Like everything else on the internet, eCommerce trends are always changing. The last few years have seen quite a few important shifts in the way business is conducted online and 2015 promises to hold even more changes if you are an established eCommerce marketer or looking to get started online, let’s look at some of the most important eCommerce trends that we are likely to see in the coming year.
If you have been keeping up with the latest news from Amazon.com, you will know that they are placing ever more emphasis on speed. Same day service is becoming especially popular right now. This trend was actually started by the online shoe company Zappos, but it has really taken off recently. We are rapidly reaching a state of affairs where shoppers who order something online are expecting to receive it within hours rather than weeks or days.
When online giants like Amazon speed up their service, everyone must be ready to follow suit. Whether you sell through Amazon or you are an independent seller or affiliate, you still must be ready to meet customers’ expectations. Online retailers who are too slow will lose business. This presents a challenge to smaller eCommerce businesses. It’s important to factor in shipping costs accurately when setting prices. One solution, of course, is to jump on the bandwagon and use Amazon for order fulfillment. No matter how it’s done, however, it will become increasingly essential for eCommerce sites to provide very fast shipping.
The Rise of Mobile eCommerce
As more and more people access the web and shop from their mobile phones, online retailers are forced to make sure that their websites and shopping carts are mobile friendly. It is already estimated that more people now shop from their phones than from computers, and this trend is likely to get even more pronounced in 2015 and beyond.
Online retailers must create responsive websites to ensure that their mobile and tablet customers can navigate their sites. Mobile friendly payment options, such as Apple Pay will also become ever more pervasive. While it remains to be seen which payment systems will become dominant in the next few years, it will certainly be essential for mobile shoppers to have safe and efficient shopping experiences. Another reason that mobile devices are so important for eCommerce is that advertisers can reach a wider audience using permission based text messaging.
Targeted and Personalized Marketing
The growth of retargeted advertising is only one example of the ever increasingly specialization and personalization of marketing. Customers are having ever more customized experiences when they shop online. When a shopper is introduced to products that meet his or her unique needs and tastes, there is a greater chance of a sale.
To provide this type of service, sellers will have to make use of the latest technology to target very specific niches and provide personalized shopping experiences. It is likely that the eCommerce sites that are able to do this most effectively will succeed while those that provide a more generic shopping experience will fall behind.
Wearable technology has been around for some time, but it is only now starting to really take off. The best known examples of this are Google Glass and the Apple Watch, but others are sure to follow. This will give advertisers more ways to reach consumers. Wearable technology includes functions such as GPS, making it possible for companies to target people using location based ads. For example, a person wearing Google Glass might see a promotion for a store that he or she is passing. This tend will also apply to non-wearable devices such as phones and tablets, but it could be especially effective when targeting people who are literally walking right by a business.
Overlap Between eCommerce and Brick and Mortar Selling
As eCommerce grows, even retailers that have traditionally sold mostly from their brick and mortar locations will be doing more selling online. The reverse is also true, as some online sellers are opening physical locations. An example of the latter is Bonobos, which started out as an online seller but opened a physical showroom in 2012.
We are likely to see more and more overlap between these two traditionally separate types of selling. Almost all major retailers already have websites, so the real change will be an increased focus on selling this way. Since eCommerce gives retailers the potential to reach a much wider audience, they have a good reason to pursue this strategy. At the same time, online sellers can also benefit by opening physical locations. This brings them more brand recognition which, in turn, helps their eCommerce sales. Companies that offer both types of shopping experiences can get the most exposure and appeal to customers who prefer shopping in person as well as those who prefer the convenience of shopping online.
Selling Via Multi-Channels
While most online selling has traditionally been conducted from one platform, such as a business website, eCommerce is increasingly being done across multiple channels. It’s advantageous for sellers to make their products available on many different sites and platforms. It’s relatively simple to cross promote, such as between a Facebook page, website and eBay store. For this reason, 2015 is likely to see more and more of this multi-channel marketing. This allows sellers to reach a wider audience. It also gives consumers a choice, as shoppers have different preferences when it comes to where and how they like to shop.
The Ever Changing Nature of eCommerce
It’s impossible to predict exactly what trends will be most significant in 2015 and beyond. If the recent past is any indication, however, the developments discussed above are likely to play a significant role. It’s always possible, of course, that some new and unforeseen development will come along and create a huge shift. For this reason, it’s imperative for anyone who does business online to stay up to date with the latest eCommerce news and developments.