With the eCommerce sector continuing to grow and with expectations to hit a value of $4.5 trillion by 2021, it is only logical to prepare for big changes and potential trends in the years to come. eCommerce merchants will continually improve their stores by means of different extensions and improving their site’s UX. With this in mind, here’s a brief round-up of what’s expected to be trending this year in the world of eCommerce…

Faster Shipping and Improvement in Delivery Logistics
With the increase of online shopping by 17% in the last 5 years and with online sales equating to 24% of the total fashion spend in 2017, we can only expect a higher demand for a quicker and more efficient delivery to take place. With the introduction of Amazon’s Prime delivery which can see customers receive their goods next day or even same day in exchange for a monthly or yearly subscription fee and with other retailers offering next day delivery for orders placed up to 10pm the day before, we are expecting to see the increase in quicker delivery options being on offer over a wider range of retailers.

More Storefront Apps
With the focus shifting from desktop to mobile, we can expect to see an increase in storefront apps from some of our favourite brands and retailers. Even though some major retailers have had apps available for many years, we have only recently seen the benefit with the data from eCommerce app platform Poq indicating that the conversion rates from some storefront apps are approximately 40% higher than mobile sites. With apps providing other benefits such as the average order value and session duration being significantly higher than mobile sites, more and more business are expected to rake in the benefits and create their own dedicated apps.

Growth in Mobile Checkout
With everything moving away from cash, other methods of payment have been popping up. Mobile payment methods have been the biggest change in the way we shop since the start of eCommerce itself. There are currently at least 10 different mobile payment platforms available to date, with some of the well-known ones being Apple pay and Google pay. With the world of eCommerce continuing to grow, we are bound to see more mobile methods of payment being developed and used.

Rise of ‘Research Online, Purchase Offline’ (ROPO)
Research online and purchase offline is a shopping habit that many consumers have adopted, mainly driven by shoppers that are looking to save a few pounds on the purchases they make. The idea of ROPO is that the item is researched online for its reviews and prices on different websites (usually of local retailers) and then it is purchased offline. According to research undertaken by eCommerce agency Absolunet, 82% of consumers use a mobile device to research local businesses and 18% of those result in a sale within 24 hours. However, the use of ROPO doesn’t just benefit the customer –  it also allows retailers to build detailed profiles of those conducting online research. As ROPO is the natural evolution of today’s shoppers in the digital world, the use of online research before the purchase of a product will only increase as more retailers (including smaller local businesses) begin to appear online.

Greater Integration of Machine Learning (Chatbots)
The introduction of machine learning into eCommerce systems provides customers with exactly what they want, with minimal time and effort being used. Examples of machine learning that we already see a lot of on eCommerce sites are customer service chatbots. A chatbot allows all companies big or small to offer their customers 24-hour customer service, with being able to be programmed to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. This gives consumers the opportunity to get some of their queries answered quickly, efficiently and at any time. With 48% of consumers preferring to connect with the company via a live chat option, we can expect to see more and more companies offering this service to their customers.

If you’re interested in making improvements to your eCommerce site this year, get in touch today!