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Ecommerce Trends to Watch in 2018 Around the World

Worldwide retail e-commerce sales reached $2.290 trillion in 2017, some 10.1% of all retail sales, and are set to hit $4.479 trillion by 2021. While many markets are already well developed, there’s still a huge potential audience to be reached and some exciting up-coming trends will help to reach them.
Customer experience transformation is not just for big players like Amazon. The trend of personalization will be key to winning and keeping customers in the years to come. Businesses that tackle customer experience transformation will win customers’ hearts and minds. Why? With today’s information overload, consumers don’t want to waste their time with irrelevant information. Offering personalized services, products and information will help SMEs stand out from the crowd online and keep customers coming back for more.
By the end of 2017, two billion people used their mobile devices to shop online globally. And while not all online shoppers make purchases with their mobile phone, some 95% of mobile internet users look up local information on their phones prior to calling or visiting a business. According to Google, “some 85% of online shoppers start a purchase on one device and finish on another.” The trend provides a clear message from consumers: 2018 will be about integrating online platforms and devices.
Mobile devices will become even more important for online shopping in 2018. Mobile will reach 70% of e-commerce traffic by the end of 2018 and more and more people will purchase via their mobile devices. According to Goldman Sachs forecasts, mobile commerce revenue in 2018 will equal the total e-commerce revenue for 2013, some $626 billion. Companies like Google, Samsung and Apple are making it even easier with advancements in mobile payment technology which will make mobile checkout the preferred method of payment for many customers. For example, in the U.S., Starbucks already sees 10% of orders via their Mobile Order and Pay app. It turns out that people who purchase on their mobile phones tend to spend twice as much as those who don’t purchase on mobile devices.
More and more people are using voice assistance to search for products online, especially millennials, 40% of whom have already used a voice assistant prior to making a purchase. By 2020, the number will surpass 50%. The voice search trend is a big topic, particularly for search engines and advertisers. How will customers find products when they no longer have to visit a website? Businesses need to think about optimizing their listings for voice search and ensuring their content is relevant to the kind of queries customers might use when searching for their product. With home smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home gaining popularity, it’s likely that in the future a customer’s first point of contact with a brand could be word of mouth – of a very different kind.

Customers want convenience, from choosing their pick-up and delivery points to having their goods delivered next day. The delivery and fulfillment market has always been competitive, but it’s going to heat up even more in 2018. Companies that want to succeed will have to be faster, more efficient and offer more options: Whether it’s time slots for home delivery or in-store pick up, the more the better. To support our customers, we’ll be further expanding our fulfillment as well as pick-up and delivery network in 2018, especially in Southeast Asia. 


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