Bangkok,Thailand - March 1 2015: WALL-E robot toy character form WALL-E animation film by Disney Pixar Studio.

Ecommerce grows at the fantastic rate, conquers new territories and evolves. Online shopping gets more popular, more intuitive and more convenient. What will change in the next 5 years? We can spot promising trends.


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1. Droids, not drones. How to speed up delivery process?

The drones hype is slightly fading away, but still many ecommerce see it as a key to more efficient and faster delivery. Google tests self-driving car, which may be an answer one day. Amazon experiments with creating a network of people who could pick up and deliver packages on their way.

Want something different? See Starship Technologies, building robots on wheels! Their droids are so light that they can’t hurt anyone. They don’t need propellers, which – as some drone accidents indicate – might cause severe damage.

The robots resemble vacuum cleaners mixed with WALL-E and might revolutionize ecommerce.

 

And they cost less than drones.

 

2. Dynamic price-shaping

E-stores use mountains of data to tailor their offer to visitors’ interests, habits, and current needs. More and more often they also personalize the price, for example:

– when someone passes by the store, they send a push notification with a discount to take advantage of the fact that user is so close to the store;

– when customers abandon the shopping cart,they receive an email with a discount;

– at contacts’ birthday, they receive a coupon or special offer as a gift.

 

Shortly speaking, the price is more and more tied to the data and the context. That trend will grow.  

 

Knowing Customer Lifetime Value, acquisition cost, your products price, supply, and shopping trends, we can shape the price flexibly. It makes sense to lower the price for a loyal customer who uses our app (provides us with data), opens our emails and is active on our social media channels. But when we have a customer who isn’t particularly price-sensitive, we can show her higher price. The price displayed to a user can be counted precisely on such metrics.

 

3. The role of social media

Recommendations and opinions play the vital role in the shopping process. Gradually, they take over the browsers: we use SM to search for products and reviews.

 

Huffington Post points out that Facebook aims at the marriage of social media and ecommerce, what we can conclude from their ads offer.  

For marketers, it’s a great opportunity.

Read about how to combine Facebook Ads and Custom Audiences with Marketing Automation.

 

4. Mobile commerce

Today smartphone add-to-cart and conversion rates are much lower than for desktop – it’s 1.53%, compared to 4.43 for desktop and 3.75% for tablets (Q4 2015, Smart Insights).

 

But the time we spend on mobile devices increases. Conclusions?

  1.    Tablets are perfect for shopping
  2.    The gap between mobile use and mobile transactions might be a result of lack of convenient payment solutions for smartphones. That issue should be addressed immediately.

 

5. Nonlinear buyers journey

Customer’s path from the first encounter with the brand to loyalty leads through multiple channels and touchpoints; sometimes it takes longer than expected, sometimes it speeds up. Sometimes you educate a potential customer in vain and have to start anew in a new channel. Or a new lead buys immediately at the first visit because she did all the research before.

 

It means that marketers will have to be more flexible, agile and prepared for various scenarios. The automation rules you implement should reflect that.

 

6. Online-offline gap

Do ecommerce endanger brick and mortar stores? No, physical shops simply need to change their role, because consumers like to migrate between the channels (what is described as ROPO effect, Research Online, Purchase Offline).

 

They start from checking the product in your online store – they browsed the web and found it.  After visiting your website and gathering some basic information, they might head to the physical store nearby, where they can get the real feel of the product. Simultaneously, they reach for their smartphone and comb the internet to find the best offer and flattering customer reviews.

 

How to address users switching between online and offline? Use beacons for offline tracking and mobile apps. This way you monitor their behavior in offline stores and use that knowledge to personalize online marketing and push notifications.

 

When you use beacons, your salespeople gain access to the knowledge on the customers via POS devices.

Future of ecommerce, ecommerce of the future

There is no doubt that ecommerce will grow and focus more on utilizing user’s data, obtained from various sources. The purchase can happen everywhere: on Facebook, in the online store, in a physical store, in the app. Be prepared for that. It will lead to increased adaptation of Marketing Automation technologies.

And apps will become vital. 90% of mobile time is spent in the apps, not browsers.

 

What would you add?