Some companies start small and enjoy steady growth over many years, while others turn into overnight successes and hit the ground running. Established brands look to innovate and expand on existing trends while younger companies push the envelope and establish a name for themselves in the landscape of tomorrow.
It’s easy to stay in the know, and following businesses aiming to differentiate themselves is a great source for ideas to be applied to your own brand. E-commerce and traditional retail are blending in unique ways. Some might say we’re in the middle of a shopping revolution. It’s tough to navigate the ever-changing waters of e-commerce as a newcomer, but you can follow the industry trends to plan your moves. Let’s take a look at eight e-commerce companies that you may be hearing more about over the next year
1. Google — Google, the company name synonymous with “search”, has several products to keep an eye on. The Pixel Slate was only released in late 2018, and the Google Home is still relatively new as well. There’s been a great deal of hype behind their Pixel Slate tablet-laptop combination, and over time we’ll find out how the real thing holds up.
Google is also worth watching over the next year because they hired a health strategy leader. Much like Amazon and Apple, Google is trying to become more involved in the health industry, and this move is evidence that they’re actively taking strides to get there. Google already has various health initiatives, but now they’ll have a health strategy leader to organize their involvement in the sector.
2. HEMA— E-commerce is unique in that companies all over the world can directly affect each other. HEMA is a Chinese e-commerce business that you may become more familiar with over the coming year. Its sales on Singles’ Day 2018 trumped Amazon’s on Prime Day, and the company plans to use online and offline strategies to promote their modern take on groceries.
3. Amazon — While the onus is on some retail companies to move to the next level in e-commerce, Amazon’s approach faces the other way. Their new Amazon Go concept has launched in a handful of cities, and they look ready to ride the momentum and add more locations. This e-commerce megabusiness is making its mark on retail in every form, and it could be responsible for a complete overhaul in the way we physically shop.
Amazon may also continue to show up in the headlines because of the interesting relationship between President Donald Trump and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. The two have publicly criticized each other on multiple occasions in the past, and as two of the most powerful figures in the country—if not the world—their dynamic affects businesses and customers around the world. If you own a business, you should stay tuned in because of its implications for e-commerce and trade on a larger scale.
4. Walmart — When some of the biggest companies in the world are your direct competitors, you have to pull out all the stops to remain the consumer’s top choice. Walmart has been one of the biggest names in shopping for decades, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the giants in terms of e-commerce sales. Although Walmart still comes out on top in overall sales when it’s all said and done, they want to gain some more ground on competitors like Amazon in the online realm. With the motivation to step up their e-commerce approach and a few recent acquisitions, Walmart is in a good position to make waves in the near future.
5. Shopify — Shopify has been quietly making a name for itself on its own merit in the e-commerce world. It’s becoming an increasingly useful tool for sellers, especially those that own new or growing businesses. Shopify offers online companies all the tools they’ll need in one place. These tools help with everything from Amazon listings and the selling on the Facebook Store to beginner’s branding tips, and it’s an affordable option for most of the many small businesses that are born every day.
6. Squarespace — Podcasting is growing medium, and it’s enjoying a particularly large boom in the worlds of entertainment and news. Squarespace happens to be a sponsor of a few podcasts with impressive followings, so the name has circulated quite a bit through this association alone. The service can even be used to help comedians and interviewers create websites where they can promote those podcasts.
The versatility of Squarespace makes it a viable and appealing option for much more than comics and talk-show hosts, however. Squarespace gives young people with ideas the chance to turn their musings into a business. This service aims to help you keep a branding mentality from day one, and you won’t get distracted with the coding demands and technical requirements that typically come with creating a website. Ideas are flowing and businesses are popping up left and right, and many are using Squarespace to develop their online home base.
7. Casper — Whereas Amazon appears to be on the brink of revolutionizing retail, Casper is just starting to use its e-commerce foundation to establish a presence in the real world. The mattress company gained a head of steam online, and after some successful experimentation with pop-up shops and its first permanent store, Casper has plans for a full roster of 200 stores to come.
Part of the appeal is that Casper doesn’t just offer a one-or-the-other experience: You can look at your options online, test them out in person at a store, and then go back and make your purchase online if you so desire. The next year will give us a look at how the company handles itself as an e-commerce business turned physical store.
8. Glossier — Like Casper, Glossier is a primarily digital brand that has been tiptoeing into physical markets recently. The beauty company does a particularly good job of generating social media engagement and encourages customers to share and connect with each other through social media. Online businesses that understand social media and know how to use the tools available are the ones that connect with and grow their following in a meaningful way. Glossier has demonstrated its abilities in that regard, and it’s trending upward because of them.
Copying another company’s business model isn’t going to make you stand out, but being aware of what’s going on in your industry prepares you to make the smartest moves. These eight companies have put themselves in a position where they should expect to be talked about by consumers and other businesses, and it helps to know how they did it so you can find out what works and avoid their mistakes. Keep these examples in mind when you think about how to improve your social media campaign or garner more attention for your brand.