At TheGenieLab, we’ve been helping our clients in the ecommerce world for years. Along the way, we’ve learnt a lot about makes a good ecommerce setup. This means we like to think we’ve got a good eye for a future trend, and recently we teamed up with our partners at Brightpearl (who build an excellent multichannel ecommerce management system of the same name) to do a webinar for retailers to help them look ahead at what is coming over the horizon for ecommerce. We hope that it will help them prepare for the challenges and with a bit of foresight take advantage of the opportunities new technologies present.
Watch the video to hear from Grainne Shaughnessy and Tom Bond representing Brightpearl and TheGenieLab as they look at what the future might hold for all of us in ecommerce.
In our talk we defined what we mean by multichannel and omnichannel. Specifically, omnichannel is one step further, where a company’s sales channels begin to merge as customers experience more than one channel during a single transaction, or at least during a short period of time. This means that the consistency of experience between channels is very important to retain brand positioning.
We talk about how online retail in the future will not continue to supercede bricks and mortar retail, but instead will offer some great opportunities for them to complement each other – for instance by using beaconing technology and in-store WiFi to deliver additional content to shoppers. This might take the form of flagging up product videos, reviewing that have been posted online by other shoppers, social sharing options and much more – utilising the power of ecommerce within stores.
Pure ecommerce companies, set up with no physical presence, have increasingly realised the value of a bricks and mortar store, with some names such as Saddleback Leather and Love 41 opening stores because they know they’ll be able to develop their brands in a way that a website alone is not capable of doing.
Retailers will face many challenges as the new technology arrives, especially if they are stuck using legacy systems which are deeply embedded in their processes and will be complicated and potentially expensive to upgrade. There are also cultural issues especially at larger retailers where there are clear divides between the teams managing online and offline sales, which need to be addresses to ensure a consistent style of customer service, as well as administrative things like returns, gift cards and the like being managed in the same way no matter which channels are used.
The future of mobile is clearly huge. Already in 2014 Shopify saw traffic and sales on its stores topping 50% during some points of the year, including Black Friday. This points us towards a not-so-distant future where mobile sales make up more than half of online customers, and where a super slick mobile experience is clearly crucial. A great shopping app or website will help with conversions – and it will also make instore interaction with online resources such as reviews viable.
Fast, crowd sourced delivery with companies such as Deliv are also making a big impact. In cities, visiting a store in your lunch break, finding a product in a ‘showroom’ type store and ordering the right size or colour variation and having that arrive at your office within an hour is becoming increasingly viable and common. As expectations change, so will retailers in order to keep up.
Curation is also an important idea, especially because we now know how powerful the effect of things like social sharing are. A recommendation from a friend, family member or a ‘trusted voice’ – such as blogger, vlogger or celebrity whose style a shopper aspires to is so vastly more powerful than traditional advertising that it makes sense to gear a website around providing these other sources of information to take advantage of this. Companies who can do this by taking advantage of all the leading edge technology that is out there will thrive.
We hope you enjoy the webinar and find it useful. At TheGenieLab, we are happy to advise on your ecommerce project, give you the benefit of our experience and of course, provide a quote! Get in touch with us using the contact forms on the site, or jump straight onto the live chat to speak to one of us right away.