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Why social shopping and AR/VR are set to transform the world of eCommerce.

The rapid growth of the eCommerce market is absolutely off the charts. Last year, it reached over $2.3 trillion worldwide. This figure is only expected to grow, with projections hitting almost $5 trillion by 2021 (according to Statista). eCommerce represents about 10% of total global sales, and with the rise of mobile shopping, it's going to continue to represent a larger and larger portion. Trends and forces alter the eCommerce playing field every day, and for retailers, it's critical to stay ahead of the latest industry developments. Here are two of the most important trends impacting the eCommerce world in 2018:

1. Unlocking the power of social shopping

Two of the biggest, highly visual social media platforms, Pinterest and Instagram, now let merchants directly bring their products to potential customers. Retailers can create an 'instant buying scenario' by showcasing their most on-trend or in season products on apps that users are choosing to spend most of their time on. Many industry experts claim this is the future of both platforms, with potential 'in-app' purchases a large feature. With the importance of brand storytelling and the growing power of influencer marketing, social shopping looks to be an increasingly crucial avenue for many retailers to go down.

2. Leveraging augmented and virtual reality

With products such as Google's 'Cardboard' viewer, the opportunity to get involved with AR/VR solutions is getting far cheaper and more accessible by the day. Using AR and VR could massively enhance online shoppers experience, offering them much many of the benefits of physically seeing and using the product or service - and potentially even going a step further. Imagine being able to test out just how that new sofa looks in your home, or perhaps how fitting your office with standing desks could transform the environment. These are just some of the potential use cases of this new technology. Initial reports indicate up to 7 out of 10 potential users would demonstrate increased loyalty to brands who introduced some element of AR into the retail experience - and that number is only set to increase, as this technology diffuses throughout the marketplace. Unlock the potential of e-commerce today by talking to us about Magento.