The continued growth of online shopping in 2014 (estimated 18% from 2013) was a predictable trend, so in the opinion of Re-Think E-Commerce, the year will really be remembered for the explosion of multi-device shopping, and as the year that Google finally won the battle against spammy SEO tactics. There’s plenty that we’ll be keeping a close eye over the coming year and here’s 8 things we think might really take off over the next year.
8 E-COMMERCE TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2015
1. Simple But Effective Processes
With all the new technology and opportunities available to explore, the most important of the “8 e-commerce trends to watch in 2015” is still to ensure online retailers do the basic processes effectively. This means paying attention to stock levels, monitoring the competition properly and responding to feedback you receive.
All new trends require old skills to make the most of them. It is important to try different things together and make them work together. Online retailers need to know how to link all their marketing strategies and use any new e-commerce trends together with old systems for their advantage. For example: Social media marketing brings users to your content, your content supports your visitor conversion rate and this in turn can help you with statistics to share on social platforms. With relatively little additional work, you can uncover the hidden links between your different marketing strategies. Getting it right with content in the right time window is the key to maximising your online marketing plan with these e-commerce trends.
It is surprising that many online retailers, both large and small do not implement even the most basic level of segmentation in their marketing strategies. Segmentation and Targeting are necessary to identify different types of customers and communicate with them in the most effective ways. The data to be able to do this is now becoming easily available and easier to interpret. Retailers who identify these important aspects will get a real competitive differentiation from their customers in 2015.
3. SEO and Content Marketing:
Compared to social media visitors, organic search visits are statistically 5 times more likely to make a purchase. Therefore brands who invest in white hat SEO such as content marketing should see the fruits of their labour in 2015. 2014 could be remembered as the year that Google finally defeated black hat and unethical SEO tactics, and now there are no shortcuts left.
It can be challenging and heavily time consuming to create the kind of quality content that catches the eye regularly and builds a loyal customer following but it’s a worthwhile journey all retailers will have to go on if they are going to succeed online.
4. Paid Social
The ability to target look-alike audiences has significantly improved with social media, which has made promotion of content/products to the people with similar profile and interests to your current customers significantly easier. For example, with Facebook, you can directly target people who like complimentary brand pages with the help of Facebook ads. £100 is all you need to get started on a paid campaign on Twitter, which makes paid social marketing quick to set up and cost effective. You can add tracking parameters to your ads URL to measure the impact of campaign from a traffic perspective (engagement, conversion, goal etc.) as well as from an angle of engagement (interactions and impressions).
The short feedback loop in this marketing trends is ideal in tactical campaigning. With the right data for optimising ads and organising work, you can start up a new campaign within a few minutes. As a perfect micro budget strategy, with small funds you can swiftly test the social marketing approach and learn from it to enhance your strategic marketing plan.
5. Mobile Payments:
As the era of Mobile Payments is upon us, the transactions will be become easier to track and easier to make. This one of the 8 e-commerce trends to watch in 2015 has been getting much hype since the launch of services like Apple Pay. Mobile payments will help generate an expansion of affiliate marketing and advertising, which will in turn help advertisers, retailers and at the end; the customers.
6. Convergence Of Offline and Online
For many years E-Commerce has been much more than shopping from a desktop browser by visiting a companies website. It has ventured out of the confines of the company website by communicating with customers over social media and other devices, and 2015 could be the year where it even ventures into the retailers physical shops too. Beacons, mobile payments and NFC have already started to get some traction in 2014, and this could be the year where they come into prominence and regular usage. See our blog from a few months ago for our favourite examples of this trend.
7. Marketing and Customer Experience:
Brands are more and more become about building a good story, rather than just acting as a facilitator for the sale. People purchase products from people and the brands that are smart enough to utilise this e-commerce trend will have their customers create their content by storytelling, which is real and believable by others. As you move forward you realise that the word that counts at the end is not you one you spread, but the one that was created by your customers from inside your community.
8. Joined Up Operations:
When the purchasing, merchandising, customer support, online marketing and fulfilment all work together, e-commerce operations can be streamlined and deliver quality customer service. The results delivered are more competitive and can be achieved quicker than a disjointed efforts. If the work culture is integrated, led by a standard setting management team and KPIs of the team are aligned, then there is no room for any operational lags. Well co-ordination operations are the one of the keys to being able to handle the growing and fierce competition outside from often bigger retailers with bigger budgets.