Analysis has shown that around 51% of Americans are more inclined to shop online than in brick-and-mortar stores, and e-commerce has grown 23% year-over-year. It’s a trend that is expected to change at an even faster rate as more brands are embracing voice search and omni-platform or omni-device options.  40% of millennials already employ voice assistants in making purchases, and that number will surpass 50% by the year 2020.  In keeping up with the fluid world of e-commerce development, successful Costa Rican businessman Jose Daniel Duarte Camacho provides an insight into what will be trending this year.  

“Automation will continue its evolution,” he predicts.  “This will drive the development of more automation programs.”  Information filtering based on multiple criteria will provide seamless communication between businesses and clients.  Mass mailings will take on a whole new form, as emails can automatically be 100% personalized to provide the appearance of having been individually sent.  Through an Artificial Intelligence development progress, data can be cherry-picked from social media networks, online purchases, and even app downloads to create a highly definitive database of customers.  

2018 will see a huge e-commerce explosion.  A massive amount of entrepreneurs will be looking to test the digital waters and break into the e-commerce industry.  Since automation makes it easy, the transition from brick-and-mortar to digital is an easy one.  Even for non-experts and those who have been intimidated by the digital world, moving into e-commerce has never been easier.  

There will also be an increase in smarter blockchain-enabled Artificial Intelligence (AI).  As AI-powered chatbots even and develop greater autonomous intelligent, there will be an increase in AI chatbot interfaces being used in the customer interaction experience.  When combined with the ever-growing blockchain technology, retail growth will occur at exponential levels never before seen.  “The retail experience will become more personalized, and e-commerce sites will offer an array of automatic services driven by AI, from virtual personal shoppers to recommendations based on shopping habits,” explains Duarte.  

Duarte is a leading expert in e-commerce trends.  He launched his first business more than 20 years ago in Heredia, Costa Rica.  That business, DecoCar, is still lucrative today and sparked his entrepreneurial spirit.  Now that it has evolved into a self-supporting activity, he has since expanded into an array of commercial interests and operates numerous e-commerce platforms.   Time and time again, he has shown that he can turn his ideas into productive businesses and focuses his efforts on improving Costa Rica’s business community.  

The business leader recently attended the ad:tech expo in London.  Ad:tech is a highly-popular gathering place, where marketers can discover trends, tactics and technologies to help their businesses create better marketing awareness.  Duarte is currently at the annual CES consumer technology show in Las Vegas, which runs until Jan. 12, and will attend the Imagine 2018 Magento Global eCommerce Conference at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas in April.   With over 3000 experts attending from 50 different countries, the annual gathering is moving into its eighth successful year as the place to be for those in the global eCommerce community.  From merchants to technology producers, industry leaders will gather to collaborate and advance the eCommerce industry.  

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