eCommerce Trends 2018 (backed by real data)

As every year, we’ve asked eCommerce Managers from all over the world to take part in our survey.

Why

At this moment, there are a lot of new technologies that could have a massive impact on eCommerce. A large number of them could cause some problems for many specialists who are trying to anticipate which solutions to invest in.

Methodology

The methodology of this report was simple: we collected trends during a big discussion inside Divante, then checked the prepared list with eCommerce consultants. At the very end, we sent our survey to the managers and specialists (closed pool, 100+ people). They told us what kind of eCommerce investments their companies made in 2017, which of them they are planning to invest in in 2018 and which business trends will revolutionize the eCommerce market in the next five years.

eCommerce investments in 2017

The results of our survey clearly show that most specialists have invested in Cloud Hosting (38%), Content Marketing (38%), Email Automation (33%), Business Intelligence (31%) and Marketplaces (31%).

eCommerce investments plans for 2018

Content Marketing is the most important area of interest for eCommerce Managers right now and for 2018. Looks like 2018 will be the year of Intelligent Content Marketing (Content + BI + BigData + Automation).

Our experts feel this same:

“Combining content marketing, big data and machine learning will help us to understand what our customers want in more detail. The automated analysis and interpretation of content related data will become a real game changer.
 — Raimund Herms, eCommerce Consultant, Berlin, Germany

“I believe that inspirational and influential marketing will play a big role in how people search for products to buy. For example, ScreenShop is a new app that will search the items in a photo and tell you where it can be purchased.“
 — 
Shai Atanelov, eCommerce Consultant, Israel

Cloud Hosting dropped from 1st to 8th place. It’s hard to be surprised by it — most companies have already set out to develop cloud computing. At the current state development of cloud technology, hosting is an obligatory thing for every business.

Changes in investment goals

There are many interesting changes in investment goals between 2017 and 2018. We can notice a significant rise in the popularity of PWA (progressive web apps), serverless architecture, same day delivery, and (what nowadays can be quite obvious) — cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

What are the business trends that are going to revolutionize the eCommerce market in the next five years?

Business Intelligence and AI in general will be the ultimate tools for retail in the long run. For the typical retailer, leveraging AI will require a technology partner. This provides a huge opportunity for many new startups that will create, evaluate and develop optimal ways of using AI for retail.

Gameplan for 2018

As also asked eCommerce Managers about the technologies that are bringing the highest ROI.

Having all these data we create a map of trends for 2018.

How to read this?

Do IT — these trends deliver you not only a high ROI but are also crucial solutions from a strategic (long-term) point of view. Managers must adopt these trends right now. We see that this includes: Business Intelligence, Marketplaces and Content Marketing.

Quick Wins — these trends will bring you a ROI quite fast and easily. No-brainers… These are: Omnichannel, Social Commerce, Email Automation and Digital Content.

Game Changers — trends which are not mature yet and you will wait for a ROI, but these trends will transform eCommerce and you should at least get familiar with them. These trends are: Predictive Analytics, Personalization, Chatbots (Conversational Commerce) and Big Data.

What Startups can learn here

If I were a founder of a startup, I would pursue something between Business Intelligence, Marketplaces and Content Marketing. These areas will consume a huge portion of eCommerce investments in the next year. And I could easily imagine a whole bunch of solutions that empower content and marketplaces with some kind of artificial intelligence. You can start, for example, from content automation.

If you want to find out more, just download the eCommerce Trends Report.

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