Five e-commerce opportunities in 2015

If you have followed the news in 2014 you would know it was big for e-commerce. Two major things happened - for first time in history mobile prevailed over desktop for certain niches, and the global e-commerce industry continued its double-digit growth.

It is 2015 and you are an e-commerce company. We have good news for you, retail habits are transforming, the industry is growing, and this is the time to develop your brand ahead of competitors. This is where to look at in this changing industry.

 

1. Invest in m-commerce

This is the high time to create a mobile app and mobile site for your e-commerce business. The e-commerce orders made on mobile phones and tablets, or the so called m-commerce will continue to grow exponentially. The data from last two quarters of 2014 reveals that m-commerce is the new e-commerce. Shopify announced they have now more mobile than desktop visitors on their e-commerce platform, following a steady growth. In revenue numbers the picture is not there yet, since most of the websites do not provide the streamlined user experience to checkout via your mobile. According to US Department of Commerce and Custora the m-commerce orders accounted for almost a quarter of online shopping on December 2 to 14 in 2014, which is 6.1% more than the same time frame in 2013. 

Native mobile app and mobile-friendly version of your site are not the same thing - you need both. Why? Because, they are two different market channels to keep both your loyal customers who will have your store one tap away, and your new customers who may purchase via the browser first, and eventually install the app. The less-investment approach here would be to keep your desktop site in mobile-first version, and show an intuitive message to your mobile audience that you have a native app for better mobile experience. The expected game-changers in 2015, like Apple Pay, will only speed up this shift by providing neat purchasing experience on mobile.

 

2. Streamline the checkout process

a) Follow the screen shift

The number of screens on which we consume content will continue to grow. As Forbes notes, "While people watched the game on TV, they were checking their work email on the computer for the next day, tweeting about the game on their tablet, and texting their friends at the same time". This will continue to grow, so you may look to extend the number of devices your site supports in 2015.

b) Fix performance

The customers of 2015 are busy people with good online purchasing culture. One of the blocking issues with this is your site bad performance. It is not bad only for your customers, but also for your robot friends like Googlebot. Just fix it. It is one time investment that will pay off every day from the date you have fixed it. 

 

3. Be lean

Focus on delivering the best quality of service and creating success, instead of buying success. Know your core values and principles. Stop doing artificial SEO and wasting your money on low-paid SEO optimizers. Googlebot is now smart enough to crawl the quality content and not the deep-pocket website owners. In 2015, the biggest opportunities will go to those with the most relevant content and better knowledge for doing legitimate SEO optimization.

 

4. Hire the best team

As 2014 showed that the online commerce is heading to become mainstream in a whole set of market niches, you need to stay competitive. As a technology business, usually the advantages you come up with are related to neat new features, which you need to be properly implemented. 

You have nearly unlimited options to choose technology, platform, extensions, hosting ... and not always humans. The rockstar tech teams around the world are not many, so you may have hard-time to find the one. On the flip-side, while having too many available technologies is quite good for the industry, it may take time and experience to learn which best works for you. When choosing the right technology, we would advise to use the one your team has most experience with. From business perspective, your customer does not really care if it is Ruby, PHP or C# on the backend, what (s)he really cares about is the experience. Since the 3-tier architecture was invented, all general purpose web technologies can deliver thrilling experiences. 

 

5. Don't get left behind

At iSenseLabs we are committed to bring the top e-commerce practices to life. We have helped thousands of businesses build and grow their online stores.

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