What were the trends in eCommerce in 2018? What major changes has the industry seen? Here at ReferralCandy, we gathered the expert opinion of eCommerce app CEOs to tap on their expertise.
Together, these apps serve close to 100,000 merchants and eCommerce brands, and are closest to the various eCommerce brands that cover every industry of the market.
With Shopify expanding into new markets, Amazon and Alibaba expanding its merchant footprint, and Instagram becoming a shopping feature, it’s becoming easier to start an eCommerce business – even as competition makes it harder to run a sustainable one. Here’s the big question:
What will be the impact of eCommerce platforms / marketplace in 2019?
- Deepening Brand-Customer Relationships via subscriptions/customer voice
- Better Tech: Data, Chatbots, AI, AR, Automation et al
- OmniChannel will become more prevalent
(click to jump to each section)
Deeper Brand-Customer relationships
More integrations between apps, and the transition from one-time customers to recurring or long-time purchasers. Every business on the planet is moving towards subscription-based billing because it keeps both sides of the equation honest.
The rise of subscription boxes is a literal example of this shift, but more generally speaking the cost of customer acquisition continues to rise and it will be imperative for ecommerce stores with a good product to figure out how they can more reliably sell 2+ times to existing customers, vs always chasing new ones with Facebook ads.
Cookie cutter solutions no longer work. We will see more variety in how businesses brand themselves to their customers. That is why user generated content and solutions that give customers voice will be the biggest trend of 2019. While the concept is not new, it will become even more accessible to small businesses than ever.
The Rise of new Tech: Data, Robots, Automation, AR and AI
In 2019, we have seen businesses becoming capable of populating meaningful competitive intelligence data from the market to execute their businesses in a more data-driven way, and these companies will harness this data in a smarter way for 2019.
As data-driven management becomes a mainstream attitude in e-commerce, 2019 might see loads of automation opportunities in various e-commerce operations from logistics to pricing optimization and all. In other words, we expect to see more “robots” (not in physical sense though) executing data-driven operations on behalf of the company in line with its strategies and priorities.
The robots are coming. We already see software assistants like Intercom’s Operator which chimes in when a website visitor needs help but you’re away. There are also physical robots that streamline warehouse operations for retail giants like Amazon and are starting to become accessible to 2nd tier retailers. Oh and don’t forget delivery drones. Maybe not yet in 2019, but drones will be coming soon after to a lawn near you.
My prediction is that Augmented Reality will go really big in e-commerce. In a year or two, it will be the new standard in online shopping, creating a fun experience and allowing customers to try products in their personal spaces without any distraction. Businesses utilizing this technology will have a competitive advantage. It is also likely to contribute to the personalization trend we have seen this year.
Strategies and technologies that can leverage highly personalized eCommerce website experiences for individual visitors.
We think 2019 will be the year of data driven attribution. Meaning that merchants will fully embrace attribution models that take into account more than just the position of the visit in the user journey.
Building on the omni-channel concept of technology – enabling consumers to complete transactions wherever and whenever – it will be interesting to see where it goes in 2019. I believe we’ll start seeing the transition from website eCommerce being the primary online selling tool, to becoming just another selling channel. Machine learning, personalization, smart ads, AR/VR, and conversational commerce have all attempted to bring eCommerce to consumers where they spend much of their time; it’s exciting to think about how eCommerce will continue evolving over the next few years.
A turn-key automation platform for small merchants that effectively combines on-site conversion marketing with a segmented messaging strategy.
I think AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be the trend which shapes our future technologies for not only e-commerce but also other fields in 2019.
AI and machine learning is still pretty complex, but I think there will be some big innovations is making these type of technologies easier to use and integrate across websites and marketing automation.
Omnichannel commerce is not a new thing but I believe that in 2019 we’ll finally have a breakthrough and this concept will become a reality. Until now it seems that it was more a buzzword than a working concept. This year Square has acquired Weebly and Shopify is putting more and more focus and money to their POS service development which show that market is finally ready to adopt omnichannel commerce idea. Here are Omnisend we also believe that not only commerce has to be omnichannel but marketing automation as well. So I have no doubt that 2019 will be all about omnichannel.
Well, there you have it: the biggest impacts in 2019 from eCommerce platforms and marketplaces.
Want more wisdom from these wise CEOs and apps? Check out what they said about what ecommerce retailers most wanted in 2018, and what the impact of marketplaces will be in 2019.