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Just before Christmas I asked our expert panel of ecommerce professionals to look into their crystal balls and predict the trends that are likely to shape ecommerce in 2015.
Here are 20 such predictions, from mobile to multichannel...
Costco and Zara are two of the latest Western brands to open online stores in China via Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace.
They’re hoping to follow the success of companies such as Apple, Burberry and Marks & Spencer which have used this route to reach millions of consumers.
With ecommerce growing fast around the world, more British and American companies are shifting their focus overseas. And often marketplaces and other sales channels are the key to reaching a global audience.
At the beginning of 2014, Ashley Friedlein rounded up some trends and predictions for the year in digital marketing and ecommerce.
I thought I’d dip back in and take a look at some of the most incipient trends with some simple Google searches.
Do click through to the searches and see what else you can dig up.
Finally, mobile devices are at a stage where technology meets and occasionally exceeds the expectations of the consumer.
Although not every retailer is offering a flawless and perfectly persuasive conversion bonanza when it comes to a mobile commerce experience, but most are now beginning to at least think ‘mobile first’ when it comes to ecommerce design.
Obviously the arguments for responsive or adaptive design can hardly be considered a trend as it’s a conversation that's been raging for a long while.
So let's tale a look at some other recent trends that may impact an ecommerce team’s mobile strategy.
Contrary to some reports, display advertising is alive and well.
However, marketers must rethink their approach if they want their online ads to drive engagement, clicks and conversion.
When it comes to looking for hints on where mobile commerce is heading, marketers should look towards South Korea.
Not only is the country home to Samsung, the world’s largest supplier of smartphones, but Koreans have shown themselves to be rapid adopters of mobile technology.
Seoul is the eleventh biggest city on the planet with more than 25m people in the greater metropolitan area, most of whom have a smart device. Increasingly they look to use those devices to shop.
In 2013 62.6% of Koreans used their smartphone to shop, up from just 11.9% two years previously.
Fast adoption of 4G and in-store WiFi opportunities are driving this new approach to retail and offer businesses the chance to engage with shoppers in different and really exciting ways.
Our new India Digital Market Landscape Report is the fourth in a series of trends briefings about the BRIC markets.
The report offers an overview for marketers and investors looking to India for new digital business opportunities and draws on interviews from those within the market, as well as a range of secondary sources.
Programmatic advertising has been around since 2009. On mobile though, it's only recently started to take off
Penetration and performance of the smartphone has increased and programmatic buying companies have seen the opportunity. Whilst Facebook and Google are taking most of the mobile advertising dollar, programmatic is certainly on the rise as it seeks to deliver quality and quantity.
Talking with RTB.com's Mike Miller, it struck me that the factors making for the success of programmatic mobile are those we see as trends across marketing. So what are these trends?
Recently I’ve been building a few apps for fun in my spare time.
Doing so has got me thinking about various design elements, and where online design might be heading.
Currently flat design is ruling the roost, but it may not always be that way...
I’ve been keeping a close eye on innovation in the ecommerce sector for more than a decade now, and it seems to me that we're living in exciting times. We have hit some kind of purple patch.
Why is this? Well, ecommerce has massively matured. It's big business. Digital teams are smarter, and more agile. Sexy new tech such as HTML5, CSS3 and jQuery allows for sublime user experiences.
As such I wanted to raise a toast to innovation by highlighting a bunch of - hopefully inspiring - examples to you.
But first, a massive caveat: I would severely and mercilessly beat a few of these sites with a big best practice stick. There are product pages with missing information. There are search boxes with tiny fonts. There are usability issues galore.
Secondly, for ecommerce sites, it is all about the data. If you’re not constantly testing, measuring and refining, then you aren’t doing it right. What works for one brand might not work so well for another.
All of that aside, the ecommerce teams that take chances and push the boundaries of are to be applauded. Guidelines are precisely that: guidelines. Rules are there to be broken. And innovation is always to be encouraged, even when it doesn’t work out.
So let's take a look at some ecommerce websites (and one mobile app) that are trying new things, and that are noteworthy for their approach to the user experience. Click on the screenshots to check them out for yourself, and do let me know what you think.
For the second year running, Econsultancy has published a freely available trends briefing about digital trends in South-East Asia, based on the Digital Cream Singapore event for senior client-side digital marketers held in November last year.
Digital Cream Singapore 2013 brought together more than 120 B2B and B2C in-house marketers from around the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and beyond to discuss best practice and common challenges in digital marketing, and learn from each other.
Delegates discussed a wide range of topics, ranging from managing and making sense of audience and customer data, increasing personalisation and loyalty, to using video marketing and cross-channel marketing.
Each year I try to give my personal thoughts on what will be interesting and important in the world of digital marketing and ecommerce for the year ahead.
These are somewhere between trends and predictions. They are based largely on the many conversations I have with industry influencers and practitioners.
Following are just a selection of 10 trends that I've chosen to highlight. However, there is free report to download and share which is over 40 pages long and covers all of my trends and predictions for 2014 across the 10 core digital topics that Econsultancy cover.