Department of Agriculture International Trade Shows

  • Gulfood – Dubai, UAE
  • Foodex – Tokyo, Japan
  • Food & Hotel – Singapore
  • International Food Ingredients & Additives – Tokyo, Japan
  • National Restaurant Association Fancy Food Show – Chicago, IL
  • Product Marketing Association – 2018 Fresh Summit – Orlando, FL

Where is eCommerce going?

Trends, pitfalls, and where eCommerce will go in 2018

Gary L Wells

Webmaster Services Hawaii

  • eCommerce
  • SEO
  • Design
  • Business Analytics
  • 20+ years working in eCommerce, web development, and logistics
  • Clients: Arturo’s, Maui Brewing, Turtle Bay, Yummy’s BBQ, Mutual Publishing, Smartflower Pacific, UH System, OrangeRoc, Tap Out Dating Violence, Surf & Shore, Maui Legend Tours, Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Dole Plantation, HPIA


  • Trends Overview 2017
    • General e-commerce trends in 2018
  • Mobile, Mobile, Mobile!
    • Mobile is affecting everything in e-commerce now
  • Responsive Design
    • If your website isn’t responsive, you WILL be left behind
  • E-commerce Trends
    • What specific things can you add to your website today?
  • SEO and Marketing 
    • What works overall? What works for startups?
  • Summary
    • E-commerce in 2018 and beyond


Trends Overview 2017

Total internet retail sales in the US (2016) – $360 billion

Shopping behavior

  • 96% of Americans shop online
  • 63% prefer to buy on a desktop or laptop computer
  • 27% would prefer to buy on a tablet or smartphone
  • 70% still would prefer to purchase in brick and mortar store


  • Percentage of e-commerce? 44%
  • Percentage of all retail sales?
    • $1.1 trillion Yen in Japan – Amazon is #1 e-commerce site in Japan
  • Amazon – 20.3% of the Japanese e-commerce market  
  • Rakuten – 20.1% of the Japanese e-commerce market 
  • Yahoo – 10% of the Japanese e-commerce market 

Smarter shoppers research more

  • 36% price comparison shopping
    • Percentage of shoppers who check prices online while in the store
  • 22% research on products
    • Percentage of shoppers who will research a product on their smartphone while in the store
  • 27% reviews
    • Percentage of shoppers who will read online peer reviews of a product while in the store


Developed societies now sit within arms reach of the world’s information and almost product with a few touches, 24 hours a day

  • Omnichannel – mobile fuels the ability of a retailer to interface with their customer on a variety of formats and situations
  • Marketing – SMS, Mobile Coupons, Mobile Apps 
  • Huge Growth – Mobile commerce represents 34.5% 

62% of all e-commerce in Japan is done from a mobile device 

90% of all e-commerce purchases in Japan were made on an iPhone 

Mobile activities 

  • Where are we seeing opp/growth? Everywhere 
  • 22% – last holiday season were from mobile shoppers 
  • 24% – coupon users are spending more 
  • 63% – percentage of marketing emails that were opened in mobile – emails should be mobile-responsive too! 
  • 51% – have used their smartphone to purchase 
  • Theme Forest – email templates for $6 

Where are retailers with mobile? 

  • 75% of people say they will not return to a retailer’s website if it’s not mobile optimized
  • 51% – retailers surveyed who say they already had or were going to implement mobile in 2018
  • 80% of consumers said they wouldn’t stay on a site where the content/images wouldn’t display well on a mobile device 

Navigation / Menu Systems 

  • Make it clean
  • Make it mobile optimized
  • A continuous scroll is better
  • Benefits of having a mobile-optimized screen 
    • Loads faster
    • User-friendly
    • Easy to navigate
    • Easy to read
    • Tap to call


E-commerce Trends 2017-2018

  • For plenty of online stores, ensuring their website is mobile friendly is a must simply because most visitors arrive via mobile
  • Digital payments
    • Apple Pay, Android Pay, PayPal and Amazon Pay now a part of everyday life for some shoppers
    • Have multiple ways for people to make a payment
    • Systems – PayPal Pro ($29/mo) and Stripe (similar rate)
  • Loyalty Apps and Schemes
    • Half of all consumers stating that they would gladly switch brands if they had a coupon
    • Coupon sites –
      • Like a Google Banner Ad
  • Chatbots
    • Used to be unpopular, but now more people are using it so long as they have people
    • GoSquared ($100/mo for up to 10 websites) – redirects people to different content based on what the consumer does on the page
      • Desktop notifications if someone wants to chat with you
      • You’ve looked at this page for XXX time, are you interested in checking this out?
      • You can program the typical response time so people know what to expect
      • GoSquared is a plugin on WordPress and Shopify
    • If you set up a chatbot and plan to sell outside the US, you need to have someone who can respond to people in different languages
      • GoSquared has a multiple languages option
  • Original Photography
    • Don’t take generic photos
    • Light box ~$100
    • Make sure you have the right to use the photo if you are getting photos from online/Google
  • Free shipping is King
    • 58% – abandon the cart after seeing shipping charges
    • 50% – will wait extra days for free shipping
    • Shopify and WooCommerce – top shopping carts 
    • BNX – freight forwarder in downtown
    • Sagawa – good for Japan 
    • If you’re using FedEx to ship, get a business account set up and rates are ~40% lower than retail rate
      • If you show your expected number of orders, then you will be able to negotiate a better deal
    • USPS is the cheapest
    • Tiered shipping rates based on amount purchased
      • WooCommerce – you can connect your product to a certain sized box
  • Logistics Choices
    • Delivery speed is the 4th most important factor
    • 93% take action for free shipping
      • The leading action is adding more items to the cart
    • 83% of shoppers will wait 2 more days to get free shipping
    • Free shipping
      • 50% of shoppers will choose a slower transit time for free shipping
      • 7 business days is the average time shoppers are willing to wait
      • 50% of shoppers abandoned carts that did not give an estimate on delivery
  • Features vs. Function
    • Keep it simple, make images large, and make it easy to navigate
    • Information overload
    • Calls to action
  • Marketing
    • SEO and Product Mix
      • SEO (Best ROI) vs Standard Internet Marketing (extremely necessary early on when launching a new venture, new service, new product offering)
      • SEO is by far the most effective over the long run
        • Your product mix and offering, combined with how unique your products are will help drive the ease of your SEO
      • Good way to start: find what you like, and copy it
      • On-page – content
      • Off-page – are other websites talking about your company on their sites
      • Your domain doesn’t need to match your company name
      • If your domain + your first H1 text + content lower down are all related, then that’s golden 
      • SEO is like “if I’m in the forest with a friend and a bear pops out, I don’t need to outrun the bear, I just need to outrun the friend”
      • Keywords, domain, and content
      • First bit of text you see on a website should be exactly what you do
      • Determine keywords of competitors – setup Google Ad Words Account
    • Combine multiple methods 
      • 1 – Search Engine Optimization
        • Yelp Reviews – Google Reviews — Facebook Reviews – Citation Websites
      • 2 – Good Product Mix – Good Content
        • Analytics and market research
      • 3 – Paid Advertising
        • Google Adwords and Facebook Ads
      • 3 – Sales Success – continue to leverage your good relevancy
    • – Get free listing score  
    • SEM Resh – SEO score/reporting 
    • Business assessment → Develop keyword strategy → Determine tactics (SEO, PPC, Blend) →
      • SEO →
        • Map keywords to content →
        • Optimize web pages →
        • Optimize site structure and internal links →
        • Build external profile links →
      • Pay-Per-Click Ads →
        • Map keywords to landing pages →
        • Create landing pages →
        • Develop ad copy and headlines →
        • Establish keyword bids and launch →
      • Measure outcomes →
      • Ongoing process
    • How to find a good person to help with SEO
      • If the numbers sound too good for too good of a price, run
      • If they claim they’ll have you ranked within 30 days, run
      • Look at their portfolio, then talk to those clients and ask them about their experience
  • If you want to go to China, you should create a whole new site, and get a developer in China who can host your site on servers that are acceptable in China


  • Mobile is vital
    • Mobile technologies will continue to evolve and be used by consumers more and more, retailers must adapt
    • Develop your website ensure it looks good on mobile FIRST, then work backwards to create your desktop site
    • Get rid of sliders, no one really makes it past the 2nd slide
  • Free shipping is king
    • Add shipping into your price 
  • Constant change
    • Internet marketing is always changing. What worked yesterday may not work today however what didn’t work before could work now!

Extra Slide: Choose the Right Channel Mix

  • Sell from your own US-based Site
    • + Leverage authenticity
    • + Bypassing some market barriers
    • + Own your analytics
    • – No brand recognition / overseas traffic
    • – Embedded payment gateway needed
    • – Logistics partner required
    • – In-house tech support
    • – Lack after-sales service options
  • Sell from your own in-country site
    • + Own data & design
    • + Flexible content
    • + Control your brand
    • + Pricing autonomy
    • – Less traffic
    • – Localized language options
    • – ICP license req.
    • – Third-party logistics
    • – Third-party payment gateways
  • 3rd party sites (Marketplace/Platforms)
    • + Lots of customer traffic
    • + Content & Nav in local language
    • + Payment received in other currencies
    • – Local after-sales service (depends)
    • – Local presence required
    • – Lots of competition
    • – Lack of control of customer data
    • – Potential lack of control of pricing
  • Sell to In-country Distributor – B2B
    • + Immediate purchase of product
    • + Simple / fewer transactions
    • – Required interested Dist.
    • – Smaller margins
    • – No ‘C’ – Lack of localized info
    • – Vetting process
    • – Off-line negotiations
    • – Distant brand management 

Always remember: who are you building your site for? You or your customer? Ask your mother to test your site   

3 ways people build a website

  1. Hire a freelancer off Craigslist
  2. Hire full-blown agency – You’re just a number in their eyes
  3. Hire someone who does this for a living and has great customer service – best option 

Hosting Servers

  • GoDaddy, Blue Host, and Site Ground – best hosting servers and customer service
  • WP Engine is great but they just doubled their rates 

FREE Website score –


Gary Wells

Managing Director

Phone: 808-330-5506