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The 10 Most Important Ecommerce Trends in 2018

The 10 Most Important Ecommerce Trends in 2018

Ecommerce trends come and go just like every other kind of fashion. One year, its PPC advertising that'll change the industry, the next year it's A.I. In this article, you'll see a wide range of things that actually will shake up the industry a little. You'll also see how you can use and implement them in your store.

While Ecommerce currently only accounts for about 10% of total US sales, this is no reason to mistake it for a small player. The global expansion rate of Ecommerce is estimated at 20% per annum. There is no sign of this slowing, as a digitally-immersed generation turns into a salaried population with money to spend online. Older generations are also more at ease with the idea of handing over their money via on the screen rather than via a human hand.

ecommerce trends growth

Source: this article, you will learn:

  • 10 most important Ecommerce trends to stay abreast of as a business owner
  • how technological development has impacted the Ecommerce marketplace
  • what these trends mean for marketing your Ecommerce business

Technological developments in Ecommerce have placed the retailer in a position of near omniscience, allowing for a perspective on consumer habits that was simply not possible before. It is now possible to provide customers with highly personalised products and services, while at the same time knowing more about the way in which they spend their money. Furthermore, risks such as having stagnant stock are decreasing with the development of on-demand services. Ok. Enough shop talk! Let’s get to it. As promised, here are the 10 most important Ecommerce Trends and what they mean for your business.1. Things just got personal.By collecting customer data, you can perform retail wizardry. This ensures that customers see only items that have a high potential for conversion into sales. Everybody wins. No more aimless wandering for users, and far less frustrating window shopping for the retailer. Personalisation may have once been the enigmatic pot of gold at the end of the retail rainbow, for both customers and store owners alike. See, how Miokana does it, for example.Now an important Ecommerce trend, personalisation allows you to cater a digital retail experience to the precise needs of your customers. In Shoplo’s new ebook, 10 Trends in E-commerce for 2018, there’s the example of the online sock store, Many Mornings.

Want to know more trends for 2018? Download the free ebook:

10 ecommerce trends for 2018 (read now)

This forward-thinking company uses the trend of personalisation to full effect, placing the user in the appropriate language and currency according to IP address. By doing so, they take the “potential” out of “potential customer,” removing many of the user’s obstacles to conversion.It’s not only small businesses that are embracing the trend of personalisation. Major retailers like Walmart and Nordstrom are using personalisation to change the face of customer engagement.

ecommerce trends personalisation

Source: Print-on-demand (POD).Print-on-demand is the retail equivalent of not counting your chickens before they hatch. Originating in the publishing industry, this methodology allows the creation of goods to come after they have been ordered by the customer. As a cherry on top, the shop owner is able to step back from production and fulfillment and focus on design or creation. The result for retailers of all shapes and sizes is that there is no longer a need for stagnant inventory to grow stale on dusty shelves. This eliminates large upfront costs that may have been previously prohibitive for retailers. It’s truly as simple as a, b, c:

  • A is for as needed. You only create what has already been ordered.
  • B is for branding options. Elevate your brand through personalised branding options that come at a low risk to you.
  • C is for customer satisfaction. They get the exact product they ordered in a few clicks.

Specialist partners take care of all the administrative headaches, using well-established manufacturing, print, and delivery stakeholders. This can now be accessed “as a service” by the merchant, meaning the Ecommerce store can focus on their catalogue and their customers.Ecommerce POD has opened up the market for SMEs, but also for creatives such as artists and designers. The nuts and bolts can be outsourced, minimising risk and maximising flexibility. Some of our favourite POD suppliers include Gearlaunch, RedBubble and PrintAura.3. The Mobile-First Index - get your site moving.2018 has ushered in a major shift for Ecommerce retailers - Google’s mobile-first indexing. If you have not yet configured your website to meet this standard, listen carefully because this is not something you can choose to ignore. Put simply, the mobile-first index will rank content based on the mobile version of your website. Google has had a soft roll out of mobile-first indexing this year and has begun to extend this across the web. Whilst website indexing was previously based on the desktop version of your website, the trend is to move further towards mobile. Here’s why:

ecommerce trends mobile

It’s not hard to see the implication this has across the board for all digital professionals. If you want your store to stay relevant and discoverable, make sure that you engage your developers and content creators to ensure that you conform with the future of indexing. A key factor when it comes to adapting to this trend is prioritising fast-loading content. Google has warned against slow-loading content no matter what format you are looking at, so adapting to this should be part of your digital operations anyway. It’s necessary work that needs to be done to ensure the marketability of your business.4. Social Media AdvertisingFor the demographic between the ages of 18 and 35, social media has been, and continues to be, the main research tool for shopping. This has an intrinsic bearing on the world of Ecommerce. Social media is the most refined marketing tool in history, allowing companies to target their niche in unprecedented ways. If you can influence potential customers at this phase of the buying process, you are on your way to securing business. While the trend of using social media for Ecommerce is not new, there are important changes that must be responded to accordingly.

  • Facebook, in particular, has gone from a place to research what to buy, to a place to do the actual buying. It is the marketplace, and not just the brochure.
  • For a variety of complex reasons beyond the scope of this article, Facebook has made changes to its algorithm, sending many entrepreneurs into a frenzy. Quite simply, it is now more difficult to get your product in front of the right niche audience.
  • Ad saturation on Facebook has pushed a lot of users in search of alternatives to other platforms such as Instagram.

For the foreseeable future, social media will continue to be central to Ecommerce marketing. But you have to stay active in your relationship to it. Trends are shifting constantly and staying abreast of them can be the difference between life and death for your business.5. The search is on for SEO trendsSearch Engine Optimisation (SEO) is by no means a new trend. Its contemporary use, however, might be. The reality is that within a year or two - or maybe even a few months - current Ecommerce SEO strategies may be rendered archaic.Whilst the best practices for Ecommerce SEO are evolving all the time, here are some principles to follow that should stand you in good stead in the current landscape:

  • Google is not the only one at the party. If you are used to optimising specifically for Google, it may be time to broaden your horizons. Search engines all work slightly differently, depending on your channel of choice - Etsy, Amazon, eBay. Take them into account in your SEO strategy. If you have an app for iOS or Android, look into App Store Optimisation (ASO).
  • Technical site optimisation is paramount. In a world of marginal gains, your site must be set up to the optimal standards. This includes HTTPS security, site speed, and as mentioned you need to focus on mobile optimisation. Combine this with readable categorisation, logical URLs, Alt tags, image compression, and in-depth natural content.

Caitlin Draper-Wheeler wrote a very useful post on 10 SEO essentials for your online store, in which she mentions loads of great tips including long-tail keywords, keyword cannibalisation, canonicals, and unique product descriptions.6. “Alexa, how is voice going to drive e-Commerce trends?”In what may have once seemed merely a science fiction trope, conversing with devices with no human on the other end is more commonplace. In their Future of Retail report, Walker Sands explains that 24% of U.S. adults own a voice-controlled device, and this number is only set to increase. In fact, they predict that these will soon be household staples. Remember the landline? Well, having a voice-activated device might become as commonplace in the future as the landline was in the past.

ecommerce trends voice

Source: Walker Sands What does this mean for eCommerce? Most importantly, it has sensory implications for the way consumers do their shopping. Since the dawn of the industrialised world, retail has been a visual activity. You like what you see? Buy it, if you have the money. If you don’t, you’re “just browsing.” This is set to change. Purchasing will become more of a voice-driven action. You like what you hear? You tell your device. Or just keep listening? Of course, this presents a major challenge for retailers. How are you going to configure your business to take this important Ecommerce trend into account?7. Make sure your Artificial IQ is up!If discussions about artificial intelligence (AI) previously felt theoretical, this is no longer the case. The AI era has dawned, and with it, the implications that it has on all areas of our lives. Ecommerce is by no means immune to this emergency.Hana Abaza, Head of Marketing at Shopify Plus has seen firsthand the worth of automated systems in Ecommerce. “By off-loading decision-making from humans to an automated system,” he writes, “you get the thing we all need in order to be more successful: time.”One example where AI is shaking up things is in the HR and customer service industry, where ChatBots and AI are being used together to teach, educate, recruit and even onboard people.In addition to this, the Ecommerce industry is characterised by its global reach. Whilst this opens up a world of potential customers that may not have been available before, it also means that engaging with customers is more challenging. That’s a lot of time zones and languages to deal with! Luckily, friendly robots will help with this astronomical task, and they get more intelligent in their responses by the day.AI can be implemented in Ecommerce in the following ways:

  • Customer service from chatbots at any time of the day or night.
  • Data analysis of reams of customer data that would take humans aeons to decipher.
  • Cataloguing and inventory, saving you time and keeping you organised.
  • Revenue predictions, allowing you to stay on top of your business model and its effectiveness without having to spend too much time on it.
  • Fraud prevention through alerts that can be sent directly to you when suspicious behaviour is detected.
ecommerce trends ai

Source: meme8. Everywhere at once with multi-channel selling.In days gone by, you had one avenue of selling your wares: the brick and mortar store. As Ecommerce explodes, the options for selling your products have multiplied. It is becoming a prerequisite for Ecommerce entrepreneurs to embrace multi-channel selling to optimise the reach of their products and to make their businesses more profitable. But it is not all puppies and unicorns. Multi-channel selling comes with its cons. While your brand visibility is increased, engaging with multiple platforms throws up two major problems for retailers that you need to find urgent solutions to:

  • Brand consistency: How do you maintain brand consistency over multiple platforms? Your customers are more likely to associate your product with the platform they bought it from than the brand itself. How can you make an impression with your brand?
  • Inventory challenges: This is a big one. If you have your products spread over multiple channels, how do you keep track of what needs to go where, to whom, and when? But don’t fret. You don’t have to tackle this alone. Technology to answer this industry call is rapidly evolving. (Look back at point 7. Automation will become your best friend.

9. Curiosity killed the conversion rate.It’s a problem as old as commerce itself. How do you turn curious eyes into pocket-reaching hands? In the world of Ecommerce however, the issue of converting potential customers into paying ones is even more challenging. It’s just that much easier to hop from one site to the next, without the commitment to purchasing. It’s no wonder then that an important Ecommerce trend is Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) - ways to turns those casual clicks into purchases. As an Ecommerce retailer, it may alarm you to experience very low conversion rates. According to a study done by Statista based on the last quarter of 2017, only 3.26% of Ecommerce website visits were converted into purchases.

ecommerce trends sales

Source: StatistaSo what’s to be done? Fortunately, there are tried-and-tested ways to improve conversion rates. Here are some tips for greater rates:

  • Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. View your website from their perspective and highlight where the obstacles are to conversion. If you cannot make a purchase with the ease of a few clicks, bridge the gaps.
  • Do user research on your current customers. Analyse who is buying what, and then look to understand the why.
  • Run A/B tests. Often. Test every website iteration against an alternative, and measure.
  • Ensure your customers feel safe about providing their credit card details. Multiple avenues for business, all conducted safely and securely.

10. The bit about coins.

It was just a matter of time before the digital marketplace adopted its own currency. Just the mention of blockchain, bitcoin, and cryptocurrency might have you fatigued. There are so many contrasting opinions about how and when (and if) to adopt a digital currency that it can be baffling to know what course to follow in your Ecommerce business.What is undeniable is that all the major players have embraced digital currency to some extent. From Amazon to Etsy, the future is digital. Now, this may feel uncomfortable - but it’s a paradigm shift. It is supposed to feel that way. The facts are, as they say, the facts: Bitcoin reported a growth rate of 328% in 2017. Despite ups and downs, it is here to stay for the long haul.

ecommerce trends bitcoin

Source: BitpayAs the digital world becomes more widely accepted as a hub for every kind of commerce, it follows that digital currency becomes the tender of a global village. Blockchain technology will facilitate huge changes over the coming decades. It’s only just getting started.

The last word, for now.

The good news for you is that current Ecommerce trends will serve to improve your bottom line as a retailer if you’re willing to adapt and adopt. For the first time ever, you are privy to detailed knowledge about customers and their spending habits that were never available before. The avenues for selling products online have increased exponentially, and upfront costs have for the most part decreased substantially. The process of building an inventory and operating the supply chain has become easier, and more accessible. Technological advancements such as print-on-demand and drop-shipping can give you back time, and the use of digital marketing extends reach to a global audience. The challenge is that Ecommerce trends change constantly. As an entrepreneur, it is important that to stay keyed into the latest developments and how to circumnavigate obstacles. Ultimately, the same golden rules of entrepreneurship still apply - offer remarkable products, build a strong brand, and maintain a customer-centric view. Knowing technical, economic, and social trends in the Ecommerce landscape will help you apply these golden rules in the most effective way.What are some of the trends that you're looking forward to seeing this year? Let us know in the comments!

Phil Forbes
Phil Forbes
Gender shopping behaviour differences

Gender shopping behaviour differences

Despite the fact that relying on gender stereotypes won’t get your business anywhere, we see many differences in the way each gender does their shopping.

Keep in mind which gender you are targeting and respond to male and female shopping habits differently. Consider these differences and use it in your email marketing to sell more effectively.

Women spend more on online shopping than men

Females shop online more frequently than men and they tend to spend more money. Searches aren’t limited to only the thing that initially interested them and they click through eCommerce websites 30% more than men. That makes women a great target of your email marketing campaigns. Women are more spontaneous in nature and it’s reflected in their online purchases.Online shopping is, for women, an enjoyable leisurely activity. They tend to check their emails in the evenings or during the weekends when they have free time. This is valuable information, useful when choosing the appropriate time to send your campaigns.At FreshMail, we found out that email opens among women subscribers peak between 6pm and 9pm. It’s worth checking if the same pattern will repeat among your female subscribers.

Men are more active in m-shopping

We could say that men adopt new technologies faster. The same trend is visible in m-shopping. The best way to appeal to gender needs as a retailer, is to offer a seamless transition between email and your store on mobile. This means that not only should your website be adapted to mobile customers but also your email campaigns should be responsive.In this infographic, you can find out how to design a responsive email.

Men do multi-device shopping slightly more often than women

Desktop purchases still remain central in eCommerce, however, the multidevice approach to online shopping is growing. From both genders, men are slightly more comfortable using a range of devices when purchasing online.When you think of a smartphone more of an instrument for getting to the point of buying a product, rather than a tool for the actual purchase, you can use your email marketing campaigns and plant a seed of future purchases in your customer's mind.If your subscriber converts from mobile to your e-store but then leaves and decides to finish the purchase later, you’re putting yourself at risk of a growing number of abandoned carts.

Want to know more about increasing your ecommerce conversions?

Read the article:

25 Ways to Optimize your Ecommerce Conversion Rate (read now.)

Making the shopping cart and checkout experience as convenient as possible to avoid this, may not be enough. Use automated emails strategies for dealing with abandoned carts.Don’t wait any more than 24 hours before you send abandoned cart reminder out. You don’t want your customer to forget the items they were willing to purchase. If you won’t get a response from your first autoresponder, don’t hesitate to send your final offer after a few days. Include a discount or a free delivery and direct link to the abandoned cart. 28% of both genders expect a cart reminder email to come with a discount code because the main reason they left without making a purchase is that the final price scared them away.

Dollar Shave Club, email subject line: Where did you go

Women are hunting for a prize

Limited promotions increase the frequency of unplanned, spontaneous decisions to buy online, which is quite common amongst ladies. Women are more into seasonal sales than men, special deals and final cut prices. They are savvy savers and they see online shopping as a hunting ritual where they can expect a prize. The main reason they like online shopping so much is the promise of finding better deals and lower prices than in-store. This is also the reason they sign up to receive marketing emails so they can be the first to learn about special offers. This insight is often used by online retailers in their opt-ins.

Tommy Hilfiger's newsletter sign-up

With all eyes on a prize, women tend to be more comprehensive and take both subjective information (like customer reviews) and objective information (like product features) into consideration when shopping online. Customer reviews and testimonials help to answer questions and make new female customers more confident about their purchases. Here’s an example of a Bottica email It’s a smart move to show customer reviews not only on a website but also in an email marketing campaign.

Women return products more often

Girls purchase more, but they also return products more often than men. That is why it is important to have your return policy in a prominent position on your website. It’s also good practice to always leave a spot for it in your newsletter footer.Your female subscribers will be more willing to use your offer if they have a returns policy in mind.

Both men and women use social media when shopping online

Social media is flourishing nowadays and it has a strong position in an eCommerce marketing strategy. The nation of social shoppers is growing. 2.5 million Brits say they are buying daily from a mobile device with the biggest mobile shoppers also being heavy social media users. Their favourite platforms are Snapchat (64% have bought on mobile) and Instagram (56% have bought on mobile).Be present on the most engaging social media platforms and integrate your email marketing efforts with your social media strategy. You will build an engaged and loyal community of online customers and brand lovers. Encouraging your social media followers to join your email list can convert your casual buyers into customers. Make your strategy work both ways by implementing social media buttons into your newsletter and showcasing user-generated content from social media in your marketing emails.

Colours have a notable impact on both genders

The majority of consumers report that colour is the most important factor that influences their selection of everyday items. This is why you have to be careful to choose colours for your newsletters that match your message.

  • Blue is the most common favourite colour amongst both men and women.
  • Males prefer brighter colours, while women prefer softer tones.
  • 20% of women named brown as their least favourite colour.

The colour also plays a role in your CTA button. This small survey conducted by ReallyGoodEmails will help you choose the appropriate one for your next campaign.

Men tend to react better to recommendations based on their past purchases

When you’re utilising email marketing automation, CRM systems and analytics, you’ll have the data you need at your fingertips to target your subscribers with offers based on their previous purchases or behaviour shown on your site.You can Up-sell and increase revenue by sending to your customer's recommendations of products based on their real interests. Men tend to react stronger on such offers.Look at the recommendation system on Amazon. It provides the best example of how purchase history and behavioural data makes it possible to customise your page and also your marketing emails. You can do the same using dynamic content and adapt your regular emails to various recipients. All of them will have part of the email which is the same for all subscribers, but dynamic content will let you generate a part of a message that changes depending on the products you want to recommend to a certain subscriber.

Women want to feel special

Women rely on their emotion stronger than men. That’s why they want to know how your products and your brand, in general, are going to make them feel. To fit into female shoppers’ expectations, you should put their needs first, offer help and then present suitable products.Women demand authenticity so the brands that want to engage with them must speak genuinely. A great example of a marketing campaign directed at women is Luvs Sanitize commercial: In the video, you can see that motherhood is tough, but the first kid certainly makes you an expert. Every Mum watching this spot can say: “Yeah, that’s so me!” - and this is how an emotional connection with a brand is made.Your female-targeted email campaigns should not be wrapped around the product features but aim to sell an emotion.

Email TopShop, source Pinterest

Maria Wachal
Maria Wachal
10 Of The Best WooCommerce Plugins For WordPress

10 Of The Best WooCommerce Plugins For WordPress

The best WooCommerce plugins are some of the most simple! From Currency Conversion to real addresses, we walk you through 9 of the best WooCommerce plugins!

Booster for WooCommerce (free)

First things first, everyone needs this. The go-to beginner's bundle, ‘The Poor Guys Swiss Knife’ was great but it’s now been abandoned by its developers.  In its place, we recommend Booster. It’s the basic bundle of apps and plugins that take care of all the simple features that you need for your eCommerce store to function. Without a doubt, one of the best WooCommerce Plugins.

Beeketing Marketing Automation (free)

Marketing is one of the first things that an online seller usually struggles with. And by marketing, I don't mean putting a link to your store on Facebook. I mean honest, well-planned and solid marketing that really makes a difference.Beeketing is a company that has made a plugin based on exactly that - what WooCommerce sellers want.It takes care of:

  • Up-selling & Cross-selling
  • Discounts & Free shipping
  • Personalization & recommended products
  • Social proof
  • way-way more - too much to be listed in dot-point.

Suffice to say, that this plugin removes a whole lot of pain that you'd encounter when taking a traditional approach to marketing.If you're new to the world of online marketing, then this is an app that can...well...take care of it all!

WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing & Discounts ($29)

The Dynamic Pricing plug-in is nearly endless in its possibilities. You know when you plan to buy 1 thing online but you end up buying 3 or 4 extra things because they were cheap? Yeah, this is the app that is responsible for that! 15% off if you spend over $85. Buy 1 get one free. Used in conjunction with social media campaigns to boost customer loyalty, this Plug-in can be the workhorse of your backend.

WooCommerce Currency Switcher (free)

Help take your brand worldwide by showing your prices in the currency that your customer wants to see.  This plugin allows your customers to switch to different currencies and get their rates converted in the real time. The currency can also be changed automatically according to the user's geographic location. Another widget that adds value to your customers by giving them more custom information.

Encourage a sale by offering payment in the customer’s currency.

WooCommerce RRP (free)

Want to show your customers how much they’re saving if they buy now?  To do that, you need to show them your RRP. This app allows you to write text in front of the current price on a product page. A very simple yet effective app to increase conversion!

A simple, yet effective way to encourage a conversion.

Want to know more about increasing your ecommerce conversions?

Read the article:25 Ways to Optimize your Ecommerce Conversion Rate (read now.)

Stripe for WooCommerce (free)

Stripe allows you to take credit card payments on your site without having sensitive credit card information hit your servers. Until now, it’s been overly complex and aimed at developed. But thanks to this app, you’re now able to use sensitive credit card payment information as take a payment- without every being at risk yourself. A must have if you plan on accepting Credit Card payments.

WooCommerce Germanized (free)

Germany can be a tough nut to crack.  With some tight eCommerce regulations, making sure that your store is set up correctly is essential for getting your brand in Deutschland.  Germanized does exactly that.  It is regularly updated by German developers who are on top of all things related to WooCommerce and German eCommerce.  This app takes care of your checkout layout, fees, invoices, terms and conditions, the works!

Take the trouble out of selling in Germany.  Wundabar!

WooCommerce MailChimp (free)

We all know the importance of an email campaign. Make that important process much easier by using the Woocommerce Mailchimp app.  Automatically subscribe your buyers to a list based on their checkout parameters or manually allocate them to a new list.  This app takes care of all the legal ‘opt-in’ requirements, leaving you with more time to write a killer email campaign. Simply an essential plugin to streamline efficiency.One other topic that's hard to pass up talking about is website speed. Wordpress is known for being notoriously slow.But with a few tricks and maybe a plugin or two, your Wordpress blog can be loading as quick as a flash. This article discusses some of the best Wordpress plugins to make your website load faster.There you have it! 10 of the best WooCommerce Plugins to help streamline your online selling.Are you a WooCommerce user? What are your favourite apps?Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments!

Phil Forbes
Phil Forbes
How we approach the Gender Payment Gap on #EqualPayDay

How we approach the Gender Payment Gap on #EqualPayDay

The modern digital seller is spoilt for choice when it comes to starting an online business. While there’s a lot to choose from, figuring out what to sell is the tricky part.

The gender pay gap is a problem in today's culture that some businesses prioritise higher than others.Here at Shoplo, it's a no-brainer for us.Regardless of your gender, religion, culture, age, or sexuality, your salary is a reflection of your skills.British PM Theresa May recently urged small and medium businesses to publish their gender pay in announce to cut the gap.And that's exactly what we're going to go over today.

One thing that's important to remember:There are very few duplicate roles at Shoplo. That is, no 2 people have exactly the same tasks.While the pay gap in the EU is decreasing, it's not decreasing nearly quick enough as women in the EU still earn on average 16% less than men.But our homeland, Poland, boasts one of the smallest gender pay gaps in Europe, sitting at 7%. (source).The gender pay gap in Poland is one of the lowest in the OECD.Why is that?According to the same source, young women in Poland are 43% more likely to have a university degree compared to their male counterparts.But there's a major difference in the subjects studied.

  • 75% of university graduates of courses in health and welfare-related studies were women
  • 16% of university graduates of courses in technology were women.

While Polish women are more likely to have a University education, they're less likely to have a qualification in a field that's in demand at Shoplo.

The day we all coincidentally dressed the same

Positions held by Women at Shoplo

We employ 42 people.19 are women.At Shoplo, women also make up:

  • 50% of junior positions
  • 42% of middle-level positions
  • 35% of senior positions
  • 57% of team leader roles
  • 33% of managerial roles

Let's take a closer look.At Shoplo, we employ 21 talented individuals in our tech team.That's 21 people who require some form of higher-education to hold the position that they hold.Of those 21 techies, 4 are women.Why so few?Women make up 16% of technical University graduates in Poland. Most of those women find employment in corporations either in Poland or abroad.Under-representation of women in technical, senior and managerial roles is an on-going challenge faced by many Polish companies.But the shoe is on the other foot for Shoplo's Marketing and Customer Success teams.Our Marketing team consists of 6 people, 5 of them being women.Our Customer Success team is 13 people, 8 of them are women.More women apply for both these positions than men. Compared to developer positions, women make up the majority for no reason other than the fact that they have the superior skills.Another interesting insight from Kasia, Shoplo's HR manager is that many women won't apply for an advertised position if they don't meet every single criterion.This means that a lot of women miss out on potential jobs because they see 'required skills' as non-negotiable demands.

How are we eliminating the gap?

So how can we, a small company of 45-ish people continue to bring down and eliminate the pay gap?

  • Comparing the salaries of men and women in equal positions
  • Conducting comprehensive analysis to understand why this is the case
  • Taking whatever steps are necessary to eliminate that gap.

This same approach is used to identify gender pay gaps by ethnicity and disability.

The day that gravity forgot about the Shoplo team.


#EqualPayDay is far from a day to celebrate.It's a time to draw attention to a problem that should have been solved in 1963 when President Kennedy announced the Equal Pay Act.As a team, Shoplo is committed to equal pay for everyone, regardless of gender, sex, race, culture or religion.If you're interested in working with Shoplo, take a quick look at our careers page.

Phil Forbes
Phil Forbes
How to get more views on eBay: 6 easy steps [+ Examples]

How to get more views on eBay: 6 easy steps [+ Examples]

Getting eyes on your eBay listings is tough. Next year, it will be even harder. Learn how to get more views on eBay right now and in the future with these 6 powerful strategies. Read now.

The bad news: Getting views will soon be even harder. More and more sellers will face low view counts as eBay rolls out its 2018 Spring Seller Update (source).The good news: You can get your listings in front of more buyers if you follow these strategies.Today you’ll learn:

  • How to get more views on eBay using 6 powerful strategies.
  • The ways the 2018 Spring Seller Update will change how buyers find your listings on eBay.
  • What you can do to protect your business for years to come.

Wait a second...

Why will getting views on eBay be even harder?

eBay has always used a listing-based shopping model. Just like a newspaper’s classifieds, it doesn’t matter how many people put up the same thing for sale. Each of them gets their own listing.

Example: Imagine that 200 people are selling the same Mickey Mouse spoon-and-fork set. A buyer who searches for it will see 200 listings of cartoon-festooned silverware.

That gives you, as an eBay seller, a decent chance of having your listing seen. But eBay will soon switch over to a product-based shopping model.

What’s ‘Product-Based Shopping’?

Product-based shopping focuses on the product, not the seller. No matter how many sellers offer it, used or new, only one page will exist. Just look at Amazon to see how this works:

get more views on ebay

Soon eBay buyers too will see product pages that combine all listings of the same product. In most cases, eBay will feature just one to four listings above the fold. They will bury all but the very best sellers. eBay began letting buyers try product-based shopping on October 9, 2017. You can see it yourself by using Group Similar Listings.

product-based shopping eBay

Group Similar Listings changes eBay’s listing-based shopping experience to a product-based one. As you can see below, that squashes 2,683 listings into just 92 product pages!

product-based shopping eBay

There are 56 listings of this particular Roku streaming device. Product-based shopping makes it look like there is only one listing:

more views on ebay

All other listings appear below the fold. They are, in fact, chopped liver:

product page ebay

When eBay finishes its updates, all buyers will use something like Group Similar Listings.

Listing-based shopping will disappear. You will have to fight hard for those few precious above-the-fold slots in order to get any views on eBay.

The two big strategies for getting more views on eBay are having:

  • the absolute best listing
  • the lowest price (which is not what you want!)

Use the following tips to make your listings the best they can be both before and after the update and get more eBay views:

How to get more views on eBay - 6 easy steps

1. Optimize your listings

As I’m writing this article in April 2018, almost any seller can get more views on their listings fast by using eBay SEO.

SEO stands for search engine optimization and refers to techniques for getting your webpage or listing to show up first in searches.

Almost any well-optimized listing has good odds of getting noticed right now.The Spring Seller Update changes that.In this eBay SEO blogpost, you’ll learn that matching your listing to the eBay catalogue will boost your rankings. But once eBay switches to product-based shopping, matching to the catalogue won’t just be smart. It will be required. eBay will force some listings to match as early as May 2018. And as the catalogue takes over, it may make some aspects of SEO meaningless.

ebay seo

What won’t matter anymore?Keywords will likely go the way of fax machines: not useless, but only important to a few businesses.If other sellers offer the same product as you, it won’t matter if you rock at writing titles full of keywords. eBay will combine your listings with competitors’ under the item’s default title.However, if you list something nobody else sells, then every detail of classic eBay SEO will still matter. That includes keywords. So be sure to learn how keywords work if you’re listing a product that your company manufactures or a unique handmade item. Learn more about how to use keywords and how to optimize your listings for eBay SEO:

"eBay SEO: A Step-By-Step Guide to Destroying Your Competition." (read now)

listing-based shopping

What will still matter?eBay SEO comes in two flavours:

  • seller-specific SEO
  • product-specific SEO

Seller-specific SEO boosts rankings for ALL your listings and will still matter after the update.And one of the biggest parts of seller-specific SEO is customer service.

2. Put customer service first

Customer service affects your view count more than almost anything else on eBay. This infographic from ChannelReply shows how better service can get your listings in the spotlight:

How to get more views on eBay with customer service

If you can reply quickly and well to every buyer message, eBay will prioritize your listings and you will get more views. Improving your customer service is often the only change you need to make.Will Customer Service Still Matter after the 2018 Spring Seller Update?Absolutely! eBay says they will only feature above-standard sellers in product-based shopping. And eBay’s seller standards focus entirely on the customer experience.If you provide fantastic customer service, you’ve won half the battle. You’ll get more eBay views both before and after the update goes through.

ebay catalogue

3. Offer eBay Guaranteed Delivery and free shipping

Product-based shopping isn’t the only way eBay is becoming more like Amazon. Just look at eBay Guaranteed Delivery. Just as Amazon Prime delivers in two days, Guaranteed Delivery promises delivery by a deadline (usually three days).If you offer Guaranteed Delivery, eBay gives you benefits similar to those of Amazon’s FBA. You get:

  • a lot more views
  • protection against certain refund requests
  • some of your customer service handled by eBay

eBay’s filter for Guaranteed Delivery listings allows buyers to hide all sellers who don’t offer it.

2018 spring seller update

eBay has found that Guaranteed Delivery is the second most important thing to their buyers.* Only one thing matters more: free shipping.

If you offer both Guaranteed Delivery and free shipping, you will provide the two things dearest to buyers’ hearts. You will show up in far more searches because they’ll filter you out less often.

This will let you compete with the best sellers on eBay. It’s also almost as good as Amazon Prime – and the buyer doesn’t have to pay for membership. That means you even improve your odds of selling to buyers who research on other websites.*eBay recently removed this statement while updating their help pages. It was originally posted here. The info came from a 2015 customer survey.

4. Use awesome photos

You can show up at the top of every search. But if you have bad photos, your competitors will get all the views! Like most eBay sellers, you probably have room to improve your photography. But you might think that you don’t have the time, budget or talent to do any better.That just isn’t true. You can take professional-looking photos on a small budget. Try the following:

  • Use a tripod and a self-timed camera to take hands-free photos to avoid camera shake.
  • Take and use high-resolution images.
  • Use a clean background, ideally a lightbox or a smooth sheet of white muslin.
  • If you can’t afford professional lighting, take photos outside or near clean windows on sunny days. Late morning and early afternoon offer the most even lighting.

Will photos still matter after the update?On Amazon, most sellers don’t have to upload any images. It’s not yet clear whether that will be the case on eBay, though. In Group Similar Listings (the current version of product-based shopping), sellers use their own photos.

Takeaway: Expect photos to stay important in 2019 and beyond. Invest in high-quality images and you will get more views.

How to get more views on eBay with pictures

5. Be accurate and don’t cheat

Never try to game the system. Don’t:

  • put your item in irrelevant categories
  • use unrelated keywords
  • try to dodge the eBay catalogue

You might show up in more searches, but if your item isn’t what the buyer wanted, he won’t click on it. That means no views for you. Worse, eBay will punish you if they notice.They may:

  • remove your listings
  • place limitations on your account
  • even suspend you from using the site

Keeping descriptions accurate will protect your account and get you more high-quality views.

ebay catalogue

6. Price perfectly

Price always makes an enormous difference. With the arrival of product-based shopping, it will only become more important. Knowing how to price on eBay will get you more views both before and after the update.There are three ways price can get you more views:

  1. Listings with prices eBay considers competitive will rank higher in Best Match searches now. After the update, they will have a better chance of being featured on product pages.
  2. Psychologically appealing prices get more clicks. Two common strategies: use numbers that have fewer syllables when read out loud, and try to keep the digits on the left low.
  3. Having the lowest price will get you more views.Before the update, buyers who search using the ‘lowest price’ filter will see your listings first. After, eBay will heavily feature your listing on the product page.

Warning: Competing for the lowest price can cause a price war, or ‘race to the bottom’. Everyone loses money if you and your competitors keep undercutting each other. Only aim for the lowest price as a last resort.

Bonus: What Other eBay Changes Will Affect My View Count?

eBay will do much more than just switch to product-based shopping. These 2018 Spring Seller Update changes may also affect your view count:

  • eBay Guaranteed Delivery is now open to less experienced sellers

This could help you get more views if you didn’t qualify before, or make it harder if you already offer Guaranteed Delivery.

  • Promoted Listings are gaining new homepage placement

This could make them a better way to get visitors to your listings.

  • eBay will eliminate the 14-day returns option for most items in favour of 30- and 60-day return policies

If you offer 14-day returns now, you’ll have to upgrade or risk losing views for not accepting returns.

  • You’ll have to offer free return shipping

on most listings to qualify for Top Rated Plus.

  • eBay will remove negative and neutral feedback

more often to protect you from unfair buyers

  • eBay Stores will see major changes in mandatory updates

These should bring in more traffic from search engines like Google and increase your view count if you have a Store.Want to learn more about eBay changes that will affect your listings? See eBay Business Strategy 2018–2019: A Seller’s Survival Guide.

How else can I protect my business?

Even if you have the perfect strategy for getting more views on eBay, you should never keep all your eggs in one basket. The Spring Seller Update proves that ground-shaking changes can happen quickly. Protect your business by branching out into other websites. Start selling on Amazon, your own online store, and perhaps other marketplaces like Etsy and Walmart. This is called multichannel ecommerce. When you only sell in one place, changes like eBay’s can put your business at risk. Going multichannel means one site’s changes will never end your world.

Final takeaways

The 2018 Spring Seller Update will make getting eBay buyers’ attention even harder. But if you learn how to get more views on eBay now, you’ll set yourself up for success both today and in the future. Pay special attention to improving:

  • your customer service
  • pricing
  • and photography

Don’t let worries about changes stop you from improving your listings. Act today, and when other sellers get buried, you’ll keep getting more views.What scares you the most about the eBay’s upcoming changes? Have your view counts already been impacted, for better or worse? Let me know in the comments below!

Kamila Okulska
Kamila Okulska
GDPR and Ecommerce - Tips + Examples To Help You Prepare

GDPR and Ecommerce - Tips + Examples To Help You Prepare

GDPR is set to come into play May 25th. Whether you're based in the EU or not, it will affect how you manage your brand. In this article, we discuss what exactly will change under GDPR and how you can become GDPR compliant. We also take a look at how you can use GDPR to build trust amongst your audience.

On May 25th, GRPR will come into effect in the  European Union. As an ecommerce seller, this will affect you in many ways - even if you are not based in the EU. Many online sellers are scared that GDPR means the death of their business, or that they will have to change the way they operate.Sure, while you will need to do a bit of work, and maybe even modify the way you operate, GDPR will not be the death of you. In simple terms, GDPR is there to make sure your business is up to a certain standard and that you’re honest and transparent in the way you work.But before we go any further, here’s what you’re going to learn in this article:

  • What GDPR actually is
  • How you can get yourself GDPR-ready
  • Why GDPR can help you build trust.

So without any more delay, let’s get started and clear one of the biggest myths out there…

What is GDPR?

GDPR is an acronym for General Data Protection Regulation and it will be implemented in the European Union. It’s a regulation that will come into play from May 25th to protect the data of all European Union Citizens. In the simplest possible terms, the GDPR will:

  • Broaden the rights that EU citizens have over their data
  • Widen the definition as to what the law defines as ‘personal data’
  • Implement strict rules and guidelines about collecting, keeping and using your customers’ data

Long story short: Your customer will own their data, not you

What will the GDPR change?

The 2 biggest changes that the GDPR will bring for online store owners like yourself is the following:

  • You need permission from the individual to collect and use their data.

Today, you’re legally required to offer customers a way to opt-out of having their data collected.

Under GDPR, the opposite will be true. You will only be able to process customer data if they opt-in.

Eg: Rather than saying ‘we use cookies to increase your browsing experience', you must now askwould you like us to use cookies to increase your browsing experience?

  • You will need to delete a customer’s data after you have finished using it.

GDPR states that there is no need for you to have customer data longer than necessary. This means that you cannot retain a customer’s data indefinitely. Some cases where you will need to actively delete customer data:

1) The data is no longer necessary for the purposes you have collected it

Eg: a customer has made purchases in your online store and the transaction has already been completed.

2) The customer has withdrawn the agreement and there is no other basis for processing.

Eg: the customer has email you specifically ask you to delete his data from the system

3) The person is opposed to the processing of their personal data and there are no reasonable grounds for processing

Eg: a customer has Facebook remarketing ads after visiting your site and specifically asked you to remove their data.

4) The personal data was processed unlawfully

Eg: the customer did not opt-in to you collecting and processing their data, via a form, checkbox, in writing or orally.What does it mean for you?You need to have the option of deleting customer data from the system. Remember that archiving customer data is not the same as deleting it!There is also one more factor that is scaring a lot of ecommerce sellers about GDPR.

Under GDPR regulations, you are responsible for keeping all data safe.

You are responsible for protecting the data of each individual, even if you use third-party services like Hubspot, MailChimp or GetResponse.The law states that you will be responsible, should your data be leaked from these third-party providers, but these companies will also be accountable. This is why many third-party tools that collect customer data are increasing their security protocols.

Now that you know what will change under GDPR, let’s look at what you need to do to become GDPR compliant.

Becoming GDPR compliant

Before starting to change things for GDPR compliance, familiarise yourself with legal definitions and the official law itself to ensure that you’re above board.

Note: "personal data" is not only the first name, surname or address or other data your customer chooses to give you. It is also the IP addresses and cookies collected by the browser.

Before discussing what you need to do to become GDPR compliant, it’s worth noting the following:Every store is different and therefore every store will need to do something different. There is no perfect checklist to follow to make sure that your brand is GDPR ready. If you’re not sure that you’ve done enough, find a lawyer and make sure that you’re as best set up as you can be.

The main goal of GDPR is to stop shady activities and practises. Being deceitful and tricking people into taking an action is what the GDPR is out to stop.Automatically opting customers into your email newsletter after a purchase is one example. Becoming GDPR compliant is simple if you’re not sneaky.This is why the definition of ‘user consent’ changes drastically under GDPR. Stricter definitions of ‘consent’ will apply and legitimate consent will be harder to obtain. To obtain consent from a customer, you need clear and affirmative action that the user wants you collect their data.Under GDPR, the following does not count as valid consent:

  • Pre-ticked boxes
  • Silence
  • Inactivity
  • Failure to opt-out

So, for example, a pre-ticked newsletter subscription box after a customer makes a purchase is no longer valid. Here a few things that will apply to most ecommerce stores:

  • Update your privacy policy to reflect the new way that you handle and retain data.
  • Review your return and refund policy to reflect that you will retain customer data to process a refund or return
  • Have an easy way to remove all data of a customer when they request to do so.
  • If you use other tools, check if they are also GDPR compliant. This applies to things like:
  • Email marketing platforms
  • Online store providers
  • Third-party WooCommerce and Shopify Apps

Keep in mind that these steps are very generic and that the best solution for your store depends on too many things to list here.

For now, let’s take a closer look at some actionable things you can do to get your store ready for GDPR.

Design your own data protection system

There is no one right way to store data. The GDPR does not say how you should store and protect data, only that you should do it in some way. That's why you have to be creative. Sounds vague and mysterious, right?

As an ecommerce seller, your brand is built on many online tools. As mentioned earlier, these tools may help you collect your data. For the companies that create these tools to become GDPR compliant themselves, they need to pass a tight GDPR audit.What does this mean in simple terms?

By using trustworthy names, you’re keeping yourself (and your data) safe.

Even though you are responsible for the data that your third-party tools collect, these tools themselves need to be GDPR compliant.

Organize customer data

Obviously, you collect customer data, but have you ever asked yourself why? To become GDPR compliant you need to have a reason to have that data - and keep that data organised. For example:What is the data?Why do I need it?Address of residence I need it to complete the order and send the orderTelephone NumberI need to contact the customer about their order and the delivery of their package. Email address I need to confirm the order and use follow-up marketing.  Once you have a reason to collect this data, you need to be able to share it.

Share your data with clients in an XML, JSON or CSV file

Under GDPR, you are required to share the data you have on a customer if they request. It’s suggested that you be able to share your data with a customer in 3 formats.XML, JSON or CSV.What does this mean for you? You must show your client the data that you have obtained if they request. This is actually beneficial for you, as it gives your customer a sense of security and convenience.  The customer will also be able to ask you to forward his personal data to another company. If that happens, you are required to do so.

Delete customer data upon request

If you’re able to organize and share customer data, you must also be able to delete it.Therefore, make sure that you can easily delete your clients' personal information.

Do not process data if you do not have a legal basis

You can collect and use your customers' personal data ONLY if you have been given consent to do so.

There are multiple ways you can get this consent:

  • Agreement

You can collect and process personal details if they are necessary for you to fulfil your role.

Example: Your client bought something with you and gave his address. You process personal information to provide them with their order.

  • Consent

You can process your client's personal data if they have agreed and expressed consent for you to do so.

Example: The customer has marked the appropriate checkbox on your website.

  • A legitimate interest

You can gather and process personal information in a situation where a customer has expressed a legitimate interest in a product.

Example: You process customer's personal data to advertise products similar to those they have purchased (They bought a bikini, you advertise a beach towel).

If you have at least one of the legal grounds listed above, you’re able to process collected data.

How can GDPR help you gain the trust of customers?

It easy to look at GDPR as ‘just another rule’ that makes your life harder.But after scratching the surface, it’s easy to see how you can leverage it and use it to your advantage.GDPR can positively affect the development of your business.How?GDPR answers the questions of online buyers.

  • Is the store trustworthy? Yes
  • Do they use my data? Yes
  • Will they try to influence my behaviour (eg through a targeted advertising)? Yes
  • Can I have my data removed if I want? Yes
  • Will they sell my data to other services? No
  • Can I predict and justify the processing of my data? Yes
  • Are they legally responsible for the safety of my data? Yes

By telling your customer what you’re doing with their data, you build a relationship based on respect and trust.

For this reason, GDPR works in your favour because it gives your customers a sense of security on a fraud-filled internet.When your potential customers feel safe, they will be more likely to shop in your store.

In conclusion

It’s hard to be too excited about the oncoming GDPR legislation. It simply creates more work for you, yes.But it also makes you more accountable. There’s no doubt that GDPR will be responsible for the death of brands that don’t want to become more secure and trustworthy, but this ultimately means less competition for you. GDPR will be a breeze for you if you’re not shady or out to take advantage of people.If you’re out to try and trick your customer into giving them your data, GDPR will burn you. But if you’re up-front and trustworthy (most of all, transparent) with your data collection and processing, GDPR will be less of a headache. What are your thoughts on the incoming GDPR? Let us know your concerns in the comments!

Phil Forbes
Phil Forbes
We are now a part of the SumUp family

We are now a part of the SumUp family

Today we are very excited to announce that we are joining forces with SumUp and have entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired. SumUp is an

Today we are very excited to announce that we are joining forces with SumUp and have entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired. SumUp is an international FinTech company, that simplifies card payment processing. The company has been named the fastest growing European enterprise in ‘Inc. 5000’ and is operating in 31 markets globally. With SumUp we are ready to expand on our mission and empower everyone to do what they love by simplifying ecommerce and supporting small and medium-sized stores around the globe. Today marks the next phase in a journey that started in 2012 with Shoplo's foundation. It was created by people who believed that e-commerce can be simple and available to anyone. The same belief drives us today, and with this acquisition, we are happy to help and support more people to turn their passion into reality. Currently, we are supporting over 3000 online stores in Europe, helping them to centralize inventory and business operations into one place so that they can grow more easily.This merge with SumUp offers us unparalleled opportunities for expansion, access to new markets and over 1 million active merchants that SumUp is boasting. Marc-Alexander Christ, Co-Founder of SumUp, comments: “From the shop-floor to the online checkout - SumUp is looking to be the first point-of-call to merchants globally. Every decision we make to expand our product suite is made with the consideration and feedback from our 1 million users worldwide. From the boutique clothing stores, to florists and microbrewers, our platform is constantly looking to the technology solution which helps their business flourish. By leveraging Shoplo's technology, SumUp's merchants will get easy access to creating their very own online stores and selling on numerous eCommerce platforms in just a few clicks.”We are excited to share more about what we’ll be working on together in the coming months. This partnership will allow us to develop dynamically and speed up our entry into international markets where SumUp is operating today. Together, we will strive to combine the online and offline worlds and make life easier for you - our entrepreneurs. The possibilities of our cooperation are enormous, and we are just about to get started. Together with SumUp we plan to grow the team in Poland and bring global talent to our  Warsaw HQ. Shoplo founders, Patryk Pawlikowski and Grzegorz Lech, join SumUp leadership team as VP of eCommerce and VP of Online Services respectively.We wanted to reassure all our customers that nothing, except better possibilities for developing store, will change. We are going to stay in Warsaw, helping you to sell more, constantly improving on providing you with ever greater product and support. Patryk Pawlikowski, CEO of Shoplo, states: “Our mission to simplify eCommerce is in accordance with SumUp’s mission to empower small merchants globally and the acquisition will allow for scalability as well as faster go-to-market time that would not have been possible otherwise. Together, our two companies will work on bridging the online and offline worlds and taking the hassle out of the merchants' lives and allowing them to focus on what they do best, bringing beautiful products to customers online and in-store.”We couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity and all these new possibilities and wanted to say thank you to all the people who supported us on our journey. Today’s news isn’t the end of our story, but just a beginning. So stay tuned!

Shoplo Dashboard Redesign

Shoplo Dashboard Redesign

After a few months of hard work we are proud to present the new, improved and user-focused Shoplo dashboard.You're probably wondering why we changed something that wasn’t broken?It’s simply the next part of our rebranding process. Part of our growth, which will be making your life easier.As of 2017 Shoplo is no longer just an ecommerce platform, but a whole system of tools helping you to sell online.You've already gained access to:

  • Theme builder - the most convenient tool for creating custom shop layouts, tailored to fit your needs.
  • Multichannel - saving you time by combining multiple sales channels all in one place.

And that is just the beginning…We’ve many more plans on the horizon, but more details will be revealed soon… :)We want you to use our fancy new tools, but not have to learn them all over again. These new versions look the same, but behave differently.Functionality remains untouched as it’s only presentation that has been slightly modified. This has been done to make the most common processes more intuitive and easier to use than before.Killing 2 birds with one stone, we've also added 3 changes you’ve asked for:

  • Enhanced management of dashboard users capabilities.
  • The option to add your own comments to orders and customers’ accounts.
  • We have moved your account management menu to the left bottom corner of the dashboard - which is where, mostly new users were looking for it. :)

Below is a screenshot explaining the changes.We hope you will enjoy them!

New Shoplo panel
New Shoplo panel
New Shoplo panel
Shoplo Orders - New Dashboard
New Shoplo panel

Questions? Complains? Queries? Praise? Don’t hesitate to contact us at

Aleksandra Dobrzańska
Aleksandra Dobrzańska

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