In April 2014 we wrote about the emerging trends in eCommerce and our expectations on how things will shape up. In line with what we had forecast, most of these trends are now in their growth phases, with some already gaining prominence and some others developing into new trends.
So we decided to repeat this exercise and come up with a list if what we expect to happen in the eCommerce world in 2015.
- M-commerce will keep growing:
While mobile traffic was already in stiff competition with desktop traffic, it was only in August 2014 that for the first time ever mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic in the UK. All the hype around mobile usage in eCommerce is coming true. 2015 is going to be the year when eCommerce vendors will have no choice but take notice and action around mobile eCommerce, or else they are likely to be left behind in the game.
- S-commerce will finally become a reality:
With Twitter testing the ‘buy’ button on tweets from certain retailers and celebrities, social commerce has finally stepped into the realm of reality, but it isn’t fully here yet. But like we said in our blog – Social Commerce: Tips for the New Era – it’s time to start preparing for s-commerce before it reaches maturity. 2015 is likely to be the year that more and more social networks and platforms begin adopting some basic form of s-commerce, allowing for a true test of its strength. We do think that it might only be in 2016 that social commerce will become a stable and accepted mode of eCommerce.
- Analytics will play a bigger role in decision-making:
Big data has already gained proper momentum in the analytics world and this will translate to more use of big data and analytics tools to aid in decision making. Organizations are going to have to look to big data analytics to gain a more complete understanding of customers and their behavior.
- Google’s Enhanced eCommerce will gain traction:
Google introduced Enhanced eCommerce as its upgrade of Google Analytics for eCommerce vendors. Although it offers some great features, it is yet to catch on with eCommerce vendors. We feel that it will prove to be a great tool, especially for small and medium eCommerce vendors.
- eCommerce Apps for individual stores will return:
While eCommerce apps have generally been avoided by customers, except perhaps those of large retailers/marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, apps have become more relevant especially with eCommerce vendors offering special promotions through apps. B2B vendors too will have to step their game up and have apps for their customers. This form of customization will be highly valued, so we think that the return of the apps is imminent.
- Being unique in customer experience will become more important:
It’s no longer enough for each eCommerce vendor to have a unique selling point (USP), having a unique customer experience is becoming a must. This doesn’t mean that eCommerce vendors need to find a new and interesting method in everything they do, but they must delight the customer as they use the online store.
- E-wallets will play a bigger role in eCommerce:
Now that the tech giants Google and Apple have their mobile wallets in play, we think it is likely they will expand the capabilities of these wallets to work with eCommerce vendors. This would be a great boon for everyone involved – the tech companies increase their presence in a space relevant to their product, the vendors have an easy way to collect payments and the customers get a no hassle system for making a purchase.
- Free returns shipping might catch on:
Free returns shipping is a touchy subject for vendors, but it a hidden expense for customers. While many vendors are now offering low cost or free shipping to the customer, if the customer wants to return the product, they end up paying the shipping costs. While this might not seems like a big issue, since most customers are unaware of this, it makes their customer experience less pleasant. eCommerce vendors, at least retail vendors are likely to begin some sort of returns policy to take the cost of their customer.
These are the trends that we think are likely to surface this year. Some of these will be experimented with for the first time, while other will begin their growth into commonplace practices. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.