The ecommerce industry is an ever-evolving and ever-changing sector, and it can often be hard to keep up with it all. In 2017, approximately 87% of UK consumers purchased one product online, and came second to Norway as one of the biggest ecommerce nations in the EU. It’s no surprise to see that China and the USA are the leading two countries worldwide when it comes to online buying (GuruFocus).
With different technologies becoming part of almost every step of the purchasing process, 2017 was an amazing year in the ecommerce industry. We expect to see technology become even more prevalent for ecommerce businesses in 2018, from implementing cloud-based accounting software to investing in AR and VR as part of the buying process, we predict a lot of change.
Ecommerce will start investing in software programs that help scale
2017 was the year where small and medium ecommerce companies started to scale and expand their businesses. We predict that this year more businesses that have started to expand will begin to invest in Enterprise Resource Planning and Customer Relationship Management in order to automate the majority of their manual functions, and make both front and back-end operations more efficient and quicker. After all, a growing business may not have the resources available to manage the increasing number of orders, therefore necessitating software programs that help in automating.
A middle ground between digital wallet payments and traditional checkout will be found
Throughout history, humans have relied on a payment system so that they can purchase goods and services that are of monetary value, and this system has evolved alongside technology. From going from swiping your card, to chip and pin, to making a contactless payment, you can now pay for goods on your mobile phone via a digital wallet. Businesses across the globe have begun to encourage customers to make digital payments to ensure transparency; propelling the growth of mobile and digital wallets. 14% of consumers in the UK regularly use their phone to pay for things, and this figure is expected to soar in 2018. WorldPay predict that eWallets will make up for 34% of the payments market by 2021 worldwide.
E-commerce will evolve to include AR and VR
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) is an ever evolving industry, and the total number of AR and VR users are expected reach nearly 200 million by 2018. Because of this, we predict that ecommerce businesses will take advantage of this revolutionary new technology, and create brand new customer experiences.
AR and VR offer a whole new shopping experience – customers will have the opportunity to visualise the products they want to buy in 3D, and can compare products in real time, therefore revolutionising the shopping experience and the structure of ecommerce business.
Voice Tailored SEO will take over
Along with mobile pay, VR and AR, voice search is also dominating the way we look for products and services via search engines. The battle for ecommerce businesses to stay on page one of Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) has now become even harder, as position one will be first, and position two will be last. Voice search will become a vital channel for companies to engage their customers, especially as there are over one billion voice searches a month worldwide. In Q4 of 2017, sales through a voice assistant such as Siri or Alexa grew 103%, making it more important than ever before to ensure that your website’s content is tailored towards voice search.
Ecommerce businesses will move towards cloud-based accounting
Every business needs an accountant and they rely on the cloud for an array of operations, such as data storage to connectivity and reducing business costs. Combining the two and integrating cloud-based accounting into your ecommerce business seems to make perfect sense. Utilising cloud-based accounting means that businesses will have real-time access to their financial information and accounts from any device, anywhere, as long as they have internet access. This is because Cloud Accounting needs a software that runs on servers and connectivity to the internet.
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