7 Digital Commerce Predictions for 2014

Posted by on 01/16/2014 - 15:44
ecommerce trends

2013 was tremendous year for eCommerce and all signs indicate that next year will be no different. While it’s hard to imagine what the digital commerce landscape will look like 11 months from now, here are seven eCommerce trends that we at Optaros believe will help shape the eCommerce landscape in 2014. 

1. It's boom time for B2B eCommerce

Leaders of B2B and B2B2C companies will place digital commerce at the center of their strategic plans in 2014.  We'll continue to see a movement toward a more B2C-like experience in terms of navigation, path to purchase, richer content, recommendations, reviews and even promotion and payment methods.  B2B leaders will quickly realize that their buyers expect the same completely seamless, highly engaging experiences that they demand in the B2C world.  Technology and services companies will begin to line up and align strategies to better serve this market. 

2. More commerce moves to the cloud

The debate over the security and stability of cloud-based eCommerce will lessen as more and more companies adopt new technologies in an effort to streamline operational and technical resources.  Organizations that adopt cloud-based commerce will be in a better position to compete by establishing a quick and nimble foundation that lets them grow faster, reduce costs and make appropriate strategy adjustments in this increasingly challenging and competitive online business environment.

3. Mobile payments approach mainstream

Consumers will continue driving the shift towards mobile payments using technologies such as PayPal, mobile wallets and services such as LevelUp and Uber. These technologies centralize credit card data storage and transmission, keeping physical cards out of the hands of people that might employ skimmers or other tactics. Opportunistic companies will jump on this trend to insulate themselves from potential PCI issues that can carry fines much greater than any savings accumulated by storing and transmitting card data themselves.

4. The marriage of content and commerce

For years, many retailers have been suffering from what Forrester calls "two-site syndrome".   This is where companies serve up two different online product experiences.  The first is the ".com" or the product showcase site, which is a content and image rich site supported by a web content management platform.  The second is the "store" or the ecommerce site, structured to optimized conversion and revenue goals.  In 2014, look for more and more companies to drive the convergence of eCommerce and web content management in an effort to offer a seamless, unified experience throughout every phase of the customer lifecycle. 

5. A new breed of service partner emerges

As the importance of customer experience becomes more apparent to online retailers in 2014, more will turn to a new breed of services partner for their technical eCommerce projects.  This new breed of partner fills the gap between a Systems Integrator and a Digital Agency, and are equipped to handle the technology development and integration sides of digital commerce, in addition to the design, customer experience, and consultancy sides. These new partners will work across the entire business, ensuring that marketing, IT and eCommerce teams are in-synch, and that each will have their own set of requirements. 

6. More companies thinking mobile first

More brands will turn to mobile-first thinking in 2014, prioritizing mobility when developing new online experiences. Mobile websites reach more people (77% of the world’s population has a mobile device, and  91% of them keep it within arm's reach 100% of the time).  Depending on the company and the strategy, solutions will include responsive design, mobile and tablet optimized web and native applications that take advantage of the device specific capabilities that they bring.

7. Greater focus on order management to fuel omnichannel capabilities

Increasing consumer demand for omnichannel features will place greater pressures on organizations to implement distributed order management capabilities (DOM) in 2014.  DOM provides shoppers and employees with a global, real-time, cross-channel view of product inventory, product location, and order status.  DOM will become more prevalent in 2014, with businesses offering inventory visibility into other stores, distribution centers, and online shops.  DOM also enables additional conveniences to consumers, by allowing for additional merchandise pickup options, such as ship-from-store, in-store pickup, and vendor drop-ship alternatives.


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