16 Experts Predict Ecommerce Trends in 2015
23 February 2015 by Genie Lab
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We live and breathe ecommerce at TheGenieLab, and we like to keep on top of our game. We decided to predict 5 innovative design trends for 2015 then, when we finished watching Jools and his Hootenanny, we got straight back to work and decided to ask a few industry experts one simple question:
"What's the biggest trend you're predicting will take off in the eCommerce world in 2015?"
We had lots of responses from top influencers, and they gave us some pretty outstanding answers. So great, in fact, we thought it would be selfish to keep them to ourselves. So we didn't. Take a look at what the experts had to say:
Billy Murphy - foreverjobless.com
"The biggest eCommerce trend taking off in 2015 is people launching "me-too" businesses. This will create temporary wins for many people, but long-term failure. Almost everyone I see getting into eCommerce is focusing their business around marketing tips and tricks to get the results they want. A very small fraction of people are doing what's necessary to have long-term business success. So, this 2015 trend will cause temporary excitement and a temporary income boost for many. But it will be short-lived for most. The 2016 or 2017 trend for those that didn't focus on the right variables will be panic, and seeking the 'next thing'."
"From my perspective, we have three things. Two of them have been ongoing for some time, and the other is relatively new, and not yet embraced by many online vendors.
- The continuing domination of more and more niches by Amazon, including Amazon becoming the sole or largest distributor for some manufacturers.
- The ever-increasing tendency of Google to reward large brands with rankings. Combined with their increasing ability to display query results on the SERP page, it makes it ever less likely for small businesses to get the eyeballs they need.
- This will be the year that B2B websites get fully into SMM. We are seeing more activity on some of our industrial equipment sites in this area. It used to be that LinkedIn was the only major SMM source for B2B, but that is changing quickly. More so with Twitter than Facebook."
Linda Bustos - www.getelastic.com
"Responsive wins back a point on being able to scale across devices without creating multiple layouts.
Your website can keep to one-URL (vs a m.site copy) for each page with either responsive or adaptive, but a faster page load speed is likely an edge over responsive to search engines, who use page load speed and bounce rates back to search pages as ranking factors.
While responsive can be labour-intensive (vs. m.sites which can be done quickly and on the cheap), dynamic/adaptive appears to the more popular choice of online retailers in 2015."
Shirley Tan - yesagainmarketing.com
"Small business owners will be more serious about using their data properly, which actually means that they won't just collect data through their analytics tools, but will actually effect marketing strategies towards the insights they gain. Those businesses that don't do this will be unable to compete. Tactics like segmentation, personalization, and email targeting based on user engagement are the opportunities that many small business and some large boxes have yet to fully optimize in understanding how their customer really want to be communicated with. Working with the entire organization to communicate brand value must be top priority. Marketing strategies needs to be a cohesive for it to be effective. The days of spray and pray are over."
Ezra Firestone - smartmarketer.com
"Finger Friendly Interfaces ... as the world is moving to mobile and touch-based consumption of the internet, it's getting more and more important for ecommerce retailers to design their stores for touch based consumers. This means longer form pages set up for people who are scrolling"
Steve Chou - mywifequitherjob.com
"I know that with our eCommerce store, we are making an effort to make all customer communication much more targeted based on customer behaviour. So in 2015, I foresee that more and more shops will segment their marketing efforts based on individual customer preferences which will improve sales and customer satisfaction."
Richard Lazazzera - www.abetterlemonadestand.com
"We've been beaten over the head for the last few years about the importance of mobile as it relates to eCommerce, but many still haven't listened. Mobile last year finally accounted for more than 50% of all eCommerce store traffic, but only a fraction of that mobile traffic converted. In 2015, online retailers of all sizes will truly begin to understand the importance of mobile, not from reports and articles, but from their own analytics.
A responsive website is just the beginning, retailers need to also start considering mobile-exclusive deals, content and site architecture as well as consider how to remove as much friction as possible from the mobile-buying experience. New products like Apple Pay will go a long way in helping eCommerce conversion on mobile."
Neil Patel - neilpatel.com
"The biggest trend that I see taking place in eCommerce in 2015 is the ability to see how products look on you before you buy them all on the web. For example, some eyeglass sites let you upload a picture of yourself so you can see how the glasses will look on you.
I see the same thing happening with other clothing-related websites. This will help people get a better understanding what they really want before buying wearable products online."
Terry Lin - www.buildmyonlinestore.com
"Instagram will take off as a legit content marketing channel for brands (if not already). If you look at the way users are interacting with Instagram right now, it's very much like a FHM, Maxim, or Cosmopolitan magazine where people follow lifestyle, comedy, meme channels, comics, food, entertainment, and celebrities that they are interested in. But unlike a giant magazine publication where they determine what content you see, users can customize their entire news feed to only see what they like. Publishing photos on Instagram requires more finesse, and the smart content creators like National Geographic really take time to not just find great photos, but also write a story that goes behind it."
Gary Vaynerchuk - www.garyvaynerchuk.com
"One word – mobile" Gary was brief and to the point with his answer. The industry has been banging on about mobile for months on end. But this year will be more important than ever as mobile traffic finally overcomes desktop traffic. So if you aren't responsive, you'd better hurry.
Tobi Lükte - www.shopify.com
Stuart Mcmillan - https://twitter.com/mcmillanstu
Andrew Youderian - www.ecommercefuel.com
"I think in 2015 and beyond, you'll see lots more companies start to embrace the lighter side of business and try to turn the shopping experience into something fun, unique, humorous and enjoyable to stand out.
Companies like Mancrates have enjoyed massive success, partially because they offer a great product but largely due to their fun, cheeky and humorous marketing and shopping experience."
Jaimy Szymanski - www.altimetergroup.com
“2015 will be the year of mobile-first and mobile-only strategies for eCommerce retailers. We've found that leading companies are increasingly shifting their mobile strategies from reactively focusing solely on what technology allows to proactively examining what mobile customers want, need, and expect from their on-device experiences. What consumer’s desire is a self-contained mobile experience that allows them to complete their entire decision and purchase journey on one screen, in one app, or within one truly mobile-optimized website.
Over the past year, ecommerce retailers have instead focused on creating a seamless cross-channel experience, pouring resources into supporting (and, even encouraging) channel-hopping behaviours. If retailers continue to unwittingly force customers to multi-screen and channel-hop to conversion, they'll be quickly left behind for competitors that create truly innovative, engaging mobile ecommerce experiences. In 2015, these experiences will be rooted in customer data and predictive analytics, specific to each device experience. And, you can bet that consumers will reward these efforts accordingly.”
Gareth Morgan – www.libertymarketing.co.uk
“eCommerce sites have become far more aware of their marketing problems, especially from an SEO perspective. They now know the importance of making their products stand out online with unique content, strong optimisation and clean URLs. This will be a big driver for eCommerce sites that pay more attention to building authority instead of taking boilerplate text from catalogues or not putting any copy on their product pages at all. They will really hone in on eCommerce best practices, and will also pay more attention to being mobile responsive. Now that Google displays a ‘mobile friendly’ tag in the SERP results, eCommerce stores will really want to be found across mobile and tablet devices.”
And of course we had to include ourselves, so here's our very own prediction:
Tom Bond – www.thegenielab.co.uk
“In 2015, I think we are going to see the continued rise of mobile browsing and shopping, driven by larger phone screen sizes (especially the iPhone 6). This will continue to make a great mobile experience vital to conversion rates. This will be part of an increasing expectation of an omnichannel offering, where consumers pass through more than one 'channel' in a single transaction. This opens up exciting opportunities for creative brick and mortar stores, where they complement eCommerce stores rather than competing with them by using the power of online data. In addition, bricks and mortar retailers able to harness services like Deliv may actually have a head start in getting products out super fast and very conveniently, placing them at the forefront of city-based on-demand delivery.”
You heard it here first!
We'd like to say a big thank you to all of the contributors for giving such insightful answers - we can't wait to see what the year brings with it.
The experts have had their say, now it's your turn. Tell us what you think will be the next 'big thing' in eCommerce using the comments below.
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