2015: The Year Ahead in Ecommerce

Another eventful year has flown by: 2014 brought us the rapid transition to Google Shopping Campaigns, the ascent of retail-oriented social media and more jockeying for retail search supremacy from Amazon and Google. The only constant is change. 2015 will be an exciting year for the industry, as the dimensions of ecommerce keep expanding. Here are some trends that should be top-of-mind for enterprise retail marketers.

Social Discovery

Online consumer psychology is evolving fast. While shoppers still make forays online for specific products, consumers now spend more of their online time than ever aspiring to lifestyles. And, per a recent Nielsen study, 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, while only 33% trust ads. Traditional paid marketing media remains huge, but product demand is now also formed by community interaction, demonstrable trends, and a new array of social media.

As Pinterest and other social channels ramp up efforts to provide marketing opportunity (without annoying their user base), tangible value has emerged for retailers. Social channels have shown encouraging growth over the last year, as well as revenue-per-click that stacks up favorably against traditional ecommerce channels.

The indirect benefits of social channels should not be forgotten either. These channels offer opportunities to connect with your customers and present a lifestyle they will aspire to. Integrating social channels into your overall online brand strategy also carries SEO benefits.

Clean Product Content Management

The array of ecommerce channels is ever-expanding. Yes, Amazon, Google and eBay will be front-and-center as long as people buy things online. But, media continually evolves (see above), foreign online markets are growing, and technology for online and omnichannel shopping is expanding (see below).

It’s more important than ever to have product data that is comprehensive, accessible, and portable. Furthermore, it’s crucial to have tools that deliver quality product data to all key channels at scale.

Be Everywhere

It was supposed to be “The Year of Mobile” in ecommerce every year since a mobile text ad first appeared on a smartphone. In 2014, reality finally caught up with the hype, as enterprise retailers saw huge gains in mobile revenue.

The question is not whether more shoppers will utilize mobile devices, but how to best connect all channels for an optimal holistic retail marketing strategy. Google Local Inventory Ads is a great step and a tremendous opportunity for any large retailer looking to bolster omnichannel presence.

Google has also taken steps to offer better targeting parameters for omnichannel retailers over the past two years. Click-to-call extensions, mobile modifiers, and geo modifiers should all be leveraged to some extent, and should be a big focus for retailers with a large and varied brick-and-mortar presence.

Conclusion

Ecommerce isn’t going to get any less challenging. It’s a never ending deluge of new competitors to face, new programs to consider, and new shopper behavior to account for. With change comes opportunity, though, and 2015 promises to be an exciting year. At CommerceHubwe are building new features and capabilities with the above challenges in mind.

After merging with Mercent at the end of 2014, CommerceHub now proudly offers an even better set of omnichannel tools for enterprise retailers. Reach out to us to know more about how we can help your ecommerce business go multichannel.