In 2014 Ecommerce exploded. People got clued up and interested in a term they just weren’t used to. Here’s why:
2014 Ecommerce Summed Up
Ecommerce On The Agenda
This year has been a year of online discovery for many businesses. And with that, comes Ecommerce. As soon as businesses begun to understand what Ecommerce actually means, and what it could do for them by transacting online, they were hooked. And with this came the introduction of Ecommerce strategies or plans for the business to be structured in a way to use Ecommerce.
Software Changed Things, and People
With Ecommerce software out there, people begun to understand that can run a large and profitable Ecommerce store without being a coder or having a team of software developers. Business people could set up a Shopify or a Big Commerce store and quickly start selling at scale. This way of operating allows a business to focus on other things like operations and customer service. Before, if you wanted an Ecommerce business that could scale with your growth, you would also need a bunch of coders on your side.
Now that’s not the only way.
Omni Channel Strategy
Omni channel. We all do it. It’s the change in consumer behaviour, and mobile has a big part to play in this. Nimble businesses have changed their strategy to engage with this new shopping behaviour. They now know that having an online store influences offline purchase. They know that they need to stop thinking about “channels”. They know that they have to start thinking about an experience that is continuous, mobile, always on, social and local – all at the same time.
UX Design and Growth Hacking
UX design and growth hacking have become household (boardroom) terms. Although designers were prototyping and sketching more, people tended to be a little more relaxed when it came to performing usability studies. It’s still a good thing though: businesses are beginning to ask how to solve their customers problems more.
SEO is back. For good
In recent years the measurability and insights from paid digital marketing made showing ROI very easy. For marketers this was too good to be true. However SEO / PPC Battle continues. With last year’s changes to Google’s algorithm it looks like a rock solid, customer-centred SEO strategy will really pay off.
Also known as retargeting, they are the banners that show products users have previously browsed. You thought remarketing banners were bad – now the products you glanced at in your Facebook feed! Look out for more, because custom audiences are going to become even more widespread.
Mobile payments broke into the marketplace and with them, came the use of the once-loved QR codes. Apple Pay, Zapper and SnapScan saw real traction in 2014.
Cloud computing has made hosting a fast, reliable, safe Ecommerce site possible – and sees platforms becoming easier and more affordable. This allowed smaller guys to compete with big business and benefit their customers.
2015 Ecommerce Predictions
Omni Channel Makes Winners
For brick and mortar retailers the winning Ecommerce sites will be ones that can provide a seamless cross-channel experience to their customers. This will involve deep systems integration with operations, IT, and marketing teams. To be seamless, everyone must play nice.
The Rise of the Niche
As much as the bargain hunters are never going to stop loving Amazon and Wallmart for their low low prices, I believe more niche Ecommerce stores will emerge as customers who have a bit of money, will want a more unique, personal experience and product.
It’s all about the experience, and the bragging rights that come along with it.
Measurement and Big Data
The age of measuring everything, and having those leads to big data insights, is here. The big guys are getting it right already, but it’s tough for the smaller players. The rise of big data management in the startup space will level the playing field for the smaller guys to make use of their customer data.
So do your Christmas shopping online, avoid the queues and the carols and the ever-tempting Christmas specials.
Or go to the malls, and see how they’re getting foot traffic in the door.
Whatever you do, here’s to you.
And here’s to you thriving in 2015.