At the beginning, a customer fills out a questionnaire online. On the basis of this, a personal telephone call is then made with a consultant, who then makes a concrete selection of articles that are sent to the customer. Anything you don't like can just be sent back.
However, automated consulting using artificial intelligence is also very popular in 2018. Chatbots are an important building block for this. These are text-based dialogue systems that can be used to communicate with the underlying system by voice or text input. Chatbots are full-text search engines that search the web at breathtaking speed and can understand the task and react quickly according to the keywords used in the dialogue. They are constantly learning new things and developing more and more into personalised shopping assistants.
As in the case of a sales talk in a boutique, personalised and individual advice can also be used in your online shop to find out what customers want. This makes it possible for you to offer your customers products that are really interesting for them.
From Multichannel to Omnichannel
E-commerce or not - the young generation loves to spend weekends in a shopping center. The older semester also likes to push its way through the corridors of traditional department stores. The stationary trade is alive. Shopping with friends in malls, passages or arcades is always a greater experience than sitting alone in front of the computer.
For the trading companies of the future, this means accompanying customers with a uniform strategy, integrated technology and end-to-end communication and picking them up wherever they are in a buying mood through the use of various channels (e.g. websites, social media, apps, blogs, search engines).
The boundaries between offline, online and mobile are disappearing more and more. Omnichannel has become the norm for e-commerce users. The sales channels no longer exist side by side (multichannel), but are combined and coordinated to provide a seamless shopping experience for customers. This allows shop operators to evaluate what customers are interested in much better. This helps online merchants to meet the wishes and needs of their customers as well as to optimize customer relationship management in a sustainable and effective way.
According to a survey of iBusiness experts on the future plans of the German online trade, customers expect a shopping experience across devices and channels. The number and variety of touchpoints where customers and retailers meet will continue to increase. This makes it all the more important for companies to identify the right touchpoints.
Reveal fake ratings
Just as fake news keeps the whole world busy, fake valuations are the main cause of trade problems. Buyer ratings are an important criterion for purchasing decisions on the Internet. However, more and more fake product reviews are creeping in between real assessments. Here, traders must react quickly and use appropriate tools to identify and eliminate fake valuations. Because only if the trust of customers is maintained will the latest technological trends in e-commerce bring the desired success.
Two well-known tools are "ReviewMeta" and "Fakespot". By entering an Amazon product URL, users receive an analysis of the ratings given and thus information about the extent to which a rating profile for a product could have been manipulated. While ReviewMeta is available for various Amazon offshoots, including the German-language site, as well as for bodybuilding.com, FakeSpot can only be used for the American Amazon site. In addition, this tool offers the possibility to analyze Yelp, TripAdvisor and Apple App Store evaluations.
A contradictory product evaluation profile often causes confusion and uncertainty among customers. Since reviews are a relevant criterion for purchasing decisions in online shops, you as a retailer should be able to react quickly and be able to quickly identify fake reviews.
Utilization of Big Data as a hot trend
The creation and use of large amounts of data is increasing rapidly worldwide. Large companies such as Google, Facebook, Baidu, Amazon, IBM, Intel and Microsoft are investing heavily in hardware, software and services for big data analysis.
However, as published on the internet portal Dataeconomy, more than a third of retailers are unaware of their available data. 45 percent of companies do not use their data effectively to personalize marketing communications. 42 percent do not have the technology or sources to link individual customer data. But in 2018 it will be essential for online shops to present each customer with an individual inventory of products that are relevant in each case. So it's about an individualized shopping experience, instead of just listing the search results.
This step can be implemented with operational intelligence platforms, as large volumes of data can be automated and processed into useful information in real time. On the one hand, this enables comprehensive insights into business processes and, on the other hand, individual offers can be generated for each customer.