Below this article you will find a list with other articles or blogposts about the ecommerce trends for 2015. First though I will give my own -personal- thoughts.
Top 10 Ecommerce Trends For 2015
The list is meant to point you to goals and trends that actually are achievable the coming 12 months for most organizations.
1. API first
Building on the the trends in cloud/SaaS the must-have feature of 2015 is API; for any platform you are considering this will provide the ability to connect; connectivity. Companies that have an API first strategy distinguish themselves from the pack by having an ‘appexchange’ or ‘appstore’. That’s how they show their ability to connect and thereby proof their level of integration with other platforms. Other possibilities are the connectors mentioned in this article. So for 2015 demand from your suppliers they have an API.
2. Desktop second
Desktop second I mention here for two reasons: A) because I am bored with the ‘mobile first’ terminology and B) because desktop traffic (for ecommerce) is now smaller than mobile (smartphone and tablet combined). About two thirds of emails are opened on a mobile device. If you really care about excellent customer experience you design and develop your mobile experience first. It’s the most difficult because you have to simplify and leave out clutter and the most important one .
3. Video & Visual Content
According to Emarketer video content is the best way to reach B2B executives. Tweets with images get 150% more retweets. Facebook ads have a maximum allowance of 20% for text-space. According to Mashable Tumblr and Pinterest are now the fastest growing social networks. So, if you want engage in a meaningful way please add pictures, animations or video’s to your content.
4. Lifecycle based content marketing
Customers need different content at different moments on their path towards purchase. Want to create awareness? Start blogging. Want to be considered? Generate leads by sending them whitepapers. Want your products or services to be purchased? Offer datasheets and customers reviews or succes stories. More information you can find in this great article.
5. Employee Advocacy
Imagine you work at a company with about 1,000 employees and your new product launch gets shared on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter by all of those employees on all their social media channels. That’s about 3,000 shares. Calculate an average of 400 FFF (Friends/Fans/Followers) per employee per network and you create a gross reach of 1,200,000 million people. In the middle of your target group. And your employees show that they are ambassadors of your brand. Other effects are that it shows trust to their family, friends and network, helping your campaign getting viral, and on top of that they help you increase your rankings in Google!
6. Omni channel
Omni channel is getting attainable for all merchants. This means offering your customers and prospects an excellent customers experience across all devices, while tracking and targeting them at any time on any devic with the message you want. At the same time your database is always up to date concerning stock and availability information. Consumers expect this from you. Google Analytics is your friend in offline conversion tracking and connecting your web analytics with your CRM.
As you already know it is far more cheaper to sell to existing customers than it is to acquire new customers (a factor of one to seven I believe). The reason why it’s now on this list is because we have entered a new era. An era of slow economic growth (probably a negative nett purchasing power) due to no or slow credit growth, rising costs of living and lower average wages. While big brands can afford relatively high CPA’s to acquire new customers most SMB’s need to make a profit (or at least no loss) on their first purchase. Loyalty is the key factor for sustainable success.
The combination of data from behaviour on your website, your PIM (Product Information Management) and content library opens a huge potential for serving your visitors with content that fits their (predicted) needs. Think about location, time of day, traffic source, earlier purchases and click path (items viewed). When you are using Facebook Connect you can even think about their Interests and Likes (Permissions).
9. RTB & CRM Integration
Imagine that customers (or prospects from your mailing list) who don’t open your email (with a special personalized offer in it) see your banner with the same offer mentioned in your email on their favourite news sites or in a downloaded app on their smartphone. The integration between RTB (Real Time Bidding) with your CRM offers a huge opportunity to stretch your reach amongst clients and to engage with them in new online places where you couldn’t reach (targeted) them before.
10. Re-educate marketeers
Not involving Google Analytics, social media and cross media conversions in your campaigns is unthinkable in 2015. Marketeers need to understand that consumers expect a seamless experience across channels, not anticipating those expectations is a big mistake. For CMO’s it is essential to demolish the fences that are still in place in some organizations between branding, performance, online, offline and IT. Marketeers that lack a thorough knowledge of Google Analytics, the dynamics in social media and how to send traffic from offline to online and vice versa will need re-education.