2014 was a grand year for eCommerce, both globally and locally in
Australia. By the end of the 2014 financial year, on-line retail sales in
Australia hit AU$15.6 billion, growing 8.6% from the previous year.
On-line stores were no-longer a cheap and tacky looking website with poor
product images that left a feeling of uncertainty and doubt in the
shopper, but were now professional websites that gave the customer
everything they needed and more.
Australian retailers were quick to recognise that eCommerce was no longer
a nice-to-have addition to compete with the store up the road, but was
now a must-have part of their business if they didn't want to lose their
local customers to overseas competitors.
Many industry players have made their predictions for eCommerce trends,
and we have reviewed them to distil the most popular predictions for
The overview for eCommerce is that 2015 looks set to maintain the pace
gathered in 2014, improving on the lessons learnt from the previous year,
and preparing for a big leap coming in the next few years as new
technology becomes more widely available and affordable.
Greater Focus on Mobile
Overwhelmingly, a major focus on mobile was the #1 trend prediction.
Mobile shopping habits in Australia are currently shifting from on-line
browsing to on-line purchasing, and on-line stores will adapt to this
The focus will be in improving the shopping experience for mobile
devices, making it easier and more convenient for customers to shop and
purchase on their mobile devices.
Increase in Targeted E-Mail Marketing
Along with the increase in mobile shoppers, e-Mail marketing will also
become more important.
It was reported last year that 55% of mobile web users in Australia now
use mobile as either their primary or exclusive means of going online.
That means that 55% of mobile web users read their e-Mail on their mobile
phone, a very direct channel to communicate to customers.
Like websites, e-Mail will become mobile friendly so as to be easier to
read on smaller screens, and will become more targeted.
Personalised Shopping Experiences
With an increase in big data being collected around the Web, tailored
shopping experiences will become the next big-thing for eStores.
Individualised prices, product recommendations and sales incentives
offered to individual customers, timed perfectly for when that customer
is in the market to buy a product.
Some industry figures are also predicting personalised products, allowing
the customer to essentially make their own product before purchase,
similar to what the eStore Shoes of Prey is already doing.
Social Media Selling
Social Media is always a necessary channel to engage customers, and will
always be the second best way to maintain long-standing relationships
Very soon however, social media will become the next marketplace to sell
directly to your followers.
With both Twitter and Facebook announcing and testing "Buy" buttons on
their platforms, retailers will need to be at-the-ready to jump on board
as soon as the feature is officially launched.
Of course, the issues of payment, inventory control and order management
will be a huge factor in how fast it will be adopted.
As technology advances, stores that have both physical and on-line shops
will combine the shopping experience offered at both locations.
The most obvious example will be Click-and-Collect purchases, where the
customer purchases on-line, but then picks up their order in-store.
Another example - stores that allow customers to pay for their in-store
purchase using their mobile device rather than queuing at a checkout.
NFC payment technology such as ApplePay and the similar solutions now
being provided by the larger banks will assist this; as will the growth
in popularity of mobile/digital wallets.
In 2014 it became the "norm" for eStores to offer free shipping for all
orders, as well as free returns.
In 2015, we will see more eStores offering these incentives as standard,
and more, such as same day delivery and loyalty bonuses.
In summary, e-Commerce will become fiercely more competitive in 2015.
We should see larger, better designed eStores popping up and more
imaginative strategies to attract customers being played out by
We expect to also start to see a blur between in-store shopping and
Do you have your own predictions? Share your thoughts
with us on the iASP Central Facebook Page, or Get in Touch.