Ecommerce in 2015: where it’s headed

As 2014 winds down and we position ourselves for another brave new year of online sales, we can use the experience of the past 12 months to work out how the fast-changing ecommerce landscape could evolve. So here’s what we might possibly expect in 2015.

With the rise of the smartphone and tablet computer, which are overtaking PC and laptops in sales, ecommerce has adapted to this seismic shift in consumer interaction and how we’re making purchases – increasingly using these new devices. Indeed, smartphones are surging ahead of all others in percentages of ecommerce sales, aided by larger screens and more sites configured for mobile.

In 2015, ecommerce will be even more of a multi-device process than it is now. That means people will use a variety of devices before deciding what to buy. They may look at an item on a smartphone, then later give it a closer look on a tablet before making a purchase on a laptop – or any other configuration of devices and machines. Mobile has become particularly popular in physical stores because if someone sees something they like, they can – and increasingly do, to stores’ great frustration – instantly check it out online to see if they can get a better price, which invariably they can.

Wearable technology is staring to seep into the marketplace, and once it fully arrives it will make a substantial impact on ecommerce. The slightly robotic look of Google Glass may not be to everyone’s taste, but many people are anticipating the arrival in stores in 2015 of the Apple Watch (it’s not called an iWatch, surprisingly), which will make internet access more instantly available and convenient than ever before – it’s on your wrist, after all.

Shipping is going to continue to be an issue with ecommerce sales in 2015. Online retailers who provide it for free will continue to enjoy robust sales from happy customers; it’s not always possible to ship for free, however. Ecommerce is still grappling with the issue of immediate fulfilment because the ultimate aim is to get the product to the customer as quickly as possible (think Amazon’s drone idea). So expect some developments in this area in the coming year.

One thing’s for sure: ecommerce operators that have multifunctioning websites employing responsive technology – such as Magento ecommerce sites, a leading content management system designed for optimal sales – will be primed to fully take advantage of the vast online opportunities to come in 2015.

Photo: 2015 by artisrams licensed under Creative commons 6