7 Powerful Ecommerce Trends That Will Flourish In 2015
As eCommerce sales soar year after year, there is no reason for entrepreneurs to hesitate while planning to enter or invest further in this industry. As the industry booms, the law of economics becomes applicable – “More the demand, more the supply”. Every year thousands of eCommerce sites are being launched to tap into the market and earn a fortune from this gold rush. However to win, the entrepreneurs need to address the biggest challenge in this industry i.e. to know the latest trends that can deliver new and exciting customer experiences. The following points will help you understand the latest trends that are going to thrive in 2015.
1. Algorithmic personalization
Amazon is the prime example who uses this technique to not just engage customers, but also to ensure customers spend their maximum in every purchase. In 2015 we will find ecommerce platforms using advanced algorithms that can personalize the products and offers in the site based on customer browsing behavior and search patterns. The platform should be able to creatively upsell and cross-sell products after analyzing customer purchase history, favorite list, abandoned cart history and so on. Personalization should not just stop there – it should be there in every channel the portal use to communicate with the customer i.e. newsletters, mobile notifications, etc.
2. Convergence of online & offline commerce
In 2015 we will find several online stores having an offline presence, in order to have an omni-channel advantage. Many ecommerce majors like Amazon, Bonobos, Warby Parker, Indochino have already started their physical stores or popup shops to tap the physical retail market. It makes perfect sense for the online retailers to move offline since the researches have proved that customers love the convenience of researching online (or probably buy online) and pickup from store. The online retailers have also been using clienteling solutions to deliver an almost similar personalized online experience in the physical store.
3. Social commerce
Social commerce sales of physical goods are projected to grow by 93% per year in the U.S alone, reaching $14 billion by 2015. As a result, ecommerce merchants will have to “socialize” more if they want to stand out from their competitors and protect their brands. Citizen reviewers, raving fans, and complainers, take to the blogosphere and Twitterverse to endorse products, share favorites, suggest and demand recommendations and also lodge complaints. The industry giants like eBay have already invested to make their site more social. They are allowing people to group products they like by pinning it to a board (similar to Pinterest) and other users can follow these board. Some successful sites which follow Social Commerce are Thecoveteur, Polyvore, Etsy etc. Social commerce not just helps online sites to engage the customers better than ever, it also helps them understand what is trending and respond according to market need.
Also Read: Top 5 Successful eCommerce Business Models
4. M-Commerce and wearables
The mobile is expected to be the default shopping device by 2015. So not having a mobile friendly ecommerce site or a mobile app makes any ecommerce site irrelevant in the industry. This year’s holiday statistics confirms this further – ecommerce portals reported a surge in mobile sales by 144% and 1/4th of total sales was reported to come through mobile devices. M-commerce lengthens the shopper’s consideration widow which results in more sales and mobile content having greater impact on purchase decisions.
With the arrival of wearables, online players have got another channel to reach directly at their targeted customers. In 2015, it is expected that the ecommerce portals will explore the geo-fencing technology in wearables and other smart devices to deliver location based personalized offers and messages.
5. Product curation portals
When the number of products in marketplaces like Amazon are increasing day by day, customers are finding it increasingly difficult to find the best one suited for their need. This challenge has given rise to curated product sites which sells handpicked products which matches your need. In 2015, we can expect more number of such sites concentrating on different niches. Trunk Club and BirchBox are among a few who have adopted this business model and have found success.
6. Subscription commerce
Another business model that we can expect to trend in 2015 (and beyond) is subscription commerce. What makes this business model appealing to users is the convenience and savings it offers when subscribing to packages of products which they buy in a repeated fashion, e.g. grocery, morning tea/coffee, razors etc. For the merchants this business model gives them consistent income and encourages repeated purchase. Amazon Prime and DollarShavingClub have already found huge success by adopting this business model.
7. Free shipping
This might surprise you, but that is the truth. Free shipping is still the king. In fact, 50% of customers in the recent UPS-ComScore survey conveyed that they are willing to wait extra days for free shipping, and 58% are likely to abandon cart after seeing the shipping charges. So there is nothing for a portal owner to worry if his/her site cannot offer same day delivery like Amazon or several other giants out there. The customers would just love 4-5 days delay rather than paying for the shipping.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the article and are there other hot trends that you wish to add ?