What is happening in the world of ecommerce? And are there any ecommerce trends you don't want to miss?

Ecommerce trends and the importance of visual effects

Most people can't live without the use of web shops anymore. You can find everything online, whether it's services or products. Quickly order a gift, some nice trousers to wear tomorrow or an expensive camera. Ecommerce trends will keep on developing and customer satisfaction is getting more important.

Online orders placed with smartphone

The way people order is changing ecommerce trends as well. The amount of orders that are being placed using a smartphone keeps on increasing. In 2017 28% of people ordering online placed orders at least once by using their smartphones. This is an increase of 7% compared to 2016 and this growth is likely to continue. For webshops it's important to focus on mobile commerce, therefore a lot of webshops are creating their own app or focusing more on the mobile version of their website. The part of the online expenses that are being made using a smartphone is growing as well. 9% of online expenses were made using a smartphone in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the same period of 2016 this was just 6%. Online bestellingen geplaatst met smartphone | ecommerce trends Image via dutchcowboys

Buying experience

Consumers are getting higher expectations, like 1-day delivery and good customer service. Quick delivery is especially important to young people (30% against only 5% of the elderly), young people don't mind paying extra for same day delivery. This is concluded in a study from Bizrate Insights. If a web shop is known for good experiences and customer satisfaction, customers will more likely return to this shop. Multiple and bigger purchases will be a logical result. The cheapest price is no longer priority for a lot of consumers. Web shops adjust their prices, so the price differences are either not existing or just very small. Prices are becoming a smaller factor where to buy your product. This is why it keeps on getting more and more important to excel in the overall buying experience of consumers. This experience contains usability, delivery, content quality, browsing convenience and web care.

Distinctive web shops

Of course every web shop wants to be different and better than their competitors. This is why they have to keep up with the ecommerce trends and pay attention to the visual strength of the webshop. A simple product image simply does not cut it anymore, because of the high standards consumers have these days. The consumer wants to know exactly what to expect when they order a product. Clear images and descriptions are necessary for customers to actually order something. Disappointment will be prevented when the right information is given. Satisfied customers mean less complaints and or returns. This also means more returning customers and recommendations to friends.

Keep up with 3D ecommerce trends!

Expivi is an online platform that provides online and 3D product visualization tools for everyone to use. By using Expivi and their tools, it is possible to show every product in 3D. This 3D function doesn't only look impressive, but people also spend a lot more time in a webshop. Because of this people are more likely to make a purchase and they get a clearer impression of the products. Every product can be rotated and zoomed in, every little detail is visible. This function works with every browser and device.

Product configurator

But what if products can be adjusted to every need? Customized products are becoming more common. Some products have hundreds of different variations, so one standard picture is not suitable for all these different variations. A company like Expivi offers the ultimate solution, in 3D format. With these ecommerce trends, the online experience gets lifted to a different level. A good example of a web shop that uses this 3D technology is 123maatkussens.nl. With help from Expivi they offer the possibility to customize the pillows on their web shop. Consumers can easily adjust the colors, measurements and fabric and immediately get to see what the pillow will look like. The consumer will know exactly what to expect and therefore won´t return their order as easily. Every color and fabric gets displayed this way. With every change that is made, the price gets adjusted. This way the price changes with every change they make are clear to the consumer.Product configurator | Ecommerce trendsIt´s very easy to twist and turn the pillow around using just your mouse or finger (touchscreen) and look at it from every angle. The data Expivi uses for this is also suitable to use in Augmented Reality. This would mean the pillow can be projected on any chair in any room, using the camera on a smartphone. AR takes a virtual image to reality. Then it would be possible to see straight away if the color of the pillow matches with the rest of the interior.

Applicable technique

This technique would also come in hand for different furniture such as tables, couches, chairs, kitchens and so on. For customers it would be great if they know exactly what they are ordering online. Decorating a room will get a lot easier and more fun if through 3D images (possibly in combination with AR) you can see exactly what the room would look like, which furniture fits where and which colors look best together. Using this 3D technology with buying a car can have a lot of value as well. When a consumer wants to buy a car, a lot of choices have to be made, colors, lining, coating, rims, etcetera. Making these decisions will get a lot easier if you can see the result of your decisions straight away. [caption id="attachment_1396" align="alignnone" width="950"]Product configurator | Ecommerce trends Image via Expivi[/caption] This is very easy to realize with Expivi's visualization tools. This is so easy to use, no knowledge of programming is needed. The Expivi tool simply integrates into any webshop platform, such as Magento and WooCommerce. This is why Expivi makes it possible for every webshop to show the products they sell in 3D. The company is the winner of the Dell For Entrepeneurs Major League StartUp Competition 2017 for a very good reason.

Augmented and Virtual reality

The 3D data (mentioned above) is also usable with AR and VR. Most people already heard about this (or have experienced it), but a lot of people don't know the ways it is already being used. In Japan you can find virtual vending machines in tram stations. There is a virtual poster (supermarket shelf) with products. People can scan these products, like eggs or bread, and when they get home there's a box with the products they ordered waiting for them. This is a simple concept of something that can be expanded.

What are the differences between AR and VR?

Briefly put, the difference between Augmented and Virtual Reality is the real world is still visible when you use AR (for example: the Pokemon Go app). VR shows a completely different world, for example video games where you can walk around in a different area and don't see anything of the real world. But you can use this with more than just games. It's used in advertisements and TV-shows and can be used in web shops as well. A few examples of using AR in ecommerce is when someone can try on a pair of trousers or test different colours of lipgloss online. Or decorate a room by placing furniture, floors, different colors of paint, etc. VR makes it possible to actually walk around in the room you decorated or to see what a car you love looks like on your own driveway. By 'walking around' in a room (such as a kitchen you customized yourself) the feeling of a showroom is recreated. But this showroom is completely adjusted to the wishes of the customer. The virtual options are endless. Regular stores are trying out AR and VR possibilities as well. This means that a customer doesn't even have to physically try on clothes!

Wat is het verschil tussen AR en VR? | Ecommerce trends Image via Richard van Hooijdonk[/caption]

Retail chains experimenting with AR and VR

Globally, a lot of investments are already being made in AR and VR. 63% of customers expect this will effect the online shopping experience in a big way. This may lead to a massive growth for AR and VR within ecommerce. But ecommerce trends such as AR and VR are not just important for online stores. For example, Ikea already experimented with AR. With this technology you immediately get to see what their furniture looks like in your own home.

Grote ketens experimenteren al met AR en VR | Ecommerce trends Image via Digiday

Alibaba (the Chinese ecommerce giant) has been working on a complete VR webshop for a while now. Customers can use VR glasses to walk around in the store and even grab, look at and buy the products. In April 2018 retail chain Zara launched an AR app that was temporarily usable in 120 stores. Customers were able to open the app and aim their smartphone at an AR code to activate an augmented reality fashion show experience, with models posing and strutting in the clothes. This code was to be found in shop windows, mannequins and on the boxes that were used to send online orders.

Retailers, keep up!

This will probably effect the future of web shops, a future where the biggest shops will set the pace. Especially the 3D function will become essential for a lot of web shops. According to Amazon all products will be presented online and in 3D. Trends and technologies will keep on developing, which means the pressure on web shops is on. If companies want to grow, they have to keep up with these trends. If retailers think they can survive without tech, they have to realize this decision could be at the expense of their company. Ecommerce trends will keep on developing, but 3D, VR and AR could clearly play a big part in improving customer experience.