3 Ecommerce Trends to Prepare for in 2015

By 31st December 2014Ecommerce
2015 calendar wheel

With 2014 drawing to a close, it’s time to start looking forward to what is in store for the ecommerce industry in 2015. Here are our top 3 trends to look out for in the coming year.

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Mobile (again)

For the last few years, Mobile has been on the top of the lists of what ecommerce businesses need to look out for, and the smartphone market showing no signs of slowing, this isn’t budging.

Up to now, mobile has been seen mostly as a research and comparison tool, and not necessarily as the place where consumers end up making a purchase. This has often been blamed on the smaller screen size and fiddly form filling.

Up to now, mobile has been seen mostly as a research and comparison tool, and not necessarily as the place where consumers end up making a purchase. This has often been blamed on the smaller screen size and fiddly form filling.

This is set to change in 2015 with the help of an increasing number of mobile-friendly payment methods like Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Klarna. These solutions look to improve the payment experience considerably on mobile devices, allowing customers to easily place an order online without struggling with their card details.

The ever-increasing mobile screen size is also a significant factor: images are clearer, pages are easier to use, and form-filling is friendlier. The gap between mobile and tablet behaviour and usability is beginning to close for many users – we will be keeping an eye on whether their respective conversion rates converge, too.

 

Online/Offline experience

Online stores used to be seen as a threat to their bricks-and-mortar counterparts, with consumers visiting a store to physically see or try and item before then going online to make the purchase – usually somewhere cheaper. In a recent Harris poll however, it emerged that in fact 69% of shoppers research goods online first, before visiting a bricks and mortar store to make a purchase. This behaviour is known as ‘Reverse Showrooming’ and is helping to cement the importance of having a presence on the high street.

Whichever way a consumer goes when it comes to making the final purchase, it is becoming increasingly important to offer a consistent experience across all channels. Refining their Omni-channel retail offering is at the heart of many brands’ plans for 2015.

Some retailers are focusing on customer service to achieve this consistency. This year, more and more retailers are offering the ability to collect online orders in store, have in-store purchases delivered at a later date, or to return and exchange online items in store. Having customer account details available in all channels is also key: consumers can be encouraged to shop across different channels by making purchase history or loyalty-program options accessible at all times.

 

Delivery and Convenience

 

Jo Malone's Morris Minor doing the rounds...

Jo Malone’s Morris Minor doing the rounds…

Same day delivery isn’t anything new, however it has struggled to become widely available outside of major cities due to the logistics of transporting the goods within the limited time period. Next day has always been the next best option, but you still have to make sure you are around when the package is delivered. The experience of this has been improving with SMS notifications and 1 hour delivery slots to take the guesswork out of knowing when a package will be delivered, but this is still doesn’t work for everyone.

There are several new services popping up now such as Doddle, who allow you to collect your order from one of their stores, located near to railway stations. The service has already partnered with the likes of ASOS, New Look and Amazon allowing you to easily grab your order on your commute home, and even return it for free.

At the luxury end of the market, the delivery proposition can be a great branding opportunity: Jo Malone‘s Morris Minor delivery service provides exceptional customer service, advertises their brand as deliveries are made around town, and provides the face-to-face brand contact that isn’t included in an ecommerce exchange. Urban Bundles, a London-based premium delivery service, offer white-label delivery ops, enabling more brands to go down this path for their deliveries.

The addition of more and more delivery options like this, as well as the ability to collect in store, all help make the purchasing process as convenient as possible for the consumer. Keep an eye out for more and more online retailers offering alternative delivery and collection options.