The state of ecommerce is blowing hot and cold. One minute, we’re reading figures into the unprecedented spending levels online shopping will reach this year – the next we’re hearing how shoppers feel let down by many retailers’ digital experiences.
So what exactly is the temperature of ecommerce in 2015, and what do e-tailers need to be focusing on?
Econsultancy’s second annual Technology for Ecommerce Report, published earlier in the year, revealed some interesting insights into the highs and lows of online shopping, and I’d like to share 3 key learnings with you:
- Mobile is the most important element of ecommerce
98% of the businesses surveyed by Econsultancy rated mobile-supported ecommerce as either critical or important, higher than any other aspect of running an online shopping website.This is a 20% increase on last year, showing just how much power mobile commerce has gained as a channel over the past 12 months alone. Yet interestingly, around a fifth (17%) of retailers still have no mobile offering, meaning they are potentially missing out on their share of £6.6 billion in revenue due to lack of website optimisation.
- Multi-channel, multi-personality is still a major challenge
Mobile’s growth is symptomatic of the growing complexities in modern retail; no sooner have retailers created a solid offering, along comes another device or channel to add into the mix.Building a personalised shopping experience, and optimising those experiences across multiple devices, were ranked among retailers’ biggest obstacles to navigate this year. This is a positive result, as it highlights the industry’s realisation that customers want to be considered as people, not statistics.However, it also demonstrates that most retail businesses still don’t feel they’ve cracked the multi-channel retailing nut in a way that treats each customer individually, to their satisfaction levels – perhaps lacking the retail technology to create these personalised experiences.
- New capabilities are bringing back old problems
Interestingly, fears over technical optimisation such as page load speed have increased by 8% over the past 12 months. This may reflect the greater volume of rich content such as imagery and video being used on today’s retail websites, which put back-end systems under increasing strain. The increased number of online shoppers will also pressurise ecommerce platforms, particularly during flash sales such as Black Friday, which attract large spikes in consumer traffic.
More to the point, the changing face of the digital landscape has left many retailers trying to make legacy systems carry out tasks they simply weren’t designed for – whereas instead they should be re-thinking their investment around more flexible, future-proof ecommerce solutions.
This is the last in a series of blogs I’ve written around the topic of ecommerce this month – feel free to check out some of my other posts:
Where are you losing online shoppers – and how can you keep them?
Google’s update underlines the importance of the mobile customer
Lessons from London Tech Week