The New Year is rapidly approaching. In 2013, eCommerce retailers encountered obstacles such as the need for mobile optimization, SEO-friendly content and personalization, to name a few. Here is a list of eCommerce trends you can expect to play a large role in 2014:
- Big Data: 2014 will see a rise in the use of big data. Companies will find a way to apply the data to solve real-world dilemmas. Retailers can use this data to initiative appropriate, personalized, real-time experiences for shoppers.
- Content Improvement: For eCommerce websites, engaging, high-quality content (images, video, and copy) will be the driving force of success in 2014. Maintaining an SEO-friendly site and engaging content will reflect the clearest ROI.
- Online Shopping Assistance: A major benefit brick-and-mortar stores have maintained is the ability to offer suggestions and opinions to shoppers before they make a purchase. While high-end stores have the ability to offer 24 hour chat assistance, smaller stores can implement a chat feature as well. This touch of personalization will increase the quality of eCommerce shopping.
- Same Day Shipping: The turn-around time for shipping eCommerce purchases has been decreasing. The faster your customer receives their package, the happier and more trustworthy they are of your business. To maintain a competitive edge, more stores will be implementing same-day delivery. Local eCommerce stores can benefit immensely from this rising trend.
- Wider Product Range: With a faster shipping turn-around time, stores can increase their product offerings with perishable items, which have typically been off-limits to eCommerce stores. This also opens up the option for consumers to do all of their shopping online. Drop ship suppliers and retailers will benefit from the widened product range. Retailers can work with multiple suppliers across the country that carry similar products to decrease the amount of time it takes to ship to customers.
- B2B Shift: For most, eCommerce has been dominated by consumers (B2C). However, more and more companies that sell B2B are making the online transition. A study performed by Hybris found that “69% of B2B companies currently selling direct to business partners online expect to stop publishing their print catalogs altogether within the next 5 years.” A major shift is occurring, and “B2B companies that wait too long to implement eCommerce assume a big risk” (hybris.com). With tangible research and fats o demonstrate the growth of B2B eCommerce, 2014 will see more businesses electing to have an online, eCommerce presence.
- Mobile Commerce: Mobile commerce played a large role in 2013 and will continue to do so in the New Year. Omni-channel retail will especially come into play, as customers expect the ability to shop anywhere and any way. Websites will need to be optimized for mobile devices and ensure customers have a seamless shopping experience. The brick-and-mortar environment must carry over to both your website and m-commerce site. Having a strong brand identity is necessary and must be carried out through all retail channels.