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EcommerceBytes Online Selling Trends 2019: Back to Basics

Online Selling Trends 2019
Online Selling Trends 2019

What can you expect for your ecommerce business in 2019? The responses from this year’s participants in EcommerceBytes “Online Selling Trends” feature indicate this will be a year for dealing with the basics.

It wasn’t that long ago that terms like mobile, social, and local would have dominated any discussion of ecommerce trends – a lot to handle for small businesses. But now the potential of those much-ballyhooed trends has been realized, with mobile-shopping and social-sharing engrained in the culture and provided automatically with the tools and platforms small sellers use.

This year, more traditional retail issues were identified as being pressing, from sales tax to shipping, from product sourcing to platform strategy – some impacted as much by political and economic issues as by technology. Nowhere is that more apparent than the issue of online sales taxes in the US.

Eight experts and representatives of ecommerce service providers participated in this year’s feature. In addition to identifying trends, this year’s experts also offer some advice for sellers, such as B-Stock Solutions’ tips for sellers wishing to take advantage of the reselling opportunities presented by increased returns combined with the high demand for used goods. For example, marking an open-box item as new is a no-no since it can lead to account suspension on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, advised B-Stock’s Jen Wehrmaker.

Small-business and tax expert and author Barbara Weltman highlights the need for even small sellers to stay vigilant on sales-tax exemption thresholds, as they differ among states. And Shipping Easy’s Chris Vaughn explains the forthcoming changes to the USPS rate structure with examples of how they will impact sellers’ costs.

We’re kicking off this year’s selling-trends features with a look at the importance of diversification from seller, designer, author, and blogger, Abby Glassenberg, whose call to artisans and sellers to diversify and expand beyond marketplaces will be sure to resonate with all readers. Click through to take a look at the following ecommerce trends identified by the eight participants and what they mean for online sellers.

1) Diversification and Expansion Beyond Marketplaces
2) New Sales Tax Obligations
3) An Increase in Returns Combined with High Demand for Used Goods
4) Major Changes in USPS Rate Structure, Adoption of Voice Technology
5) Retail Convergence Accompanied by Tax Complexities
6) Increasing Cost and Complexity of Parcel Shipping
7) “Glass Box” in Artificial Intelligence, In-Store Personalization
8) Continued Dominance of Ecommerce by Amazon

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.