Top ecommerce trends in 2018

Ecommerce continues to expand in 2018 as more retailers and small business owners join the movement. Today, 11% of smartphone owners admit they shop online weekly, and this number is expected to grow.

Although there are many benefits associated with the expansion of ecommerce, it is becoming more difficult for shop owners to stand out. However, paying attention to the following current trends can help your business thrive.


Opening pop-up shops

Pop-up shops are temporary spaces used by retailers to showcase their products. This trend started in large cities such as London and New York City, but it has spread around the globe. Typically, a pop-up shop stays open for a short period of time, such as a few days or weeks, and then disappears. Retailers have sold a variety of products this way ranging from clothes to art. Some businesses have created temporary pop-up shops that exist entirely online.

One of the benefits of doing a pop-up shop is that it creates demand and scarcity. When shoppers know the merchandise will only be available for a short time, they are more likely to take action. If you are considering a pop-up shop, then there are few points to remember.

First, you need to pick a high-traffic area for the store like a popular shopping area or busy street. Another option is to do a joint venture with a popular blog or website to sell your goods online.

Second, you need to consider how you will accept payments. Keep in mind that this store is temporary, so investing in a lot of equipment is not necessary. Instead, you can use a point of sale (POS) system like Shopify to accept payments from any location through a mobile app or card reader.


Using augmented and virtual reality

Ecommerce businesses are embracing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) because it is helping them connect with shoppers. People love being able to see how something will look in their home before making a large purchase. Many ecommerce businesses have figured out that offering augmented or virtual reality can increase sales.

For example, one home design ecommerce company lets users access an app that can add 3D images of products to a room. The IKEA AR app lets you see how a new rug or couch would fit in with the existing furniture before buying either item.

Another example is Kantar’s virtual reality services, which give retailers a chance to experiment with different store designs in a convenient and inexpensive way. Instead of wasting money on costly surveys, the software programs let you evaluate possible shopper reactions through data analysis, machine learning and algorithms.


Embracing change

The key element that pop-up shops, augmented reality and virtual reality have in common is that they are about accepting changes and using them to your advantage.

Ecommerce companies that ignore changes in the market can fall behind competitors and may never catch up. Trends in ecommerce are not permanent, so it is important to pay attention to them and adjust your strategy when necessary.  

One thing that holds companies back from following trends is the initial investment cost and concerns about getting a return on it. However, if you want your ecommerce business to grow, then you have to take calculated risks.


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