With online spending continuing to grow globally, there is no sign of the eCommerce market slowing down. Increasing numbers of transactions are being completed using smartphones, showing the role of technology as an important aspect of the eCommerce industry. If online retailers want to continue to beat the high street competition, then they need to keep innovating and staying relevant. Here are some of the advances that experts expect to see this year.
Amazon Will Take Over the Fashion Market
Amazon continues to dominate the eCommerce world, standing head and shoulders above competition. However, as a fashion retailer, the company is falling behind. Customers are still drawn towards brand names and high street fashion stores, but this trend is beginning to change. Amazon sales will increase in all areas, but it may see the biggest gains in the world of apparel. In 2017, Amazon’s clothing sales grew by 25%, while the growth for the total fashion market was just 3%. This is partly due to the introduction of Prime Wardrobe, which is their fashion subscription service.
Machine Learning Will Improve
AI is the core component of any successful online business. However, companies have thus far failed to take complete advantage of it. While the technology for machine learning exists, eCommerce companies have lacked the data needed for the AI to function properly. Without this data, the technology has not been able to reach its full potential by learning from the buying habits of customers.
This is expected to begin to change in 2018. Machine learning for services such as providing recommendations to customers. This requires the analysis of a huge amount of data. Any retailer which can gain access to this data and utilize machine learning will have a leg up on the competition.
The Customer Will Be King
The biggest beneficiary of the 2018 eCommerce market could be the customer. There is so much online competition now, that websites need to find a way to stand out. Companies are therefore thinking about the buyer’s experience and trying to make it as enjoyable as possible.
Amazon, along with many others, are now using the customer-centric model. AirBnB is another good example. Customers cannot order their search results by price, which avoids the problem of a race to the bottom among hosts. Instead, suppliers of accommodation must focus on improving the quality of the buyer’s experience. By providing a genuinely customer-focused service, your product will rise to the top of search results. Customers may find themselves spending more, but taking more enjoyment in their shopping journey.
With these three changes, the eCommerce market will change for the better. Amazon will continue to dominate, but the competition of other retailers has kept the eCommerce giant looking for improvements to its service. These improvements include providing the fashion industry that customers demand as well as generally focusing on the customer experience and using big data to take advantage of machine learning. 2018 could be the biggest year yet for online retailers.