|This blog post accompanies our Ecommerce Marketing Trends 2016 report, in which 12 industry experts put forward their predictions for the year ahead - click here to download it.|
In 2014 it was all about apps, in 2015 content was king, and in 2016?
We canvassed some of the most influential, well-connected and innovative ecommerce experts to predict the trends that will shape our industry in 2016.
From the proliferation of communication channels to the reality of personalisation, take a look at the future of ecommerce.
Real world experiences
As digital continues to dominate, many are looking to disconnect from the multi-device, online world that has rooted itself into our modern DNA.
Millennials are increasingly looking for real world experiences from their favourite brands, who will “offer more than just a product or service”, says Lisa Rodwell CEO, Wool & The Gang.
Real-world experiences will “most likely be documented and shared through social channels such as Instagram, Snapchat or Whatsapp, which brings it full circle back into the digital realm”, adds Lisa.
Integration of commerce, community and content
The marriage of commerce, community and content will take off in 2016, predicts Edward Griffith, Founder, LoveCrafts.
“[It] has been calling digital retail for twenty years, and the time finally seems to have arrived to allow us to craft exciting and new experiences,” says Edward.
“It will be exciting to see what kind of amazing digital experiences can be built knitting content and community around commerce.”
The robots are coming, predicts Parry Malm CEO, Phrasee.
“Advanced technologies can help you predict what to test now (mine is one of them) and this is key. In controlled variant spaces (like product recommendations or email subject lines) machines can out-perform humans. The technology is nascent but expect to hear a lot about it in 2016 and beyond."
Proliferation of communication channels
“We will see a shift towards using a whole range of highly personalised channels, underpinned by new technology,” predicts Ivan Mazour, CEO, Ometria.
“From web notifications, to AdWords customer match, to chat apps - retail marketers will find that all of these are available to them.”
Savvy ecommerce businesses will make sure their best customers are more than satisfied, predicts Jed Wexler CEO, 818 Agency.
“Ecommerce sellers will take care of their best alpha customers with a combination of premium custom content and concierge services.”
Next level personalisation
“For me the big thing next year will be next-level personalisation in CRM and other marketing,” predicts Ira Wichmann, Head of Loyalty, Lost My Name.
“It will be about understanding the customer, their relationship with other customers and the creative approach that appeals specifically to them. This requires smart customer databases that can hold all this information, as well as systems that can dynamically generate personalised content and insert it into different channels. It will be so cool.”
A complex ecommerce landscape
“I think we might look back nostalgically on 2015 because life for an ecommerce manager was so simple then,” says Dr Mike Baxter, a digital ecommerce consultant.
From social buying to the maturing of a variety of payment solutions, ecommerce in 2016 will be a lot “more complex”, predicts Mike.
“The emergence of new high-engagement communication media - VR will become more mainstream over the next few years, taking 360 degree views of products to a whole different level, initially for markets such as travel, real estate and automotive. Augmented reality is likely to start to add real value next year.”