2017 was a massive year for the eCommerce space. As more of the world comes online, the already gigantic marketplace only seems to grow and grow.

eCommerce sales topped almost 1.3 trillion US dollar in 2014, but that number is expected to be somewhere north of 4.5 trillion US dollars by 2021. The eCommerce space is in a state of flux and technologies and trends are ever changing. If you’re a small business looking to get just a tiny slice of that enormous pie, then here are a few trends to keep up with in 2018 that might put you on top.

Get Mobile Friendly or Get Out

It’s 2018. If you you aren’t even thinking about a mobile friendly solution yet then where have you been? Mobile shopping is becoming a larger and larger part of the market – as internet use from mobiles topped that of desktops for the first time last year. All this increased mobile traffic means one thing – more online sales.

Just having a mobile friendly site often isn’t enough. An Opera Mediaworks study showed that 37% of customers prefer shopping on applications than using mobile sites (23%). This is all good news for the army of ecommerce app developers who are licking their chops at the myriad opportunities the market currently presents. Research suggests users find mobile apps to be more convenient and easier to use that their desktop counterparts. Consumer’s affinity to use mobile devices to shop does not stop at app use alone. Improvements and innovations to the user interface of mobile websites, such as AMPs and PWAs, have made online shopping on mobile devices more accessible as well.

Abandoned Carts

Remarketing has been the “achilles heel” of mobile shopping. Sure, patients browse on the go but in the past they often went to their desktops to checkout. Abandoned carts make up almost 70% of all shopping carts on the net. So how do we counter this? Well, new technologies look to reverse this trend in 2018.

Some have turned to “countdown carts” which make users aware of a countdown, this creates user urgency and has been shown to increased sales. Other solutions include facebook messaging apps like ShopMessage which allows the seller to send personalised messages to users who left without making a purchase.

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

Facebook and Google’s advertising often appears to be eerily targeted. Talking about buying a ring? You’ll probably see a personalised ring advert somewhere on your facebook. The algorithms that do this are based around machine learning and artificial intelligence. These solutions provide the opportunity to tailor shopping experiences to improve revenues. In fact research by BCG suggests that eCommerce sites that have already implemented AI solutions see an increased in revenues of between 6 and 10%. Another report by Accenture on its potential growth in the eCommerce space suggested that is could increased profitability by somewhere in the region of 60% by 2035 – a massive boost that early pioneers will revel in.

Read also: PWA will skyrocket in 2018