It's no secret that onmi-channel retail is no longer the future...its the now. As online-only giants like Amazon continue to guzzle up the business of brick-and-mortar stores, it's becoming increasingly obvious that retailers have to keep up, or else fall victim to the retail apocalypse as so many others did in 2017.
On February 1st, after 47 years being known as Wal-Mart Stores, the world's largest retailer will officially change it's name to Walmart Inc.
The year of 2017 was a big one for e-commerce. From Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods, to the partnership of Google Home and Walmart to ship items to people via Google Express, to Everlane's decision to open its first brick-and-mortar store, e-commerce has found itself in the midst of some of the newest technology and biggest business, and we don't expect this theme to end in 2018. From the advances in artificial intelligence, to augmented reality, e-commerce is utilizing and being influenced by the most cutting edge technology. So, without further adieu, here are the top trends we expect to see in e-commerce this coming year.
If you've ever had a full time, nine to five office job, you have probably fantasized about skipping the morning commute, staying in your pajamas till noon, and working from home. Sounds nice, right? Well, the growth of technology in the past decade has made this fantasy a reality for an increasingly large number of people. In fact, according to the Work Foundation, 30% of office workers worked from any location for at least part of their working week in 2016, and this figure is expected to rise to 70% in the next few years.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know that net neutrality died last week, and you probably have some sort of opinion about it. Between those celebrating the Federal Communications Commission's vote, and those who believe this marks the end to free speech and the internet as we know it, everyone seems to have a strong opinion about the results of this vote. While it's easy to get caught up in your own opinion, and the heated debates seem to only enforce people's pre-established beliefs, I'm going to take this time to do a comprehensive overview of both sides to the situation, and what this vote really means for the future of the internet.
In 1843, Ada Lovelace published a translation of an article on the Analytical Engine, to which she added extensive notes which described how codes could be created for the device to handle letters and symbols along with numbers. She also theorized a method for the engine to repeat a series of instructions, a process known as looping that computer programs use today. She introduced many computer concepts a century before the development of the modern computer, and though her article got little attention while she was alive, Ada Lovelace is now considered to be the first computer programmer. That’s right, the first programmer was a woman!
The Holiday Season is rapidly approaching, which means it's time for the US to kick it into high gear and do what we do best: shop! With the gross sales and number of Black Friday shoppers increasing steadily every year, we are poised to have one of the biggest Black Fridays on record. The holiday promotions continue to start earlier and earlier each year, which means retailers need to do everything possible to stay ahead of the competition and make the most of this season.
Even with the vast growth of online retail in the past decade, one of the biggest barriers that online merchants face today is low conversion rates. The ease of online shopping is what has made e-commerce so successful, but it also breeds an environment in which customers feel less pressure to buy. While conversion for brick and mortar shops average around 30%, online conversion rates of 5% or above are considered extremely good, as most online merchants average around 3%.
Black Friday is just around the corner, and as a retailer you know that this is the time to start kicking it into high gear. You probably wont be surprised to learn that mobile sales are expected to be be a huge part of Black Friday this year, so if you are a mobile retailer...be prepared! Being mobile already gives you a leg up, because most customers would rather stay home on their phone or laptop than battle the in-store crowds. This gives you the chance to launch campaigns that catch the eye of new users, which paired with a compelling mobile experience, can help build relationships with new users which will increase sales way beyond the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.
The value of one bitcoin recently hit a record high of 5,500 U.S. dollars, a staggering rise of over 200% in value this year alone. So, if you haven’t been paying attention to the rise of cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology, it’s time to take notice.