We have collected opinions from some of the leading experts and practitioners on ecommerce trends to look out for in 2014, which we hope will provide you with some insight for your 2014 ecommerce marketing activities.

Ecommerce Trends 2014

On Ecommerce and wearable tech…

Eric Abensur Eric Abensur, CEO of Venda
quoteWith the first smart watches now on the market and the impending arrival of Google Glass, one big retail trend of 2014 will be wearable technology. Analyst firm Juniper has predicted smart watches will rise from 1m sales to 36m in 5 years and research we conducted earlier this year into wearable technology shows consumer sentiment towards these devices is in a position to support this growth.

Indeed, over a quarter of consumers revealed they were excited to use the tech to search for available stock and product suggestions whilst in-store. Furthermore, one in five expressed intentions to use the technology to enhance their shopping experiences by unlocking promotional discounts and guiding them to the best deals on the high street.

This goes to show how willing consumers are to use these devices in-store and how integrating these new technologies will be crucial for high street retailers. It’s of course difficult to say whether wearable technology will be immediately popular with consumers, but what is certain is that consumers are looking for new and exciting ways to enhance their shopping experiences with technology. This fact alone is expected to drive the success of wearable devices and retailers need to start planning their strategies to adopt what has the potential to become the next stage of digital retailing.

On Ecommerce and automation

Craig Beddis, CMOs, Automic Craig Beddis
The deal between eBay and Shutl for same-hour delivery services highlights the importance of speedy delivery to customers (and the ability to offer fast delivery without crushing internal resources) moving towards 2014. In order to compete in the ultra-quick delivery market, retailers – both online and offline – will need to be able to at least offer the same services as their competitors; otherwise they will not be able to meet increased consumer expectations set by the market leaders.

This is where automation comes in, and why the supply chain and back-end systems are so vital to online retailers.

The businesses that will prosper in the hyper-competitive and potentially lucrative online retail marketplace will be those that can deliver on customer expectations. Automation of the supply chain – tied to point-of-sale systems – will facilitate a useable, reliable and efficient way to ensure that the right product is in the right place, at the right time.

Automated and efficient IT systems unlocks retailers’ ability to innovate.

On Ecommerce and tablets

Darren Bull Darren Bull, Director, Metakinetic
quoteThe biggest influence for retailers in 2014 will be the wide-spread adoption of tablets within households. The use of tablets has been growing throughout 2013 and I believe it is this year that we will really see the impact their popularity will have.Own-brand tablets like Tesco’s Hudl and Aldi’s Lifetab had already sold out before Christmas, and the arrival of these low-cost alternatives means that in 2014 tablets will be available to a wider proportion of the consumer market than ever before.

I hope retailers don’t underestimate the importance of ensuring their ecommerce sites are ready to meet the demands of the thousands of consumers who will this year make the transition from desk-top users to tablet-users. User experience, responsive design and high-quality graphics will all be required to deliver a fantastic online experience on tablet devices.

4G will play a big part in how mobile devices are used in the year ahead. Faster, more powerful connectivity means that tablets won’t be confined to the living room. Already we are starting to see the increase in consumers shopping around on their mobiles and tablets when out and about, and I think sales made from these devices will increase exponentially as more and more people move across to this superior connection and can access the internet from wherever they are.

Philip Rooke, CEO of Spreadshirt  Philip Rooke, CEO, Spreadshirt
I think the most important trend in 2014 will be the continued usage of touch-screens and tablets. This is really changing shopping behaviour, including when people are out shopping, in travelling time, while second-screening and during other typically unused time spots.

2013 has been the year that tablet ecommerce really started to happen. Consumers now often start the shopping experience on a tablet and more often finish it on a tablet as well. This has fundamentally changed the way that customers browse for shopping ideas and it means that they have better ways to look at their options and buy.

Browsing and sharing things continues to become a bigger part of the customer journey. A lot more browsing used to be offline, but better user experience on tablets has changed this. As result of this touch, multichannel changes everything, so that the shopping trip happens across many different sessions now. Being able to save wish lists or liked products for use at a later stage is going to be key.

On Ecommerce and content…

oliver Oliver Jäger, VP Global Marketing & Communications at e-Spirit
quoteIn a day and age where information and connectivity have become an indispensable part of a modern lifestyle, it’s not just bricks-and-mortar retailers that need a new strategy. Online retailers are increasingly also having to adapt to the new multichannel, information-rich reality. What this means is that in 2014 we’ll continue to see more and more retailers moving into the content space. Modern consumers are much more demanding and sophisticated, expecting their shopping experience to be a holistic and comprehensive one.

Information and multichannel involvement will also become an increasingly important part of services, products and perception of value. With multi-channel shopping, physical shops will become showrooms and the final buying decision will be made online. As a result, a greater demand for quality content will be another key trend for e-commerce in 2014. It is all about improved user and consumer experience, especially for retailer’s websites. Highly relevant content, combining text, video and images will help to truly engage with costumers and drive them to the (online) shops.

Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama

Staff


Editor of Fourth Source and freelance SEO/Digital Marketer based in London.