Evolving trends in the ecommerce sector for Christmas 2018 and beyond

Posted 15 November 2018 15:40 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

As every year goes by, the proportion of Christmas shopping that is done on the high street or in the shopping malls dwindles in favor of ecommerce. Last year, the Office of National Statistics reported that internet shopping accounted for 18 percent of all retail purchases – up from 17 percent in 2016. Undoubtedly, that figure will rise further for 2018, but it is not just the volume of ecommerce sales that is increasing. We are also seeing profound changes in the way in which purchases are made. Here are three key trends that are likely to emerge over the Christmas 2018 period, and as we go into 2019.Digital transactions for digital sales

Advocates of Bitcoin, Ethereum and the rest have been telling us for years that cryptocurrency represents the future in online transactions. With a few exceptions, however, adoption has been slow, and crypto has remained largely a financial market tool for traders and investors as opposed to a currency per se. Change, however, could be coming.

One of the first real indicators that the promised adoption is just around the corner has been the decision by ecommerce platform Shopify to enter into a partnership agreement with Coin Payments that will allow buyers to use more than 300 different digital currencies for their online shopping. It is surely only a matter of time before Amazon follows suit, and mass adoption could swiftly follow.

The mobile revolution

Every ecommerce site is seeing an increase in mobile traffic. But does more traffic equate to more sales? The answer is “sometimes.” Last year, Shopify reported that 64 percent of its sales on Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) were from mobile devices, up 10 percent on the previous year. More broadly, however, data from Adobe found that while mobile accounted for 46 percent of BFCM ecommerce traffic, it only resulted in 30 percent of sales. This suggests that while people use mobile to look, they still revert to desktop to buy.

Shopify are evidently doing something that other vendors are not, and it all comes down to user experience. Shopify’s platform has been built from the ground up to be mobile optimized, and the platform is reaping the benefits. Clearly, mobile is what the people want, and the vendors who can best follow the Shopify design model will be the ones that see the biggest spike in ecommerce sales in this increasingly mobile online world.

The social selling age is here

Facebook has over two billion users and Instagram has now topped a billion. The average digital adult spends more than two hours of every day on social media, and they are not just looking at holiday snaps or exchanging gossip. 18 percent of US consumers say they have bought directly via social media, and with the growing importance of influencers, this is a figure that is set to explode over the coming 12 months. Leveraging the power of social has never been more important, and doubly so for ecommerce businesses.

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