December and January are always the months in which people share lists of predictions for the coming year. The question is, of course, whether or not the fulfillment of these predictions is related to the lists or real trends. But we have gone through these lists and collected a number of possible e-commerce trends that you might want to use this year.
The importance of mobile
Many e-commerce trends for 2018 are the result of developments that were already underway in 2017 or even earlier. For example, the importance of mobile. We have already devoted an article to this, but the importance of this has already been proven this year. Google finally launched their mobile-first index and announced the introduction of the "Speed Update" for July 2018. This means that the speed of a mobile website becomes a ranking factor in mobile searches. Of course, the content of a website is still the most important factor for Google searches and this update looks at the total user experience rather than just the page speed. For example, autoplay videos are experienced as annoying and slow down the page. So by removing the autoplay, you improve both the user experience and the page speed. This results in a higher ranking in Google searches.
Another well-known digital development is visual content. Video has been a growing marketing strategy for years, although some say it has become inefficient due to the abundance of content. But it doesn't have to be. Websites make more frequent use of opportunities for informative videos. Instead of just showing pictures of a product, you can add short videos of the product. This is mainly used for fashion, giving the customer the opportunity to show how something falls while wearing it. A bit like a virtual fashion show. Or add an informative video about the best features of a laptop or bike. You can also use 360-degree photos to show each side of a product, mainly used for shoes or flip laptops. Instead of putting these videos on Youtube, for example, you place them with the product to complement the photos.
A step further from the visual content is the augmented reality, a mix of digital content and the real world. For example, Ikea's app "Ikea Place" allows customers to place furniture in their homes before they buy anything. The room is visible through the camera of their phone and by moving around they can place a product somewhere in the room to see if it fits. This augmented reality enables people to create a realistic experience while shopping online.
Another example is a virtual dressing room, which allows people to try on clothes before they order. This is often used by online eyewear sellers, so that people can try out their new glasses before they order. These options could reduce the number of returned products, as 70% of returns are due to a product not fitting.
All these trends seem to have one thing in common, they improve the online experience. It also seems that we want to make online shopping more personal. The latest trend we like to share with you is the growing importance of personalization. Research shows that personal content produces 42% better results than generic call-to-action content. Try adding a welcome text with the name of a person or give personalized recommendations.
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