As we enter 2018, an old adage about the winter season might be appropriate. Remember when people used to ask whether winter was going to be a “lion or a lamb?” Or perhaps you heard that winter might “come in like a lion, go out like a lamb?” The core question was how severe winter was going to be, or how calm.
All around the world, businesses and corporations are making that same determination about 2018. Lion or lamb? What should they put in motion based on estimates and statistical trends and – let’s face it – best guesses about 2018? Leaders at every level are organizing their information to plan for the year ahead.
Likely, you and your organization are doing the same thing. As we kick off 2018, consider these 4 trends in eCommerce:
1. eCommerce is Growing. Fast.
This may not be surprising news, but eCommerce grew tremendously in 2017 and is continuing to grow into this year, the next year, and the year after that… and so on. It’s not going away, it’s only getting larger and more complex. Some estimates put eCommerce growth near 23% year over year.
What does this mean for your business? It means that if you’re not already in the eCommerce market, you are losing money. And it means that a vibrant, vital avenue of growth for your business is going untapped.
And if you are in the eCommerce market already? This unprecedented eCommerce growth is a warning not to get comfortable – don’t expect things to stay the same. Don’t fall into a groove, but instead be continually looking for ways to innovate and grow your eCommerce presence.
2. Keep Online Customers Engaged
Creating an engaging shopping experience inside a physical store has proven to be incredibly effective at creating repeat customers with brand loyalty. So as more and more businesses shift into the eCommerce marketplace, there will need to be some focus on creating an engaging experience shopping online. This will mean creating unique and varied methods of customer engagement, and pursuing that customer engagement outside of just purchase points.
3. Email – an Important eCommerce Avenue
Speaking of changes to eCommerce strategies, email is starting to gain traction as an effective way to reach customers in the online marketplace. Email marketing campaigns can be an efficient, effective revenue driver for your business. The best research indicates that email campaigns see “50-100 times the click-through rates” of social media sites. If you’re not already using email as a piece of your eCommerce strategy, consider this an invitation to make 2018 the year of email campaigns!
4. Growing Need for Varied eCommerce Skills
Not surprisingly, the range of skills needed to successfully operate in the eCommerce marketplace is evolving dramatically. Gone are the days when eCommerce experts were a relatively non-diverse group of people. Now, the world of eCommerce is filled with yes, sales people and techies, but also with PR people, graphic designers, HR reps, artists, lawyers, developers, fundraisers, and so much more.
Part of the reason for this evolution is that eCommerce is growing so large that it is beginning to touch more and more departments in each business. But it’s also true that as eCommerce becomes more and more lucrative, the number of people interested in cashing in on this growth will continue to increase.
So if you’re going to expand your eCommerce team, think about expanding your team’s skillset in a different direction than what you already have. You’ll find your team, and your eCommerce presence, will be more robust, well rounded, and more effective because of it.
By no means do these 4 trends make up everything you need to know about eCommerce going into 2018. But hopefully thinking about these 4 things will help you to think more about your eCommerce presence, in general, and help you strategize for 2018.
We’re hoping that this winter is a lamb – mild and peaceful. And we know 2018 is going to be an eCommerce lion!