Home » eCommerce » eCommerce predictions for 2016

I know what you’re thinking. It’s February (already) . We are well into 2016 now but sometimes it pays to come late to the party.

There are numerous article and blogposts out there discussing eCommerce predictions for 2016, many spruiking their own agenda and some written with a little less bias. Now that the dust has settled a little, let’s take a helicopter view.

Platform

  • The appeal of opensource systems like Magento won’t be going away any time soon, but more retailers will be tempted by proprietary and SAAS systems than ever before as they require more support, faster time to value and greater business agility.
  • There will be a significant rise of small boutique retailers launching on ‘DIY’ platforms like shopify.

Shipping and Logistics

  • Click and collect will continue to grow in Australia. Users will be able to purchase online and collect in store or from their parcel lockers.  Online retails will recognise the importance of this functionality by including it in their mobile ready interfaces. Consumers will expect to purchase on their morning commute or in their lunch break with ease and collect on their way home.
  • Online retailers will leverage, same day delivery services in major metro centre. This will mean streamlining order approval processes, warehouse pick and pack processes and collection deadlines. Consumers may be happy to pay a premium for this during 2016, beyond that it will become the norm.
  • Fulfillment by Amazon will continue to grow and there will be further launch’s of other competing offerings.

Data

  • Retailers will make huge efforts to understand and unify customer data from bricks and mortar and online shopping purchases. While this has been important for many in 2015, many retailers remain stuck with data they consider to be silo’d. Focus on this area in 2016 and technology advances by vendors will make this accessible to smaller businesses.
  • One way we may see the physical store – online divide bridge may be with customer apps, explaining and interpreting products, kiosks or tablets in store.
  • Big data. If don’t have a plan for it already you will by the end of the year. More data exists than ever before from a range of sources and tools exist to uncover valuable insights about your customers. Credible eComm players knows this already. The rest will be playing catch up this year.

Security

  • Online fraud is the thorn in the side of eCommerce managers everywhere and it won’t be leaving us any time soon. If anything online fraud will continue to be more sophisticated and carried out by organised crime teams. Businesses with small margins and high sell prices will need to tighten their fraud detection policies and technologies which may limit the available payment gateway options.

Customer Experience

  • A frictionless checkout and shopping experience will continue to be the focus for just about everyone. Suffice to say we will witness further innovation to help customers order and reorder and as painlessly as possible.
  • Mobile first. Well we’ve seen discussion on this for a while but most of my clients analytics stats don’t quite support the idea of a mobile first interface…. yet. What we do know is that mobile is growing. Perhaps this year the balance will be tipped in favour of mobile devices. Consumers are increasingly likely to reach for their smartphone in what we call ‘micro moments’ to research an idea, product or service. Disrupting them and getting their attention during that moment will for part of the digital marketing focus. User Interfaces will need to cater for users who need to see a greater level of detail on their mobile device as well as on their desktop while they conduct product research.
  • The old style of of transactional ecommerce website will start to phase out as more businesses look to blend brand experiences into their user experience. Content will no longer just be ‘shoved’ in the blog pages of the website as an afterthought to generate some SEO juice, but rather the content will be integrated throughout the website as part of the overall user experience design.

Marketing Reach

  • Social will play a larger part in the mindset of consumers. The big three social networks all want to be at the centre of customers purchasing decisions, so expect tighter integration between your cart and the networks. Social networks will form part of customer research, product endorsement and the creation of trust.

Channels and Markets

  • Pureplay retailers will continue to decline and the omnichannels importance will continue to grow. Most customers expect stores to be online, including small boutiques.
  • Online sales will continue to increase as platforms and technology improve along with increasingly personalised shopping experiences and growing consumer confidence to shop online.
  • China will be back on the radar as a major marketplace for Australian brands. Several new services will launch to help facilitate the differences in consumer culture, technology and digital landscape. Chinese marketplaces will take steps to facilitate the onboarding of major brands and heel the wounds of those who have tried before but crashed and burned
  • Major stores will look to sell to global markets, making security and logistics a strong focus for 2016.

Supply chain

  • More brands will launch their own product directly rather than using white labelled products as crown funding platforms like Kickstarter reach for the next gear.

So 2016 looks set to be an exciting year for online retailers. What are your thoughts and predictions?

 

 

Noteworthy Credits and Sources

https://www.vendhq.com/university/retail-trends-and-predictions-2016

http://resources.bazaarvoice.com/rs/bazaarvoice/images/Bazaarvoice_WP_Top5_Consumer-Driven_Trends_Retail.pdf

http://www.cio.com/article/3027207/internet/more-ecommerce-predictions-for-2016.html

https://www.forrester.com/Predictions+2016+The+eCommerce+Gap+Widens/fulltext/-/E-RES126763

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