Nothing changes quite like the digital world, and if you have a business that relies on eCommerce then you are well aware of it’s runaway train-like pace. If you intend on remaining relevant in the business world, you’ll need to stay ahead of the changes or at least keep pace. So what is coming down the way next year and how will it affect your business?
Handheld Shopping Malls
Mobile users are already able to do most of their shopping from their phone. Online stores and websites are already making a shift toward mobile optimized shopping experience, and that’s because mobile users just keep on multiplying. Smartphones are no passing fad, that much should be clear from the lack of eye contact between anyone riding public transportation. People use their phones for everything except maybe eating, sleeping and breathing, though there is probably an app for that.
As the mobile experience moves from an add on to a central part of the shopping experience, you can expect more businesses to focus on creating mobile-friendly stores and even hybrid experiences in their physical stores to accommodate mobile shoppers who for some reason find themselves inside a physical retail location.
Point-of-Sale (POS) systems, such as Shopify’s touch screen checkout setup, are bridge of sorts between the old physical method of shopping and the mobile experience.
Wear Your Wallet on your Sleeve
Wearables are poised and ready to take the world by force. Google Glass has already started the fire and when Apple’s iWatch drops later this year, it will turn that brush fire into a four alarm blaze on a windy day. Wearables will put the Internet within such easy, passive access to its user that both marketing and shopping alike will become more like breathing than a conscious effort.
Businesses will be able to rapidly update consumers on price changes, promotions, etc, while marketers will have a whole new method of catching their attention, a way that only stops when a person is asleep. Retailers could broadcast signals to wearable devices that send deals or other marketing materials to customers who are merely with the broadcast range. Imagine walking past a Starbucks and your iWatch beeping to tell you about their new Pumpkin whatever drink, which you then purchase and pickup inside the store.
Wearables may just be the link between eCommerce and the physical world that bridges the divide and brings us into the future world that the movies have promised us for decades.
Make It Your Way
Customization is a pretty big deal for people and businesses alike. Up to this point there has been a limit with what services and products retail companies are able to provide and to what degree they are able to give people exactly what they want. eCommerce also brings great changes to the marketing side of the equation. Users continue to volunteer more personal information via their web searches and email content, allowing advertising to cater to the exact type of products they might be most interested in. Businesses will be able to do better than just hit a target demographic, they will be able to hit the target individuals within the target demographic who, based on their own Internet activity, are most likely to convert into customers.
Faster Than Instant
Internet speeds are ever increasing. The base level for many broadband companies was something you had to pay through the nose for just 10 years ago. 15 years ago, people still had to tie up their home phone to check their email. Things have changed quite quickly, and tagging along for the ride are the general public’s expectations. Privilege can so quickly turn into a right in our modern, instantly gratified society.
e-Commerce will have to work hard to ensure they are providing as much content as possible without sacrificing the time it takes to load the webpage or complete a purchase. Online retailers will need to go even further still in reducing the amount of time spent searching for products, which is largely dependent on the user’s search queries, by building new and improved algorithms to anticipate the most likely results in spite of the quality of the search words.
Ship It as You Buy It.
Google and Amazon are already offering same day shipping in some areas if you order early enough in the day. Expect other online stores to follow suit and in 2015, expect that window of delivery to become much more specific and narrow. Right now, there are dreamers who speak of a 30 minute delivery window from the time of purchase. The sheer infrastructure required to turn that dream into a reality is likely only possible for the biggest retailers for the moment, though as with all innovation, it has a way of becoming less cost prohibitive over time and more of a mainstream idea for even the smallest of businesses.
The main advantage that brick-and-mortar stores have over online stores is the immediacy of the purchase. You get to take your TV home with you from the electronics store. This new same day shipping trend could be the final nail in the brick-and-mortar coffin, barring any hybridization success.
Owen Andrew is a writer with a strong passion for emerging technology and social media strategies to help enhance ones brand. He enjoys drinking his morning cup of black coffee while attempting the newspaper’s crossword puzzle. He hopes the readers of AddShoppers.com find this article helpful as well as informative.
What do YOU think is the biggest change that we'll see in 2015? Let us know in the comments!
Written by: Mitchell Abdullah