Multichannel predictions for 2015

Multichannel predictions for 2015
on January 11, 2015 in News

Marketing and e-commerce expert Marcus Law predicts the top key e-commerce milestones for 2015 from the of the UK’s leading retailers

Following a recent webinar with Simon Young, web development manager at Paul Smith, Mark Hammond, chief operating officer at Pets Pyjamas and David Kohn, multichannel director at Snow + Rock, Marcus Law, head of marketing at e-commerce vendorSLI Systems, shares his top five predictions for the year ahead.
1. Beacon Technology
Beacon technology was a key topic of discussion, with Paul Smith believing 2015 will be its year. “Enabling retailers to communicate directly with customers whilst they are in-store, this interactive use of technology allows retailers the opportunity to create a more engaging customer experience using intelligent data that is mined from the consumers previous brand interaction,” said Law.
Already in use at Paul Smith, Simon Young of the leading fashion retailer indicated it is relatively easy to deploy, it also drives sales for retailers, allowing them to up-sell and cross-sell based on each consumer’s specific digital shopping behaviour.
2. Adoption of Mobile and Social Payments
“Mobile payments took a big leap forward in 2014, with the announcement of Apple Pay and other social media payment platforms such as Twitter’s ‘Buy’ button and Facebook Payments,” said Law. “In 2015 online sales are expected to continue rising as a result of enhanced payment technology.  Young of Paul Smith indicated he is expecting to see rapid migration to zero friction social mobile payments in 2015.”
3. Making the Online Experience More Human
David Kohn of Snow + Rock believes 2015 is about getting personal with customers. “The brand will provide a more personal level of service using live chat, where dedicated online customer advisors can be tapped throughout the shopping trip, replicating the in-store customer journey that consumers expect,” explained Law.
He added that social media is also poised to play a stronger role in humanising online shopping in 2015. “Snow + Rock plans to implement a Twitter-friendly solution that will allow customers to have their questions answered by brand representatives via social media in as close to real-time as possible to heighten the personal touch,” he explained.
4. Using Intelligent Search, Segmentation and Analytics To Drive Sales
“SLI’s research tells us that e-commerce sales now account for 5.9% of total retail sales, which has risen 18% since 2013*,” said Law. “Offering advanced site search and navigation can be the difference between an engaged customer who buys and a dissatisfied customer who bounces.
Law added that web sessions that include a search option for users produce the highest sales conversion rates. “For example, Chemist Direct, the UK’s leading online pure play healthcare and pharmacy store reported that customers who use its search box have the highest conversion rate generating 43% of the total value of the site with a 175% higher conversion rate than those who navigate,” he said.
For 2015, Simon Young of Paul Smith indicated that effective retailers will leverage search technology and use it to see trends, respond to changes in on-site activity, boost online sales as well as drive customers into brick and mortar stores.
“Using search to segment customers will continue to be at the top of the agenda for retailers in 2015,” said Law. “Pets Pyjamas is the number one lifestyle website for pet smart owners. Segmenting their customer base helps make the online experience for each customer as relevant and personal as possible, producing a holistic and targeted experience based on the needs and interests of their pet.”
5. Customer Centric Fulfilment 
Law commented that successful retailers understand that to be competitive, it is essential to get goods to customers as quickly as possible. “Increasingly more customers are opting for personalised delivery options that suit their lifestyle, such as click & collect, 24-hour locker banks, same-day delivery, late night order times or train station car park pick-up station,” he said. “As a result, these options are becoming increasingly available.”
Putting products in front of customers as swiftly as possible will be the key to e-commerce success in 2015, according to Law. “Retailers that provide an optimised online shopping experience, relevant and timely information, leverage new technology and maximise opportunities from existing technology are the most likely to succeed,” he concluded.

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