2015 was an exceptional year for eCommerce.
Australian shoppers smashed the predicted $10 billion in online retail
According to the National Bank of Australia, online retail spending in
Australia increased by 10%, up to $17.6 billion1.
Early last year, we reviewed the industry
predictions for eCommerce trends in 2015.
We reported that the major focus would be in the areas of mobile
shopping, social media selling, and the combination of traditional
marketing channels and digital marketing channels to provide a similar
shopping experience for the customer.
mCommerce saw the biggest growth in 2015, helped in part by the growth in
mobile device usage and the mobilegeddon
that unfolded in the middle of the year.
We saw a serious shift in the capability to buy online direct from mobile
devices rather than just gather information to support the customer's
2016 is well under way now though, and it's time again to review the
Here are the eCommerce trends tipped to be big for 2016.
Continued Growth in Online Markets
The good news is most industry leaders are predicting the strong growth
seen in 2015 will continue well into 2016.
And like last year, mobile it tipped to generate the largest part of this
It's all about the Customer Experience
Creating and improving the customer experience will be the main area of
focus for eCommerce in 2016.
The marketing strategy of eStores will no longer target increasing the
number of single transactions.
Instead, marketing strategies will focus on managing customer expectation
and satisfaction every step of the way, including post-purchase.
Cheaper prices and free shipping will no longer be the differentiator
between competing eStores.
Instead, online shopping will become a journey or an experience akin to
shopping at Tiffany's.
Expansion of Marketing Automation
Over the past couple of years, e-Mail marketing has been almost
It is not uncommon now for eStores to send a targeted e-Mail to a
customer based upon particular activities, such as if the customer added
items to their cart, and then left the website without completing the
This year, more marketing channels will become automated in a similar
Elements of a website such as banners, landing pages, even product
descriptions will become automated to serve customized content targeted
to the individual.
For example, I might return to a website several times to look at a
particular product. The next time I return, I am served a banner
advertising a promotional discount on that specific item, a discount just
This level of automation is a tool to provide even greater personalized
shopping experiences for customers.
More Social Media Selling
Selling on social media last year was been more like marketing and
advertising, rather than a point-of-sale.
Several social media platforms tested and partly launched tools in 2015
to allow their users to buy products within the platform itself, without
needing to visit the retailer's website.
In 2016, we will see these features become available to more retailers in
Soon it will become commonplace to see a post or a tweet with a Buy Now
A Higher Quality of Content
High-quality content will become a differentiator to attract and engage
Faster Internet speeds have allowed video to become a viable method to
deliver content. Product reviews, demonstrations, and instructional
videos will become popular forms of content.
Website content strategy itself will become more about storytelling and
Prepare for 2016 to be another significant year for eCommerce.
Barriers that separated online shopping from traditional shopping will
dissolve as new technology becomes viable and affordable to traditional
This will enable traditional retailers to compete in online markets again
as the advantages that eRetailers have enjoyed up until now become less
of an advantage.
Online shopping has now become just another part of shopping in general.