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What to Watch – Top 4 eCommerce predictions for 2014

By Francesca Firth on Tue 21 January 2014 in Web & eCommerce

2013 saw a record number of online sales in December and highlighted the beginning of a few new trends for us to watch out for in 2014. 

As the new year well and truly kicks off we have compiled a list of our top 4 online sales predictions for 2014 based on industry insights and feedback from our clients.

1. It’s all going mobile

It is well publicised that the number of smartphone users has increased exponentially over the last couple of years and businesses are to adjusting to this new facet of buyer behaviour. In the UK alone shopping via smartphones and tablets increased by 18% and accounted for 6% of Decembers total sales (a year on year increase of £11.1bn)

As a business it is vital to recognise the consumers demand for convenience and to adapt our business models to facilitate this. 9 out of 10 consumers expect to be able to have a mobile experience with their favourite brands whether this be through a responsive website or purpose built apps.

It’s simple…consumers are on the move businesses need to consider a mobile strategy in order to keep up.

2. The human side of B2B 

B2B has always been considered vastly different to its consumer based counterpart. To some extent this is of course true, but until we have robots reordering our stock it is still a human who makes the ultimate purchase decisions within a company.

We predict that this year we will see a shift from purely functional B2B sites which are predominantly used as online catalogues offering little engagement, to more aesthetically pleasing, user friendly sites.

Every business is feeling the effect of a decrease in loyalty as competitors are more accessible. To keep your customers loyal it is worth spending time on creating websites with increased usability and better graphic content, with increased lead generation functionality and more calls to action.

B2B no longer needs to mean boring for example our customer NE Plastics have recently transformed their site, making it more attractive, easier to use and adding responsive functionality.

 3. Delivery options as a strategy

More websites mean more competition and consumers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to finding the best possible deal. Research is starting to show that delivery options are becoming more important to consumers rather than discounted prices.

Consumers are now more likely to purchase from sites that offer free delivery, than from sites with the lowest product price. 34% of abandoned online shopping baskets are a result of consumers considering the delivery charges as too high. On top of the cost of delivery, time frames are becoming a key component in online purchase decisions. 68% of online retailers offer next day delivery, Amazon are even starting to send products out before they have been ordered based on buyer behaviour patterns. In 2014 we predict that delivery will become a key component when creating a competitive advantage.

4. Payment at the click of a button

The use of online payment services like Paypal, Cash flows and Sage Pay are on the rise. Allowing customers to securely pay for items without filling out their card details and just using a simple password. This encourages spontaneous purchasing and fulfils the consumer demand for convenience. We predict that sites will refine their purchase processes to make purchasing easier for their consumers.

These are just some of the main trends we expect to see in 2014 and our eCommerce team keeps one ear constantly to the ground ensuring that all our customers can benefit from their experience and insights.