Discussing topics from mobile payments to logistics and delivery, Marcus Law, Head of Marketing EMEA at SLI Systems recently invited some of the UK’s leading retailers to share predictions on the top key e-commerce milestones for 2015.
Some of the top names in retail including Simon Young, web development Manager at Paul Smith, Mark Hammond, chief operating officer at Pets Pyjamas, David Kohn, multichannel director at Snow + Rock, and Chris Edge customer success director from SLI Systems came up with a list of top five forecasts as follows:
Beacon technology was a key topic of discussion. This technology enables retailers to communicate directly with customers whilst they are in-store. Shoppers are sent messages and alerts about offers, product details and information that is relevant to the store in which they are shopping, or they are enticed to shop in a nearby store.
Communications are typically delivered via an app or an ‘opt-in’ Bluetooth notification. 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. Paul Smith, in particular, believes 2015 will be the year if beacon technology.
In-store Beacon technology is already in use at Paul Smith. Simon Young of the leading fashion retailer indicated it relatively easy to deploy, as the main requirement is to have Wi-Fi and tablets. It drives sales for retailers as it enables them to up-sell and cross-sell based on each consumer’s specific digital shopping behaviour.
Adoption of Mobile and Social Payments
Mobile payments took a big leap forward in 2014, with the launch of Apple Pay and other social media payment platforms such as Twitter Buy Twitter’s ‘Buy’ button and Facebook Payments. In 2015 online sales are expected to continue rising as a result of enhanced payment technology as iconic trusted brands such as Apple continue to raise consumer awareness
On-going investment in service improvements from other players such as PayPal, will continue to drive use of mobile checkouts. Young of Paul Smith indicated he is expecting to see rapid migration to zero friction social mobile payments in 2015.
Making the Online Experience More Human
David Kohn of Snow + Rock suggested that 2015 is about getting personal with customers. He shared that the brand will provide a more personal level of service using online channels, replicating the in-store customer journey that consumers expect. For example, this will take the form of live chat where dedicated online customer advisors can be tapped throughout the shopping trip.
Social Media is also poised to play a stronger role in humanising online shopping in 2015. For example, 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. Consumers will get answers to questions ranging from the colour or size of a product, time of delivery or returns policies – anything that could be answered by a store assistant in the physical store.
Offering more interactive online shopping experience is designed to attribute to more purchases, give the brand more control when responding to consumers, and provide the shopper with a more tailored and engaging experience – driving loyalty and promoting brand confidence.
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. Offering advanced site search and navigation – one that shows the products visitors are most likely to want – can be the difference between an engaged customer who buys and a dissatisfied custom