Top Trends of Marketplaces in 2018
Consumer purchasing habits are constantly changing, and to stay up with the developing demand, eCommerce marketplaces are forced to continually shift their models. However, not all disruptions to the system are negative. As long as marketplaces can stay on top of the trends, their websites will thrive. In 2018, the marketplace trends have been technology based, and often led by the eCommerce companies themselves.
Amazon Voice Search
The top trend for Amazon’s marketplace this year has been Voice Search via the Amazon Alexa. It is estimated Amazon has sold over 20 million Alexa models since the device was released in 2015. With just a voice command, Alexa can purchase items off of Amazon. Alexa also allows customers to add items to their cart, search for specific products, and track their orders.
Although Amazon is currently the market leader in voice search and purchases, other companies are trying to get on board. Google has recently announced a similar option through the Google Home.
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Augmented Reality isn’t just for video games. Forward-thinking retailers are using the technology to enhance the shopping experience. Amazon allows customers to use AR to see how items will fit in their home. Additionally, Amazon allows customers to view thousands of items before they purchase them. This is a great option for customers who like seeing items in person, but prefer the convenience of online shopping.
Although AR is mostly used in the online Marketplace, some companies, like Walmart, are also bringing the technology to life in store. Using the Walmart app, customers can have in store displays come to life. This encourages both in store and online purchases.
Mobile checkout has been a standard for years, but in 2018 especially, mobile has reigned supreme. Mobile payment has become a secure, reliable and fast way to purchase products. Over 95% of Americans currently have access to a mobile phone. That’s compared to just 86% of households that have a desktop computer.
Since more people are shopping on mobile, eCommerce companies need to adjust their settings to create an efficient mobile check out system. Marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Walmart feature checkout options for both mobile internet browsers and smartphone apps. By allowing consumers to choose the best check out option for them, these marketplaces are boosting conversion numbers.
Shoppers are becoming more conscious of how their online products affect their community. When customers shop only online, they may strip their local business owners of much needed business. Therefore, customers are trying to shop local while still shopping online.
Some eCommerce Marketplaces, like Etsy, are embracing this change. Etsy allows customer to filter their results by the shop owner’s location. If you want to see only people in your country, city, or state, Etsy allows you to filter the results. Furthermore, Etsy has a section on their website that features local events. Simply type in your city, and Etsy will show you craft fairs and events happening in your town. It will also tell you which Etsy sellers will be attending. This allows customers to shop local, while utilizing the convenience of the web.
Social Shopping is one of the biggest, but most beneficial changes to the online marketplace. Essentially, customers are putting trust in their friends and idols, rather than companies. Therefore, marketers are turning to “social influencers” to sell products. These influencers are people with massive followings online. Typically, they will post about a product on their Instagram or Facebook, with a link to where to buy it.
This trend is especially beneficial for small companies. In general, it isn’t too expensive to have a social influencer run an advertisement. The ad can link directly back to your eCommerce shop on any website. If you take advantage of multi-channel platform listing, you can purchase multiple ads for your different shops.
Social shopping is different from traditional advertising, because it relies on trust. Influencer’s followers trust them to give the best information. Instagram has accepted its role in the retail experience. Earlier this year, the company launched a feature that allows users to “tag” links to shops on their photos. This allows followers to click on the link, and immediately be transported to your eCommerce website.
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