The new year- it’s like a shiny new toy waiting to be opened under the Christmas Tree. And with the new year comes the age old game of predicting which trends will be a flash in the pan, and which will stay around for longer. We got our crystal ball out and here’s our top picks for 2015…
More international online events
This year saw the biggest online import ever: Black Friday. It was huge, with Christmas bargain hunters logging a massive 404,835 orders on Black Friday, at the start of the pay day weekend.
Imported from America, “Black Friday” traditionally indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or are “in the black”. It is surely set to be a firm fixture in the UK retail calendar for next year; the key for 2015 will be finding a strategy to stand out from the crowd.
China’s “Singles’ Day”, which started as an excuse for the country’s young singletons to spoil themselves with a bit of online retail therapy, has now turned into the world’s biggest day for online retail. Some news sites reported that it was bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, primarily due to the huge population in China. We’re predicting that in 2015, the UK will see it’s very own anti-Valentine ‘Singles’ Day’.
Every year you read another blog post about how personalisation will be the next big thing, yet it still hasn’t reached its full potential. More and more consumers are shaping their brands of choice and demanding products that reflect their individualism, but will 2015 finally be the year that ecommerce gets close to a true personal customer experience? Perhaps when retailers use big data to the max this will become a reality. Retailers – we wait with bated breath.
Data driven marketing
Got a bucket load of data on your customers but not sure how to get the most out of it? Don’t worry, you are not alone. In The Big Data Survey by Triggar, over half of the ecommerce retailers questioned said they aren’t currently utilising big data; but that improving customer insight would be the number one objective for big data strategies in 2015.
A fashion retailer remarked “big data technologies enable firms to track customer journeys like never before, offering an unparalleled insight into consumer behaviour that can help to fine-tune the purchase process. Big data means higher definition insights and a deeper level of personalisation”. We all need to take a data driven marketing approach.
As the appetite to understand big data grows, in 2015 we’re likely to see more data translator and scientist job roles appearing. Marketeers who can combine data mining skills with the ability to turn the numbers into business strategy will become hot property.The growing recognition of the importance of customer data is reflected in some organisations creating C-level titles associated with data, even the Harvard Business Review calls the roll of the Data Scientist the ‘sexiest job of the 21st century’.
At Postcode Anywhere we’re so obsessed with ‘sexy’ data that we’ve gone one step further and set up Big Data Labs, which offers a unique view of online trends and ecommerce activity as it happens.
Innovation in payment methods
As consumers we have become demanding toddlers, ‘I want it now’ (with no hint of the magic word). But why shouldn’t we be? If we’re going to hand over our hard earned cash, the brands we choose to associate ourselves with need to serve us when and how we want.
The retailers who provide a shopping experience that is innovative from the initial search right through to the payment method will be the winners in 2015.
2014 has seen new solutions creeping into the marketplace that reduce the amount of time it takes to fill in your credit card details. We predict this will continue into 2015. A new feature in Safari with iOS 8 lets you scan your card instead of entering your number manually, and with Apple Pay’s near field communication technology you could soon be bumping yourself to the front of the coffee shop queue from the comfort of your table.
Drone delivery – hype or a near reality?
Earlier this month, NASA successfully launched its Orion spaceship, the agency’s deep-space capsule built to carry humans on future missions to an asteroid and to Mars, on an unmanned test flight (Dec. 4). Joining Orion for part of its journey were NASA drones which recorded its every move.
You might be wondering what on earth this has to do with online retail? Its the bit about the drones. No longer the exclusive use of NASA, this year DHL launched its first commercial drone ‘parcelcopter’ delivery service. And finally after much ridicule, Amazon has begun testing same-day delivery drones in Cambridge two years after buying start-up Evi Technologies. The online retailer is planning to test drones as the battle to offer consumers same-day deliveries heats up.
We’re not convinced that next year’s Black Friday deliveries will all be made by drones – but watch this space as the leading online retailers and courier services explore avenues to deliver orders faster than the overnight services currently available. Have a read of a blog we wrote earlier this year on the launch (ahem) of Amazon drones.
Direct mail to make a comeback?!?
Not strictly ecommerce related and at risk of sounding a bit old school, we predict 2015 will see the revival of the DM. Today, with digital marketing no marketer is as heavily reliant on direct mail communications as years gone by; but for many organisations, such as mail-order companies, post still has a vital role to play. Cutting through the noise of email traffic, predictions are that we may see a 2% increase in direct mail spend. In a recent article by Database Marketing Magazine, Royal Mail’s Mailmark system (launched in early 2014) could be the catalyst that will improve the accuracy of direct mail campaigns. A requirement of the system is for customers to use PAF validated addresses, and in order to qualify for a discount, at least 90% of a direct mailing list must be addressed correctly. Good quality data makes it possible for the Royal Mail to sort and deliver mail effectively and efficiently at lower prices.
Do you agree? We’d love to know what you think will be big next year.