Author: Jessica McDonald

E-commerce trends set to boom in 2018

e-commerce 2018 trends

2017 was an amazing year in e-commerce. New technology emerging towards the end of 2016 flourished this year and took stable hold throughout the online retail world, with trendsetters paving the way for the future. Technology and e-commerce are still growing and 2018 is an exciting time for e-commerce.

With e-commerce expected to top out at $2.77 trillion in 2018, competition is becoming fiercer than ever before. Staying on top of e-commerce trends will keep you ahead of the competition, so you can keep, and hopefully increase, your piece of that 2.7 trillion dollar pie.


According to Statista 2017 report, about 39% of sales are via mobile devices and mobile traffic will increase 8 times by 2020. Above everything else, pay attention to this. If your e-commerce website isn’t still mobile responsive, that needs to change.
According to Goldman Sachs, the global revenue share that mobile e-commerce will hold in 2020 will be approximately $626 billion.

All Frooition BigCommerce and Shopify designs are fully responsive to all devices and screen sizes.

Video Content

Video content is a more attractive channel of interaction with customers. For the past couple of years, video has been one of the strongest e-commerce trends. Video helps users to better understand your product, in turn increasing conversion. Facebook already ranks posts containing video higher than other kinds of post, and video appears in 14% of internet search results. For e-commerce specifically, video content is shown to increase sales by 64 to 85%.

Video is such a powerful sales tool, Frooition developers have created an eBay policy compliant method for embedding video into eBay listings.

User-generated content

User-generated content (or UGC) is one of the most valuable pieces of content you have access to. Not only does it give you real feedback on your store and products, but it’s fresh content that you don’t have to create.
You know who loves fresh content? Google’s search algorithms.
In 2018, UGC will be more important than ever before with the rise of multichannel customers. Social sharing of your products makes friends and family of your customers that much more likely to trust your site, and a customer is 97% more likely to purchase after having interacted with UGC.

Want that trend make excellent use of user-generated content. Customer’s own photos wearing the product being shown on the product page helps to reassure first-time buyers about garment quality, and can also help customers to decide what the garment may look like on different body types.

Including instructions on how to submit images ensures that Want That Trend get maximum social media exposure from any user content.

user generated content


Although e-commerce is often discussed under the B2C lens, let’s not neglect the steady growth within the B2B space.

Projected to surpass $1 trillion in total sales by 2020, there’s no denying that B2B e-commerce still represents rocky territory for many brands. As merchants continue to iron out the finer details of pricing schemes, bulk shipping and quoting customers, streamlining the purchasing process remains a top priority for B2B e-commerce brands moving forward.

For small to medium size businesses, BigCommerce sites offer wholesale login functionality. This allows you to show wholesale or trade prices to customers with a login, and regular prices to the public, all from one site!


In e-commerce, multi-channel refers to selling your products not only on your own website but on multiple other sites too – like Amazon, eBay and numerous other emerging or niche platforms like Etsy, Asos – and even Facebook.

As a general rule, it is safe to say that retailers who sell across multiple platforms make more money.There are many reasons for this, and all of the reasons are gaining importance as e-commerce evolves, so the gap between multi-channel and single-channel retailers is only set to widen over the coming year.

Customers have more choice than ever before, so the value of convenience is at an all-time high. Being able to buy multiple items they want in one transaction, on one site, possibly even saving postage costs by doing so, definitely makes customers more likely to buy.

Long established marketplaces like eBay and Amazon have built strong customer trust and loyalty. If the item is available on the site they are loyal to, customers will choose to buy there. Any retailer who is not selling on these large marketplaces is almost certainly losing sales to a competitor who is.

E-commerce will continue to become increasingly multi-channel as customers increasingly expect to find what they want, where they want it.

The multi-channel model for each business is unique, but it needn’t be difficult or complex. Book a talk with a Frooition advisor today to discuss how multi-channel could look for your business.

Christmas Day shopping online

Christmas day shopping online

Figures show that Christmas Day is no longer a retail day of rest, with increasing numbers of people opting out of family festivities in favor of Christmas Day shopping online with their smartphones and tablets.

Christmas Day shopping online is fast becoming “the norm” with research by travel firm Inghams showing that one in five shoppers this year are expecting to start their online bargain hunt on the 25th.

Christmas Day 2017 is set to see a surge in shopping online, according to research from affiliate network affilinet. The study was commissioned in order to learn more about the public’s shopping habits over the festive period. 2,758 UK adults took part in the poll, all of whom were aged 18 or over and celebrate Christmas.

The study revealed that more than half of Britons indulged in Christmas Day shopping online last year. Of the 53% of participants that admitted to shopping online last Christmas Day, the majority (43%) did so on a smartphone, 28% used their iPad or tablet device, 27% used either a laptop/desktop computer and 2% used a TV/games console.

While the majority were keen to spend money they had been gifted, 53% were also driven to shop out of boredom and 21% confessed that they felt ‘unsatisfied with their presents’ and so were shopping to fill gaps in their own wishlists.

61% shopped on Boxing Day, 53% shopped on Christmas Day, yet only 18% shopped on Christmas Eve.

The average spend for Christmas Day shopping online in 2016 was £128.

59% of those who shopped on Christmas eve, Christmas day or Boxing day said that they spent more than they intended. Only 10% bought something that dropped in price due to Boxing day or New Year sales.

Christmas Day Shopping online with Amazon

Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world, released an hour-by-hour breakdown of their Christmas day performance. Its sales on Christmas Day have more than doubled over the past five years and it is anticipating its busiest Christmas Day ever this year.

Amazon find that last-minute panic shoppers go online early in the morning to buy presents, with orders of gift cards peaking at 10:00am.

Sales of e-books, mp3s, apps and TV downloads climb sharply at about midday. Last year more downloads were sold at 12.13pm than at any other time.

This surge is most likely due to people unwrapping their electronics gifts and then wanting music, books and games to load onto them minutes later.

Many of those use the gift cards they were given hours earlier, with a spike in the number of vouchers being redeemed at lunchtime.

Sales dip at 3pm in the UK as the Queen’s televised Christmas speech is broadcast, before DVD sales linked to festive TV shows increase around  7pm.

Last year, 8.52pm was the busiest minute of the shopping day, with people relaxing on the sofa, shopping the early Boxing Day sales.

Christmas day shopping on tablet


  1. Mobile responsive store design is essential to Christmas day sales success
  2. Vouchers are essential. Both BigCommerce and Shopify stores are fully mobile responsive and can sell vouchers.
  3. Sell everywhere. This is a time of high impulse and people are most likely to head to big marketplaces. Sell to eBay, Amazon, Etsy and more at the same time as selling from your own website with a Shopify or BigCommerce store.
  4. Don’t think of it as a dead shopping day. You have seen the stats, people are shopping on the 25th. If you are planning a Boxing Day sale, it may be worth putting that live a day early
  5. This is a chance for you to be in early on an emerging trend. Smartphones and the increasing ease of shopping have enabled Christmas day purchasing to rise significantly, but many retailers are yet to fully embrace the smartphone shopper mentality. Perhaps a mail campaign on Christmas day may be a little overzealous, but a targeted Facebook campaign could catch potential customers who are bored whilst waiting for lunch or relaxing on the sofa in the evening and perhaps even feeling a little less cautious about spending after a few Baileys.

Boosting Sales With Gift Guides

gift guides

Over half of customers start researching Christmas gift ideas before December. These customers want gift guides. For those that haven’t yet started, gift guides are the perfect reminder that Christmas is coming up soon, to get them thinking about everyone they need to buy for, and showcase your products as great gifts.

Anyone who has ever had to shop for Christmas gifts will empathize with the stress of having to find a gift for someone who is difficult to buy for. This is why gift guides are really helpful for customers at Christmas, boosting sales through great user experience. Gift guides are so good for user experience in fact, that Marks & Spencer have updated their homepage to a gift guide format during the Christmas period.


Gift guides do double-duty, providing useful, shareable content for customers, and good long tail keywords for search engines being used by desperate gift-hunters who have no idea what to buy for guitar players, or fishermen, or vegans, or yogis. Making your own lists, you’ll be able to put your products into context, and even include some other stellar ideas that you think your target audience would love from other retailers if you choose to. It can be anything from related books to other brands, but your goal is to provide a genuinely helpful list of gifts that your audience would adore. Including complimentary items can be a great way to partner with other retailers, or to position your products in relation to the latest must-have items from large retailers. For example, you may not sell the latest i phone, but you could partner with a seller who does, and include it on your list alongside cases, headphones and other tech accessories.

For your gift guides you will need…

  • A list of 8-12 items that would be perfect gifts for your target audience (including 1-3 of your products)
  • An image of each item
  • The price of each item
  • A short description of each item and why its great for your audience
  • A link to each item

Choose a specific category

Keep groups simple.Create gift guides that cover a specific topic or group. By organizing your gift guide into groups, you can help your customers find what they’re looking for with ease. For example:

  • Gifts for Mum
  • Gifts for book lovers
  • Gifts for pets
  • Gifts for under $20

Highlight three to seven items

This is just a guideline number. You don’t want to overwhelm your viewers, so don’t try to highlight every product or service that you offer in one guide. You are just looking to inspire enough interest to get them to visit the store. And remember, you can create and send more than one guide during the holiday season. It’s better to send several smaller guides than it is to send one big one.

Give your guide exposure

Your gift guide should live on your website or blog. Then, email the guide to your audience linking back to your blogs of gift guides. Use that same link to promote it on your social media channels. Pinterest is an excellent place to get free exposure for gift guides.

Maximising Christmas Sales – It’s not Too Late!

last minute e-commerce christmas preperation

According to Yes mail Interactive, 69.8% of people starting their Christmas shopping before the 1st December.

With singles day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions coming at us from every angle, it’s impossible to miss that we are already into core Christmas shopping season.

But even if you don’t want to lose all of your profits to massive sale day reductions, this is still prime holiday shopping time, and it’s not too late to start taking action to make sure that you catch as much custom as possible this holiday season.

The last major shopping holiday was 11/11 and Chinese super retailer Alibaba reported US$25.3 billion in gross merchandise sales on this one day. 90% of which was processed on mobile platforms. Take this clear early indication of buyer behavior for this holiday season and check that your e-commerce works well on mobile. Don’t just scroll and view, try to mimic a customer’s behavior; from browsing and looking for delivery info, to completing the checkout and seeing confirmation.

Secure the repeat sale

Focus on your loyal customers. Yes, spend time getting new customers. But don’t forget the customers who already buy from you. It is a lot easier to secure the second sale than the first. Curate your mailing lists and create campaigns to get them to become loyal, repeat customers.

Never lose a cart

With retailers bringing out their strongest offers and biggest discounts during the holiday period, customers are comparison shopping more than ever, and cart abandonment rates peak. Make sure you save as many of these sales as possible by taking a little time to put together a strong cart abandonment strategy. It can be very simple, but at this time of year, setting up even the most simple of reminders can pay serious dividends. Here is our advice on creating a cart abandonment strategy.

Answer Questions

What could any new customer possibly need to know about your products? You need to give answers to someone who may have zero experience with your products or brand. Stepping outside the comfort zone of your buyer personas is not easy, But if you’re not diligent in answering the questions a “newbie” might have, you might just miss the sale. A great way to test this is to show your website to people who have never used it before. Ask them questions about your products, delivery, returns. If they can find the answers easily, you are doing great. If not, look at making that key buyer information easier to find.

Make Partnerships

Partnerships can be important. Do you know complimentary businesses you can consider joint marketing campaigns with? For example; if you sold chocolates, you could create a discount offer for customers of a mail order florist. If they featured that in their newsletter, they would be offering their customers something of value, and you would be reaching their customers for free.

Make the most of social

The majority of e-commerce page views are potential customers, researching their options. The decision to buy is most often made long before the purchase button is clicked. Image lead social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest  By showing your products on social media you can ensure that your products get in front of more customers while they are still in this researching phase.

Make a list

Gift lists are helpful, fun, and interesting for customers. There is always one person you struggle with gift ideas for, and gift guides offer inspiration and easy options for people struggling to find the right gift for that difficult to buy for person. Here is our guide to making gift lists.

Singles Day – What Merchants Outside China Need To Know

singles day

No one is exactly sure how singles day started, but the most popular e-commerce legend is that it emerged from the dorms of Nanjing University in 1993 when four single male students got together to discuss how to make single life more fun. One suggested that because of the ones in the date, November 11 would be a good day on which to organize activities for singles. What started as the tradition of a small group of friends gradually became a tradition for the whole university, and by the early 2000s had spread throughout the country. A kind of anti-valentines day, hard-working young singles could use the day as an excuse to get together and do fun stuff like visit karaoke bars together and eat youtiao – fried dough strips that resemble the number one. All good-hearted, innocent fun.

Then in 2009, Jack Ma decided to populate a lull period in Alibaba’s sales calendar by monetizing singles day; and the rest is now e-commerce history.

Over the next few years, Alibaba, JD, and other Chinese e-commerce players all expanded their one-day discounts, and sales grew exponentially. Singles day has now grown so big, Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day look trivial in comparison. Cyber Monday saw sales reach $3.4 billion in the United States last year, which sounds impressive until you find out that it was less than one-fifth of Alibaba’s sales from Singles Day.

In 2016, retailers on Alibaba’s eCommerce platform took in $17.8 billion in gross sales on singles day. $1 billion worth of orders were placed in the first five minutes of Alibaba’s event.

More items were bought on Alibaba’s platform in that 24 hours than were bought during the entire combined Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in the United States.

Amazon’s total revenue for 2016 was $136 billion. This means that the 24 hour singles day period of sales on Alibaba would account for more than 10 percent of Amazon’s total annual revenue — and that includes the vast array of Amazon’s ecosystem.

Why Is singles day so big?

Part of the reason is just sheer numbers. Of course, the Chinese market is going too far outstrip the UK or even the U.S. market – by 2022, just the middle class of the Chinese market is expected to reach 550 million people, significantly more than the projected 340 million or so people in all of the United States.

Another reason is the diversity of Singles day in terms of products sold. Last year’s singles day broke eight product-sale world records; these included selling 10.1m litres of milk, 3.1m mobile handsets, 1.1m watches, and 643,964 televisions.

It has been suggested by some industry experts that singles day being a celebration day and not just a shopping holiday may also be an encouraging factor some customers.

How has Singles Day affected retailers outside of China?

Last year, Topshop saw its sales surge by over 900% compared to Singles Day in 2014. “These results clearly indicate how impactful this online calendar moment has become, and as a key focus market for the brand we see 11.11 as a great way to raise brand awareness and conversion in China,” says a Topshop spokesperson.

Quintessentially British greengrocer Waitrose has already expanded its product offering from 30 items to more than 50 on Tmall, and its first Singles Day this year will doubtless provide more valuable insight into what tickles the fancy of Chinese consumers.

Singles day outside China 2017

Singles Day gets more attention outside of China every year, and this should be no huge surprise. The U.K.’s own adoption of Black Friday is proof that one country’s shopping holidays can be exported to other countries. Adopting singles day would allow retailers outside of China to add a few more weeks to their holiday shopping season, helping to smooth some of their sales peaks, hire fewer people for a longer time, have some wiggle room to respond to unexpected spikes in demand or supply chain disasters, and still keep Black Friday as a lower-pressure, enjoyable shopping day – and as a result, make more of those all-important sales at a better margin to begin with.