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5 key trends in e-commerce

5 tendencias clave en comercio electrónico

The growth of global electronic commerce is unstoppable. In 2017 it reached around $ 2.3 trillion and, <span > according to Statista , it is expected to reach $ 4.5 billion in 2021. In Europe alone, e-commerce has had double-digit growth in the last year, with an increase of 11% in the turnover of 2017 (534 billion euros) at a 13% in 2018 (602 billion euros).

Growth of ecommerce
Source: Statista

The number and variety of products that can be found in stores online , along with increasingly fast delivery times, are changing consumer habits. The sites that offer any product at any time and anywhere are causing people to spend more, but also to be more demanding with their expectations.

Trends are no longer shaped only by brands, but also by the needs of the client. In a world where the consumer is increasingly demanding, it is vital for companies to develop methods to build lasting relationships.

Therefore, e-commerce continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and it needs to keep up with the latest trends to continue driving sales and stay ahead of the competition. Next, we analyze some of the trends that are dominating 2018.

Mobile e-commerce

In 2017, up to 11% of consumers online used their smartphone weekly to make their purchases, and 35% say it will become their main channel shopping. In fact, around 39% of consumers online are inspired by social networks before choosing the items they will buy.

Source: PWC

The breakthrough in payment methods through mobile devices, including fingerprint and facial recognition, will increase the percentage of transactions made from these devices.

With Google, Samsung and Apple implementing these advances on their smartphones, mobile payment is expected to reach 70% of e-commerce traffic by the end of 2018 .

As an example of this trend, 10% of orders placed with Starbucks in the United States were made through its mobile application Order and Pay . The payment platform has been so popular that, in February 2017, mobile orders surpassed those of the physical store.

For its part, Amazon Go, the shop without dependents of the giant of electronic commerce, allows its customers to leave the store without going through cash. Purchases are scanned automatically and loaded directly into the account.


According to the Foresee Experience Index: Retail CS Rankings , currently 41% of e-commerce users use two or more channels during the purchase process This is consistent with data published by Google , who says that 85% of consumers online start shopping on one device and finish the process on another device.

The need to adapt to these omnichannel consumers has led to a reinvention of the traditional retail model, with the idea of achieving a profitable digital-physical model. This is the reason why many merchants have implemented the “sending from the store”, transforming their facilities into distribution centers.

In the same way, meeting the needs of the omnichannel environment promotes new collaborations between manufacturers and retailers. Globally, 32% of retailers request direct shipping by the manufacturer and 73% of manufacturers believe there will be an increase of 10% in the next five years.

In general, 25% of retailers say omnichannel will be their first priority this 2018. In essence, this trend is related to the customer experience, with the aim of providing customers with an integrated and seamless trip, regardless of the channel or point of contact through which they choose to buy or interact with their brands.

Source: Econsultancy, Adobe

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will provide a personalized customer experience at millennials . Forrester Research predicts that the investments related to the AI grew around 300% in 2017, and that the companies will become more competitive by 2020, reaching up to 1.2 trillion dollars per year. In turn, Gartner predicts that by 2020 85% of total customer interactions will be carried out using Artificial Intelligence.

Source: Forrester Research, Economic Intelligence Unit, Morningstar, PitchBook Data

Analysis based on consumer habits leads to an optimization that brands will begin to use more frequently in 2018, indicating the beginning of the end of marketing strategies based on the demographics.

Dynamic Yield conducted a 4-month trial that consisted of customizing the experience by providing recommendations defined by an AI in real time, based on data on user behavior. The result of the experiment was a 10% increase in sales.

The result of Dynamic Yield matches the research data of Boston Consulting Group , who points out that retailers that have implemented AI-based customization strategies have increased their sales by 6% and 10% According to Accenture , the The profitability rate of these companies could also increase by 59% in the wholesale and retail industry by 2035.

For its part, Netflix abandoned geographic segmentation long ago and now divides its 93 million global users into 1,300 ” taste communities<span > “with similar preferences of films and television programs, making recommendations based on the most popular of those communities.

Therefore, in 2018 the adoption of AI will continue to grow and chatbots will be the most significant segment. Because of its ease of implementation, its instantaneous availability and improved quality, chatbots will become increasingly common in customer service and purchase recommendations.

B2B commerce

B2B e-commerce reached 7.7 trillion dollars in 2017. Therefore, this is twice as big as B2C, and will continue to grow .< / p>

Source: Statista, with data from Forrester Research and Digital Commerce 360

You’re seeing how the simplified experience of B2C e-commerce is making its way into B2B, which is why some companies, like Magento, are striving to create advanced functionality for the B2B. B2B market.2738/5000

A simple budget management, price negotiation, order management and inventory and other essential features, usually associated with B2B e-commerce, and are available in Magento .

By 2019, B2B companies are expected to spend more on e-commerce technology than retail stores online . In fact, 69% of B2B entities expect to stop printing catalogs within five years .

The giants of e-commerce, Amazon and AliBaba, have become B2B environments and are blurring the differences between B2B and B2C:

Search by voice or image

Approximately 40% of the millennial generation uses smart voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri or Google Assistant, before making a purchase, according to the report < / span> 2017 Connected Shopper < / span> of Salesforce . The rise of voice assistants has meant, for e-commerce, greater implications for the compatibility or optimization of product information with voice search and for the inventory of the store to be available in real time.

Source: Salesforce

The adaptation of services to this trend began at the end of 2017 and continues during 2018 at a good pace. The cosmetic store Sephora was among the first to launch her application in Google Assistant in France. This feature allows consumers to book beauty services through voice, for example. Similarly, <span > Walmart also chose to partner with Google’s voice assistant , in an attempt to challenge Amazon’s growing dominance in e-commerce. Now, all the products of the supermarket chain can be ordered through Google Assistant.

For its part, the visual search has not been implemented only by companies like Pinterest. Search engines are improving the technology that works after the image search, since it is a huge trend that is driving the electronic commerce of the textile sector. A good example of this is the application < span> 21buttons, which has just closed an investment round of 14.5 million euros . This trend is also known as Social Ecommerce or Photo Shopping .

By 2020, image and voice searches can represent 50% of total searches . And according to Gartner < / a> , by the year 2021, the first brands to have redesigned their websites to support the visual and voice search will get a 30% increase in their income from digital commerce. In addition, these are currently the fastest growing types of mobile search.

Augmented Reality

The e-commerce industry has experienced a massive wave of good practices that have taken advantage of the potential of Augmented Reality (AR) technology. This movement has overcome the shortcomings of shopping online by closing the gap between the world online andoffline .

The main concern of buyers online is uncertainty. In general, they are not sure if a particular product is right for them or meets their specifications perfectly. Not all consumers have the ability to correlate the available products online with real world space.

With RA-based e-commerce applications, customers rely more on their purchases and feel they are making the right decision. Consumers like the idea of being able to try virtually different options before making the purchase decision . Therefore, applications designed with this technology make it possible to transform the smartphone into a useful and ubiquitous augmented reality platform.

Source: eMarketer, Centric Digital

The augmented reality market is expected to grow significantly during 2018, as brands continue to display features that allow consumers to use their mobile devices to view items in their environment before to buy them. As usual, the big brands have been the first to adapt to this trend:

  • Ikea offers the application IKEA Place , which allows consumers to decorate their home through the camera of a mobile device with the furniture of the store.
  • Amazon has also started updating its applications adding augmented reality, so that consumers can visualize how the products are before buying them.
  • Recently, Michael Kors has become the first retailer to try Facebook ads in augmented reality. Now, any consumer of the social network can try on a pair of sunglasses and buy it directly from the official website.In the same way, augmented reality can also help reduce the great challenge that electronic commerce faces, returns. Worldwide , consumers return approximately US $ 642.6 billion in merchandise per year .

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