We asked managers about their eCommerce investments last year and about investment plans for this year.
What are the most important trends, game changers and quick wins.
Download full version from: http://go.divante.co/ecommerce-trends-2018/
Trends we asked about:
Chatbots (Conversational Commerce)
Multimedia Content – better photos/…
General Data Protection Regulation…
Automated Pricing Optimization
Automated Promotion Management
Free Shipping / Returns
In-Store Digital Touchpoints
Same Day Delivery
Order Management Systems
Other AI based tools
Progressive Web App (PWA)
Programmatic Ad Buying
Algorithmic Driven Supply & Demand
Cross Border Commerce
Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin / Ethereum)
Open API Economy
Subscription Business Models
Alexa and other voice interfaces
eCommerce investments in 2017
Cloud Hosting, Content
Marketing and Email
Automation were the
most popular investments
eCommerce investments in 2018
Content Marketing is the
most important area of
interest for eCommerce
Managers right now
“Combining content marketing, big data and
machine learning will help us to understand
what our customers want in more detail. The
automated analysis and interpretation of
content related data will become a real game
Raimund Herms, eCommerce Consultant,
Changes in investment goals
Download full version from
What are the business trends
that are going to revolutionize
the eCommerce market in the
next five years?
Download full version from
eCommerce Trends for 2018
10 20 30
Maturity / ROI
Big Data Chatbots
B2C eCommerce Sales: 10% share
26% (1.66 billion) of people are eShoppers in 2017.
10% of total retail will be online.
eCommerce Growth is largely driven by sales in China (30% growth
China and the US represent about 70% of global eCommerce.
Western Europe has the slowest eCommerce sales growth rate at
Where to invest - The 2017 Global Retail eCommerce Index™ by
AtKearney: Asia is still the leading region for eCommerce sales. India
overtook China in terms of market attractiveness.
eCommerce share of total global retail
B2B eCommerce Sales: 11% share
Forrester expects eCommerce to reach $889 billion and represent 11% of total
B2B sales in the US in 2017.
86% of B2B organizations say customers can make purchases via their website;
only 14% offer no online purchasing options.
92% of B2B organizations rely on email marketing to promote online sales.
Today, 74% of B2B buyers research at least one-half of their work purchases
B2B companies are eager to invest in:
• Automated pricing optimization – 62%
• Personalized recommendations – 56%
• Use of wearable computing in distribution centers
• Sensors in shipments/products – 46%
• Robots/automation in distribution center/supply
chain – 34%
• Shopping cart abandonment analysis – 32%
B2B Digital Transformation Case Study.
From 0 to 100 mln EUR online sale in 5 years
Nearly 75% of B2B buyers say buying from an eCommerce site
is more convenient that buying from a sales rep.
Digital Media: 10% growth
Revenue in the "Digital Media" market amounted to $100 bln in 2017 (10% growth from 2016).
The market's largest segment is "Digital Games”.
The US is the largest consumer of digital media followed by China, Japan, the United Kingdom and South Korea.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) in the "Video-on-Demand" segment amounted to $55 in 2017 (about a 10% increase from the
Top eRetailers: China is growing
eCommerce accounts for the majority of the sales growth for many retailers today.
Omnichannel retailers dominate the world of eRetailing.
Alibaba is often cited as the largest e-retailer in the world but they mostly make
money through sales on their marketplaces. They do however own a stake in
The fastest growing eRetailer from the list is Vipshop (128%) and Suning (71%).
Global Powers of Retailing 2017, Deloitte
2. JD.com (3th last year)
3. Apple (2)
5. Suning (10)
6. Otto (5)
7. Tesco (6)
8. Vipshop Holdings Limited (new)
9. Liberty (8)
10. Macy’s (7).
Chinese electronic commerce
company. It is a major
competitor to the Alibaba-run
Vipshop is a leading online
discount retailer for brands in
One of the largest
non-government retailers in
China. More than 1600
The World's Most Popular
Top 10 eCommerce sites in the world based on traffic:
The MercadoLivre is an Argentine
marketplace. It operates in 19
The biggest marketplace in Poland
and one of the biggest in Europe
Capital Market: Amazon+Whole Foods
Amazon's $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods was the news of the year.
PetSmart acquired Chewy.com for $3.35 billion in the largest eCommerce
acquisition ever (Jet by Walmart last year was 3.3 billion).
SNAP disappointed analysts after its first earnings report in May and many of its
features have been copied by Facebook.
ICO - anyone can participate as an investor online, physical location matters much
less. Projects are already getting crowdfunded.
Blue Apron has struggled since its disappointing IPO in June.
The company is spending more than $400 to recruit each new
Blue Apron stocks
Whole Foods will continue to operate under its own name and open
new stores. Amazon Prime members will get special discounts.
The companies will integrate their offers, POS, delivery, etc.
eCommerce Startups to Watch: AI
EON-ID - RFID as a thread in clothing allows you to trace every piece of clothing, recycle better, build seamless
checkouts, verify authenticity, etc.
Hullabalook - beautiful and playful online shopping experiences that help customers find the products they want to buy
faster and more easily.
Clarifai.com - visual recognition API. Automatically tag, organize, and search visual content with machine learning.
Social Media: Instant video
2+ billion people are active on social media, this will grow to 2.5 billion in 2018.
58% of B2C companies consider investing time and money in social media
valuable whereas the number for B2B companies is 46%.
In 2017 90% of all content shared by users on social media was video.
Advertising revenue for Snapchat is predicted to rise nearly 3000% in the next 3
Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories have led to the popularity of ephemeral
content - it is shared for up to 24 hours and then disappears forever.
On #TransparencyTuesday Everlane uses Snapchat to record a
walkthrough of its business or factories - every single one of which
team members personally visit
Design Trends: Design Systems
Design System is a set of tools to help designers produce a cohesive,
high quality User Experience.
DesignOps is a new role in organizations.
Fonts and colors are taking the place of images - for mobile especially.
Social Media has made micro-interactions extremely popular.
AI for Design is growing – eg.http://www.adobe.com/sensei.html or
Designers with a background in mobile-first are beginning to make
sticky menu items stick to the bottom of the site, as opposed to the
SVG - you can expect this to overtake more traditional file formats
such as PNG, GIF and JPG.
New design tools that support Design Systems and DesignOps:
50% of Europeans are shopping online and 50% of these shoppers engage in
82% of the world’s consumers have already shopped for products abroad but for
the most part, they prefer to buy on global marketplaces with strong reputations.
Marketplaces offer a real opportunity for merchants to boost their bottom lines.
Retailers can get visibility in a foreign market without investing too much time or
The marketplace business model - commission for sales that varies from 2.5% to
15% depending on the number of sales and product categories. Unlike price
comparison sites, marketplaces don’t charge a few cents every time shoppers are
referred to merchant sites and instead charge only when a sale is made.
Marketplaces offer a logical starting point for retailers looking
to expand internationally as they offer low barriers of entry
and less risk than setting up a domestic website for each
Niche marketplaces dominate national markets
● UK - Play.com (Rakuten) and PriceRunner
● Germany - Zalando and Otto
● Poland – Allegro
● Spain - Popular sites in Spain include BuyVIP and
eBay.es. However, Amazon is the most dominant
● France - RueDuCommerce, Cdiscount, Fnac, La
Redoute and PriceMinister are among the leaders in
the space, in addition to Amazon. Nine out of the
top fifteen ecommerce sites visited by French
shoppers are marketplaces
Content Marketing: Video and professionalisation
The line between content marketing and publishing will continue to blur in 2018.
There will be more on-line video broadcasting.
According to Gartner, 20% of business content could be machine-generated by
48% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content distribution channels in
2018, 46% plan to do the same for Facebook video distribution.
HubSpot’s “State of Inbound 2017”
Marketers will release their own, episode-based content.
Content marketers should find ways to optimize content for virtual assistants.
Access over 12,000 cocktail recipes through your Alexa!
Conversational Commerce: Millennials got it
There are 100,000 monthly active bots on Facebook Messenger
The quickest adaptors to chatbots are currently millennials, with nearly 60%
having already used chatbots and 71% saying they would like to try a chatbot
Bet big on voice and messaging. Facebook is to roll out voice-based services in 2018,
Walmart teamed up with Google to leverage Home for voice shopping and Amazon sees
voice as the natural path to follow. All in all, it makes no doubt voice will be one significant
ingredient of your eCommerce recipe in the future. Communication-wise, bots and expected
advancements in messaging experience will have the potential to take your customer
service to another level.
Denys Malengreau, eCommerce Consultant, Brussels, Belgium
Virtual Assistants: Amazon is way ahead, still
Last year we estimated that 2017 would be the year of the bot! We think we got it
In 2017, 35.6 million Americans used a voice-activated assistant device at least
once a month. An increase of 128.9% over the previous year.
Google Home will have just 23.8% of the market.
Where can Google compete with Alexa? Search, DeepMind, Android user-base
Echo speaker will have 70.6% of users.
Where can Microsoft compete With Alexa? Business users
What about Apple? HomeKit connected home solution, apple-tv
The broader category of Virtual Assistants (Alexa, Siri, Google Now, Cortana) –
usage grew 23.1% in 2017. This year, 60.5 million Americans will use them -
nearly 20% of the US population.
LG puts Alexa in the fridge. In the long term, winning the
fridge assistant, will allow you to win the FMCG market for
Delivery: Last Mile costs a lot
Consumers don’t just prefer faster shipping — they demand it. 18 percent of
consumers said the maximum amount of time they were willing to wait was two
Over 60% of clients want same-day delivery.
45% of customers want to buy in-store and have goods delivered to their home or
88% of customers said they’d rather have packages shipped for free than as fast
82% want to be able to buy online and pick up in-store.
Amazon is building a delivery service of its own. In 2017, the company began
running its Amazon Seller Flex in the US. The program has been operating in
India for two years.
There are a number of disruptions on the horizon for
the Last Mile problem (the costs are killing smaller
retailers). UPS is experimenting with delivery bikes,
FedEx is using Walgreens locations as pick-up centers,
and Amazon is starting drone delivery. Amazon started
Amazon Key, which allows delivery drivers to enter a
home while residents are out.
Mobile Commerce: PWA
For many businesses there are more orders from mobile than from the desktop.
No need to convince business decision makers of mobile anymore.
Payments are still a pain in the neck. Google API Payment can be a promising
Google Mobile First Index - Google will create and rank its search listings based
on the mobile version of content.
PWA is the new Mobile Standard - The best features of Mobile Apps (UX) and
Web (Distribution) combined: Offline readiness, Home Screen, No Marketplace
Submission Needed, Linkable and Searchable, Re-engageable (Web-Push).
Alibaba PWA Case Study:
76% higher conversions across browsers;
14% more monthly active users on iOS; 30%
AR > VR
Apple announced the iPhone 8 and iPhone X which provide users with new
augmented reality experiences.
Apple is currently developing its ARKit, an open source platform that allows
developers to build AR products on iPhones and iPads.
Ikea is now rolling out 'Place' - an app for iOS
users to preview furniture in their home before
Intelligence in eCommerce
AI was the hottest topic on eCommerce Conferences this year.
Pure-players are setting new standards for the customer journey by
creating highly curated experiences through the use of AI.
For many retailers, successfully leveraging AI will require partnering
with third parties.
The rise of AI-commerce startups.
AI can be used to provide personalized websites, tailored product
recommendations, more relevant product search results, as well as
immediate and useful customer service.
Retail Apocalypse (for some industries)
Retail Apocalypse started in the US.
More than 6,400 stores are expected to close across the country this year.
Toys 'R' Us has filed for bankruptcy.
More than half of all closures are due to bankruptcy.
Department stores like Macy's, Sears, and JCPenney, and retailers including BCBG,
Abercrombie & Fitch, and Bebe have decided to close dozens of stores.
There is no doubt that eCommerce penetration, especially in certain categories
like electronics, books, fashion, and office supplies, has impacted the number
Experience Stores are successful: examples from Sonos, Bandier, Apple,
Nordstrom and Sneakerboy.
“Stores can’t be just about distributing products, they
need to be about distributing experiences — less
stores, more stories” he continued, citing successful.
That means putting less emphasis on shopping and
more emphasis on entertainment, hospitality and
Doug Stephens, Retail Industry Futurist
Mobile abandonment rates exceed 80% when customers are asked to input their
credit card details.
The payment request API by Google eliminates checkout forms. It allows
merchants to request and accept any payment in a single API call.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are here to stay.
The payment request API by Google
Attackers use machine learning to support their attacks, learning from defensive responses, seeking to disrupt detection models, and
exploiting newly discovered vulnerabilities faster than defenders can patch them.
Serverless apps will enable greater granularity - the apps are vulnerable to attacks exploiting privilege escalation and application
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect on 25th May 2018 will force anyone who holds personal identifiable data to
look closely at their security strategies.
With GDPR looming and the number of data sources ever increasing, 2018 will be the year that retailers rethink their approaches to using data
and step up their efforts to personalise the customer experience.
Microservices approach (Headless eCommerce) is getting more popular while the
biggest eCommerce Players are showing case-studies of migration from
monolithic platforms to microservices – eg. ASOS.
New platforms gaining traction: Pimcore Commerce Framework, Spryker, Sylius
Shopify is aiming for bigger clients – Shopify Premium.
Salesforce and SAP are developing their ecosystem and also growing.
Magento is more and more Enterprise Software (BI, Order Management).
Microservices Architecture for eCommerce
of this report
Stage 1 – we collected Trends inside Divante
Stage 2 - we consulted Trends list with 12 eCommerce Consultants
Stage 3 – we sent survey to eCommerce Managers and Consultants
around the Globe. We sent the survey only to the real practitioners
100+ high quality responses