2018 Could Bring Big Changes for Online Merchants
The biggest names in eCommerce solutions tend to keep a tight seal on upcoming features they have planned for their platforms; however, it is possible to, with careful reading and research, glean a decent idea of what is to come and what may change for merchants when new eCommerce platform features arrive this coming year. In many cases, predicting the flow of the industry comes down to watching popular customer trends. After all, where the customers go, the money follows, and the industry will undeniably adapt to those trends. With this fact in mind, many entrepreneurs with both budding and established stores online find themselves looking forward hoping to be ready in advance for new eCommerce platform features that could boost their sales drastically. In this blog, we will explore some of the building trends that are likely to influence the major eCommerce platforms this coming year.
Mobile Is the Future
If there is one undeniable trend that seems incredibly unlikely to change, it’s that mobile is the future of eCommerce. Mobile shopping has been increasing by leaps and bounds in recent years. Unsurprisingly, the National Retail Federation devoted a solid percentage of their 2018 predictions piece this year to how eCommerce, and mobile technology in particular, will affect the world of retail this year. Every major player has their eyes on mobile, and eCommerce merchants should, as well.
It seems almost unthinkable that 2018 will pass without a slew of new eCommerce platform features centered around facilitating mobile selling and mobile shopping, especially with major tech corporations priming the market to herald in a new age of online shopping. Apple’s new iPhone X offers greatly expanded mobile payment features through its ApplePay tool, which will now include facial recognition security features and improved online payment access. ApplePay was previously very popular in brick-and-mortar retailers, but now seems perched to challenge the major online payment options like PayPal and AmazonPayments. What’s more, ApplePay boasts possibly the fastest checkout available, with users now being able to simply show their face to their front-facing camera to instantly make a purchase.
ApplePay isn’t the only tool that is bringing changes to the mobile environment. PayPal’s own mobile payments and cash transfers app, Venmo, has seen considerable updates in recent months, and even Bitcoin’s community, traditionally devoted to security and privacy regardless to the convenience cost, has brought forward more convenient payment options, some of which are focused on mobile shopping. One of the biggest Bitcoin brokerages, CoinBase, has continually streamlined the mobile coin buying, selling, and sending processes so that even cryptocurrency aficionados can now enjoy reasonably convenient mobile shopping.
Mobile shopping seems to be the safest bet for growth in 2018, both in terms of eCommerce platform features and in customer shopping trends. ECommerce merchants should plan accordingly and make the necessary investments to ensure quality shopping, checkout, and product tracking features for mobile.
Facial Recognition as an ECommerce Platform Feature
Above and beyond ApplePay’s built-in facial recognition feature, the new iPhone X includes an entire facial recognition API, which is likely to be pounced on by eCommerce plugin developers, if not by major platforms themselves. The potential, at least for companies interested in capitalizing on the iPhone X’s advanced features, is to have simple login and checkout processes based entirely off of facial recognition on mobile devices. Using the iPhone’s new API, the potential exists that safe, secure, and private facial recognition tech could help make both shopping and buying easier for mobile shoppers.
While facial recognition technology has not caught on in a major way on PCs, the potential exists for non-mobile applications as well, especially if seamless, secure, and cross-platform tools are developed in the coming year. For now, though, eCommerce companies interested in providing facial recognition features in 2018 should turn their focus to shoppers on the iPhone X.
Expanded Enterprise Tools
One of the greatest changes sweeping the eCommerce world as 2017 comes to a close is the mass shift in approach for big box, brick-and-mortar companies building stores online. Gone is the age of clunky websites that are blown out of the water by Amazon with ease. In its place are streamlined, newly-launched websites and apps ready to challenge Amazon’s dominance of enterprise eCommerce.
ECommerce platforms have largely recognized this shift, with some having anticipated the change by adding eCommerce platform features geared towards enterprise-level business even before this year. Going into 2018, however, it’s very likely that major platforms are going to greatly expand the options they have available for enterprise solutions. Notably, Magento’s enterprise cloud product has made major strides in both functionality and feature offerings in the past year, making them a particularly interesting contender for 2018 dominance of the enterprise sphere.
If your business is an established brick-and-mortar success or a major enterprise presence in eCommerce already using older tools, 2018 could prove to be the year to make a major move into eCommerce, as nearly every major platform seems to have their sights set on winning over bigger business clients this year.
No matter what features end up seeing the light of day in 2018, one thing is sure: eCommerce is growing at a break-neck pace. Competition is fierce, and foresight can make the difference between a bad year for sales and the busiest business year yet for your business. With nearly every eCommerce company, let alone eCommerce platform, expanding so rapidly, the best thing companies can do is invest in their future. Be prepared, watch the horizon closely, and don’t be afraid to prep for a feature that customer trends are pointing towards.
Here at 1Digital Agency of Philadelphia, we know how eCommerce evolution works. We’ve been a major force in eCommerce for years, and we’ve devoted our company 100% to the understanding and mastery of all things eCommerce. We want to help you not just predict the future but effectively prepare for it as well. Reach out to us today at email@example.com today to see how our brilliant professionals can ensure your business is ready for everything 2018 has in store.
- Dan Kogan
- December 26, 2017