In many ways 2013 was a banner year for eCommerce; online sales increased overall and sales on Cyber Monday increased over 20% to become the single biggest online shopping day in history. For more on what went down in the world of eCommerce in 2013 and what role social and other trends played check out 2013 Do’s that Didn’t, and to see our predictions for 2014 look below.
Native advertising will rival traditional PPC
What was once largely a platform for campaigns designed to go viral has become a regular and less ambitious investment for some retailers. As more social and online publishing sites make space for native media buys and reduce their reliance on available traditional banner ads, native space will increase and more retailers will supplement their traditional PPC. Content marketing will continue to displace rented space and traditional disruptive advertising. Presented by …
Online shoppers will grow increasingly fickle
A survey by Edgell Networks found that 80% of retailers feel their sales were brought down by an average of 5% by shoppers who showroom. As eCommerce competition continues to increase and consumer confidence in buying from new retailers grows it will become increasingly difficult for retailers to keep their customers coming back. Loyalty programs and retention initiatives will become a must for competitive retailers.
Broad adoption of universal payment systems
Just as shoppers become more likely to buy from someone else, there will be a continued growth in new visitors who are comparison shopping. Icons indicating that Paypal, Amazon, or one of the others jockeying to become the default for online payment will make it easier for eCommerce savvy shoppers to check out. In 2014 offering a universal checkout option will become a must for online retailers.
B2C will find a use for Google Plus
Few retailers have struck gold on Google Plus, but in 2014 retailers in some verticals will. While it may be argued that users on Google Plus are further from a buying mindset than those on Twitter, FB and Pinterest they are more interested in details and in depth comparisons.
Shopper driven organization schemes
Shoppers are increasingly looking to their peers to discover new products. Retailers who are building this into the way they display their products are seeing increased conversion rates and larger average order values. Schemes like trending and popular products along with products your friends like will become more commonplace.
Social Login will become the default for account creation
A result of the larger trend to make conversion as easy as possible Social Login will stand in as a universal way to create new accounts. Though Social Login provides more accurate and granular data than traditional forms, retailers will struggle to capitalize on what is mostly unstructured data.
Buying decisions will be primarily guided by community
As more online shoppers buy products they have never seen in person from retailers they have never used before, they will increasingly rely on input from their digital peers to make their decisions. In 2014, expect to see traditional ratings and reviews supplemented with features that connect shoppers to community support networks.
Mobile purchases will swell
Mobile shopping got huge in 2013, but most shoppers still prefer to be on a desktop when they checkout. In 2014 converting on mobile will displace desktop as the norm for buying online. Widely adopted universal and mobile payment systems will help enable this.
Contextually rich advertisements from social data
Online shoppers now expect ads based on their online behavior and even email content, the next step is ads based on the rich psycho graphic data made available to retailers from their social network’s APIs. Some retailers are already taking advantage of this, but in 2014 the majority will make the leap to such contextually aware advertisements.
Drones delivery systems
The lowest likelihood on our list, but we can dream.
In some ways 2013 was a let down, 3D printers have yet to change the way we sell online and Lady Gaga’s new album just wasn’t as catchy as we expected, but 2014 will be a different game entirely. Get ready for an amazing year!