Three years is a long time, especially when considering Ecommerce predictions. Trends come and go; social media channels battle it out, innovative marketing campaigns get bigger and user experience technology advances on.
The pandas love being a part of the wonderful Ecommerce UK events, where ecommerce all-stars gather for networking and great speakers. The next event should be a fascinating insight into what’s to come for ecommerce, with the topic ‘Securing sales growth in the year ahead.’ You can find out more right here.
Before the event on the 21st October, we decided to review some of the answers from a quick fire Q&A we held three years ago. What did our guests have to say, and were their predictions correct? Let’s have a look…
How accurate were our Ecommerce UK predictions?
iPhone or BlackBerry?
Obviously, Android was not as predominant when we asked this question! It says something when Android still got more votes than one of our possible answers…
As shown here, no one predicted the Blackberry would outshine the iPhone when it comes to mCommerce. However, 40% of respondents predicted Android would be a major player in the years that followed.
Online sales using mobile devices have risen to 29% in 2015, as customers embrace having a virtual shop in their pocket. IOS continues to march ahead, while tablets have crept in to steal some customer goodness!
Online or High street?
While the answers given were more varied, neither of the options we originally offered came out on top. “Both…they’re the same thing. We will all be multi channelling so there won’t be a difference,” one of our respondents predicted. The ‘both’ answer was quite a popular one, but were they right?
Multichannel offerings allow the customer to hop between the channels that are most convenient at the time of purchase. Take Click & Collect, for example. Customers cannot accept the delivery at home, so choose to collect in store. Lo and behold, they are in the store with some time to spare on their lunch break to grab some last minute items.
A huge part of CRM, email and marketing campaigns is to offer a flawless experience between all channels. However, omnichannel campaigns have now bridged the gap between the instore experience and the online store. Our CRM panda, Haley, had her own thoughts about the necessity for an all-encompassing customer journey. “I have been working with both smaller start-ups and medium sized businesses who have stressed the urge for me to find a candidate who has offline marketing experience to launch their brand further into the realms of global success.”
Having a brand in the customer psyche, even when they are nowhere near a store, is the holy grail of retail. Right now, it’s all about standing above the crowd with truly innovative campaigns. From the Starbucks customer card, to Ted Baker’s ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, brands are embracing the customer journey more than ever before.
SEO or UX?
“They shouldn’t be divorced from each other. If the user experience is seamless, than SEO should be part of that. How the user finds the site, how they interact with the site…user interaction will support SEO. They work together, so I couldn’t choose.” This is how one of our respondents answered, but it seems not everyone agreed three years ago.
65% predicted UX would be a more important factor in ecommerce than good SEO. As we all know, Google has seen that the SEO landscape has shifted toward providing genuinely unique and customer driven content for the right target audience. Let’s take blogging as an example. A stream of content will be great for optimisation, but will it engage? A blog centred at current customers, or curious customers, not only provides a site with great content. It engages the user, and establishes that brand as one the user will commit to.
Monitoring how the user interacts with the site as a whole is completely beneficial to the SEO strategy. What trends are they most interested in? What pages on the site keep their sessions going? Identifying how the user is experiencing the site is the trick to unlocking a great content marketing campaign.
More to follow...
We have more questions to look at, but thought we'd take a breather! What do you think has changed in ecommerce over the last three years?
Ready for more? Take a look at Ecommerce UK predictions part 2.