2015 has been an impressive year for digital commerce, not least the record levels of online sales recorded over Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. However, the consumer never stands still, and eCommerce will need to keep innovating into 2016 in order to grow in value.
One thing that has become evidently clear is that digital and bricks-and-mortar are not separate channels; they serve each other in order to create satisfaction however the omnichannel shopper reaches them.
There are, though, distinct trends that will impact online retail over the next 12 months – and these include:
The Real Mobile-First Revolution
Right now around 60-70 percent of shoppers are viewing products through a mobile device, and many of those who go on to purchase from a store will switch straight to mobile devices; missing desktop computers out of the retail journey altogether.
The industry has been talking a lot about mobile commerce, but the mobile-first revolution hasn’t started yet. In 2016, retailers will be looking at it very seriously, integrating their online and offline channels – particularly through apps, as even mobile optimized websites don’t have an intuitive look or feel. Retailers must utilize apps to enable true mobility.
Flash promotions through Push Notifications
The widespread appeal of these flash promotions will continue into 2016, but not because of their profitability.
By the time reduced margins have been accounted for, and returns have been factored in, events like Black Friday are not particularly profitable for retailers. However, companies have to participate because their competitors are doing it, and they need to maintain market share.
As a result, retailers will need to implement a tightly integrated promotional strategy around these flash sales, and invest loads in optimizing their mobile app, in order to maximize the revenue opportunities available.
Greater Personalization for Greater Customer Experience
Across all channels, retailers will need to tailor customer interactions more closely to individual shoppers’ needs, and ecommerce is the ideal platform to drive this evolution. For example, proper segmentation of marketing campaigns is necessary to reach consumers with relevant messages, based on their purchasing and engagement history.
Many tier 1 and 2 retailers are well on this road to greater online personalization, however it shouldn’t just be the bigger retailers creating customized experiences. SMEs also need to be assessing and investing in the eCommerce technology that helps them nurture the value of their digital customers.
Revenue Growth from Existing Customers
There are three growth areas that retailers need to be focusing on – existing customers, competitors’ customers, and completely new customers. The most cost efficient option is to streamline performance and get value from existing customer base.
In 2016, use of business intelligence will play a significant role in helping retailers to increase the value of their existing customer base. This will feed directly into my previous point, understanding shopper behavior in order to segment and personalize outreach.
2015 also proved to be a year that unveiled the potential of mobile apps in retaining customers. With the onset of 2016, ecommerce companies will leave no loose ends untied when it comes to a sublime mobile app experience.
The real face of ecommerce in 2016 will be unveiled as the year unfolds and tech enthusiasts like us will surely be looking with our eyes peeled.
I hope you enjoyed the blog. For more of such posts, subscribe to the blog and we will keep you posted.