Owner of Dowson Design Co, Christopher Dowson, explains: "We are consumers by nature. We always need more things... and the internet is full of things. Sites like Deliveroo and Just Eat own no restaurants, but can bring almost any food right to our doors. Amazon owns no shops but we can have almost anything delivered next day. We're only just beginning to see the possibilities of ecommerce now we are moving away from the traditional storefront-on-the-web business model."
As well as getting a kinetic upgrade, email will continue to play a huge role in ecommerce strategy. "It's easy to track, easy to trigger and crucially for 2018 and onwards, much easier to personalise, and I'm not just talking about putting a name in a template," Dowson says. "Your shopping habits will inform the type of emails you receive – tailored to include products you are more likely to buy. Even cart abandonment emails – a godsend for any retailer – will be triggered to get to you at the time you're most likely to be receptive to completing the order. All based on how, when and where you shop."
As always, your customers will be key, and removing waiting times will be a big consideration, especially for the world's biggest brands. "We're already seeing Amazon delivering in hourly slots in key locations," says Dowson. "The culture of instant gratification will continue to permeate retail as an industry, so expect some delivery wars between big retailers – and take advantage of them!"
Apart from email, expect ecommerce in social media to become the norm. As Dowson explains: "Facebook is gradually rolling out the ability to buy items through Messenger, and some traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers are even offering a personal shopper experience through FaceTime and Facebook Live. You can now buy your drinks and have them delivered to your table at certain pub chains, which has knock-on effects you might not have even considered – namely, more time with your friends."