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To Succeed in 2018, E-commerce Entrepreneurs Must Focus on This One Change



This story appears in the December 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

For 2018 trends, we asked an expert on what entrepreneurs can expect this coming year in e-commerce. 

For merchants and retailers, ecommerce automation has started to become a huge deal, and companies leveraging it have a massive competitive advantage. Give it a little bit of time, but it will soon become table stakes. 

You can automate all kinds of different things. Take fraud, for example. You can now set a rule in your ecommerce platform that if an order comes in that is deemed “medium risk,” an email automatically goes to the finance department to check it out. For a high-risk order you can set a rule to automatically cancel the order. It’s like marketing automation, but even more powerful. 

Related: 12 Awesome Tips From Ecommerce Experts

By off-loading decision-making from humans to an automated system, you get the thing we all need in order to be more successful: time. This is what I love about automation — ­­it feeds into how you can focus on the stuff that actually has impact, like creating more personalized experiences for shoppers. We’re seeing a lot of retailers ask, “How do we make sure we are showing relevant products? How do we send the right email at the right time to the right person with the right message?” Increased personalization and the streamlining of that experience is becoming really important. 

We’re also seeing companies move toward mobile payments and wallet apps so people don’t have to type in all their personal information at checkout. We’ve all been in a situation where we try to check out and it’s 17 minutes later and you’re not out yet. You know if it’s a crappy experience; it’s an intuitive thing. And it’s a huge point where people can drop off. 

Related: Side Hustlers: Watch This Before You Launch Your ECommerce Site

Finally, we see that social media is going to continue to be a huge driver of ecommerce. As a result, you’re seeing things like shopping directly on Instagram.

— Hana Abaza, Head of Marketing, Shopify Plus



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