Will our Ecommerce Predictions for 2014 Come True?
We think so. (We thought we’d allay any doubts you may have about spending the time to read this!)
Every year brings promise and the opportunity to do things better than the previous year. We’re looking forward to 2014, and polled our FastPivot team for their ecommerce predictions for 2014. It’s going to be an exciting year for us as we expand services, and provide even more value to our FastPivot customers and clients.
With the confidence of a new year also comes the inevitable questions of what’s going to happen. It’s one thing to be confident, it’s another to be ready. It’s easier to be ready if you know what to expect. Here are four ecommerce predictions for 2014 so you can be ready when they happen.
1. Data’s Role in Decision-Making Will Grow
We’re getting further and further away from seat-of-the-pants decision making. Businesses will need to rely more on data to create strategies and make decisions.
From marketing to setting prices, and delivering on customer satisfaction promises, ecommerce retailers will need to sift through lots of data. Learning how to wade through the vast amount of data to find those ‘critical few’ insights will help you make better decisions. This means you need to integrate media platforms, CRMs and web analytics to deliver the data that will help you inspire and move customers through the purchase cycle.
Ecommerce retailers will also need to focus on the speed and architecture of their platforms. From our research we saw a surge in 2013 of shoppers on tablet and mobile devices. Sites will need to be optimized for those devices.
2. Customer Acquisition Can’t Be Left to Chance
Growth and profitability will continue to be challenging for ecommerce retailers. Gone are the Field of Dreams days of “publish it and they will buy.” Online stores need to develop and implement comprehensive customer acquisition and retention plans. If startups, or small businesses (who want to build their online revenue well beyond the “hobby” stage) want to grow, they need a real plan and a commitment to generate and convert traffic. This means looking at paid ads, social connection efforts ,and a product line that differentiates or accentuates a need/want that cannot be fulfilled elsewhere.
3. It’s All Retailing Now
Remember 6-7 years ago when people started talking about retailing as just retailing? Something that encompassed both brick-and-mortar and ecommerce, rather than separate and independent channels? It’s deja vu all over again.
In 2014, we expect the similar distinction between mobile and desktop will disappear. It’s just going to be all about digital retailing. And whether that purchase is on a Samsung handset or a MacBook Pro, you’ve still got the sale.
4. Size Doesn’t Matter (Or Does It?)
While understanding that retailing is now just retailing, you still have to emphasize the user experience when designing for various screen sizes. Because nothing changes quite like mobile device screen sizes. In 2013, the line between mobile and tablet sizes clearly diminished. The 8″ tablet is already common, while the new Oppo N1 Android phone sports a massive 6″ display.
Store owners will need to consider the shopping experience for touch screens of any size in 2014, because millions of people are preferring to shop on really small screens. Whether your solution to multiple screen sizes is to create a responsive solution, or build on a separate platform, delivering a conversion-focussed shopping experience must be your priority.
What a year 2014 is going to be. We hope to see you in-person at some of the industry events. We’re also planning a busy webinar schedule so we look forward to the opportunity to taking your questions online. If you have questions that can’t wait, and want to talk about how you can improve what you’re doing, please contact Jen Boos (jen at fastpivot.com).