The State of E-Commerce: What to Expect in 2015

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2015 is here and it’s time for a fresh start! Now is the time to assess your success in 2014, set your goals for the new year, and make the necessary adjustments to your e-commerce marketing strategy to keep up. Here’s what’s in store for e-commerce retailers this year.

Mobile and omnichannel commerce is here

Technological advances have enabled consumers to access pretty much whatever they want on multiple devices and different sized screens. What does this mean for online retailers? More sales opportunities and also added complexity to the consumer purchasing process.

Retailers must optimize the website experience on both mobile and tablet platforms and understand how each channel is used. For example, consumers may be comparing prices while shopping in a store on their mobile device so they’d want a minimalist and easy to navigate site experience. The point is that purchases no longer occur on just one channel; A consumer will go through the purchasing process using multiple channels and retailers must adjust their strategy accordingly.

With recent innovations in mobile payments, we could see payment options, like Apple Pay, boost the number of purchases made on mobile devices. This further emphasizes the importance of having a responsive mobile website in order to maximize e-commerce conversion optimization.

Segmentation and personalization are a must

Segmenting your visitors and creating a personalized shopping experience has never been more important. You’re dealing with a bunch of competition and visitors can easily leave your site at any time. By segmenting traffic, you will be able to create a personal shopping experience and keep visitors on your site. Website and landing page optimization will continue to grow in importance and with all of the available tools, it’s never been this easy to set your site up for success.

For example, with Justuno, you can segment incoming traffic and present specific promotions to first-time visitors, repeat customers, visitors viewing specific pages, visitors with large cart amounts, visitors with who are about to leave your page, and much more. With access to data analytics, you can see what is working and what is not, to fully optimize your site and boost sales conversions. Justuno is a simple and effective on-site marketing tool that not only grows sales but also enables you to gather valuable emails and social fans for future re-targeting.

Social commerce will continue to expand

The social aspect of commerce continues to grow as more and more consumers go to social media to post reviews, complaints, recommendations, and fashionable product images. This is an opportunity to use positive reviews and user-generated product images for marketing. Online retailers must embrace this socialization and engage with customers on social channels to maintain their brand image and stand out from the competition.

Expect social networks to become a type of sales channel. According to Search Laboratory, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounted for 75% of all social generated sales so these social channels should be a focus in your 2015 strategy. With the addition of the “buy” button, Twitter could become a more valuable social channel moving forward. Instagram is still the most interactive social channel and will continue to be a social marketing necessity for visual brands. Social lead generation will be of utmost importance.

Keep an eye out for Wanelo, a social network specifically for e-commerce, in 2015. Users can like products, follow brands, and go directly to the product web page to purchase the item. Larger brands have already created a presence on Wanelo and it has become an efficient way to shop for buyers. Yes, you face a bunch of competition on Wanelo, but with over 11 million users and a recent integration with Shopify, it’s hard to ignore the potential benefit for your brand.

Niche brands and markets

The advances in e-commerce as a whole have made it relatively easy to sell products online. With the ability to reach a global consumer base and acquire funding through services like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, niche brands can receive customer validation and e-commerce marketing in a quick and cost-effective manner. Expect to see more and more unique products to pop up throughout 2015. There are plenty of customers throughout the world; it’s time to capitalize on this opportunity.

The evolution of delivery

Expedited shipping is no longer a luxury. Fast delivery options are becoming cheaper and more accessible to retailers. In order to satisfy customers, retailers must continue to offer affordable shipping as well as expedited options.

We are also seeing brick and mortar retailers offer in-store pick up which is convenient and free for both the customer and the retailer. Are delivery drones the next step? I’m certainly skeptical but who knows what the future holds.

Content will serve a valuable role

E-commerce has become very competitive and marketers are constantly trying to find new ways to stand out. Content marketing tackles this issue in a couple of different ways. First, you can now become an educator and an influencer on what you are selling. Whether it’s a blog post that helps someone choose the right product or a setup video, marketers are finding ways to add extra value to the customer. This is a growing trend for 2015 to help convert more sales and stand out from competitors.

Second, content plays an essential role in both SEO and social channel marketing. Expect to see more and more content posted on social channels as we enter into 2015. Use this as an opportunity to create informational and educational content that is SEO friendly in order to reach more potential customers via organic search. By implementing an effective content marketing strategy you can develop a loyal following, convert sales, and rank higher on search engines.

What are your expectations for 2015? What are you most excited about? Worried about? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below

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