PCA Predict's most popular content from 2017

The 8 essential ecommerce reads from 2017

As 2017 comes to an end and 2018 gets closer and closer, it’s the time that many of us start to reflect on the past 12 months – both personally and from a business point of view. What’s gone well? What hasn’t? What do you plan to do differently next year? Here at PCA Predict, we’ve taken a good look back at our most popular content from 2017 for you to recap.

What we predicted…

We started the year with our predictions for retailers in The future of retail: Five ecommerce predictions for 2017. In this blog we discussed the trends retailers were likely to come across this year, including a further rise in mcommerce. This trend has been rapidly growing over the last few years and is showing no signs of tailing off any time soon. In fact, over the Black Friday period, we saw that at certain times of the day, mobile usage was as high as 59%. In this predictions post, we also discussed trends relating to chatbots, virtual reality and delivery speed. Delivery speed is something that has become increasingly important to retailers, and with more and more consumers requesting next day and even same day delivery, this is something that retailers will really need to nail in 2018.

Beautiful UX basics

Our second pick is our blog post 5 beautiful basics of checkout UX, in which we covered a list of essential UX features that ecommerce companies need to include in the checkout. These included offering a guest checkout, creating a straightforward, linear process and optimising data entry for speed and accuracy. Providing a great user experience is essential, particularly in retail, where the chance of a leaving your site before completing a purchase is high. For many there is still a long way to go before checkout UX is perfected, but these 5 tips are a great way to start optimising your UX.

Address formats around the world

Thanks to the internet, it’s so easy now to speak to people who are thousands of miles away in different parts of the world. However, when it comes to delivering internationally, it’s not always as simple. Did you know that there are over 120 address formats globally? Our third pick is Address formats from around the world, which talks through key differences between address formats around the world that can often leave businesses and users perplexed. Pretty useful for anyone with international customers in their database – and with most businesses’ desire to expand globally, it’s rare to come across a database nowadays that contains data from only one country.

Even political parties learned from retailers

2017 has been a very interesting year, politically speaking, and here at PCA Predict, we noticed in the midst of the British elections, that even the political parties were taking inspiration from ecommerce. Our fourth pick is The 3 things British political parties learned from ecommerce, in which we revealed that parties are beginning to understand the importance of user experience, taking to creating simple navigation, mobile-first strategies and a simple checkout/donation process. As donations and party research become increasingly popular online, it’s important to keep in mind what users actually want, and this is exactly what we’ve started to see political parties do.

Selecting a new ecommerce platform

Selecting a new ecommerce platform can be tough with so many to choose from, and without the right knowledge, you may find yourself choosing one that isn’t quite right for your business. Our fifth pick is Questions to ask when selecting a new ecommerce platform. This post is aimed at ecommerce companies who are thinking about changing platform or are just starting out, and covers the key points you should be considering before committing to an ecommerce platform. This blog helps to outline the main factors that businesses really need to think about, such as cost, whether it is hosted, if it scales and whether they will be supported. This handy information should help form a more well-rounded understanding in order to ensure companies select a platform that works for them.

What retailers should know about Eircodes

Our sixth most popular piece of content from 2017 is research that we conducted on Eircodes – What retailers need to know . In this study, we surveyed 1,000 online consumers in the Republic of Ireland and found that almost ¾ of Irish consumers think Eircodes will help with delivery, as they give Irish residents a unique address. Not only that, but over ¼ of Irish consumers blame the retailer if they experience a delivery issue, and another 1/3 blame the courier, meaning that retailers and couriers need to be making much more of an effort to ensure that address data is accurate.

Learning from the best

Another post that proved popular was What can SMEs learn from the internet retailing top 10 ecommerce websites? While it may often seem that smaller businesses have fewer resources, money and staff members to become as successful as the bigger retailers, there’s a lot that they can learn. In this post, we took a look at some of the most successful retailers out there, and suggested certain points that SMEs can take away from them and implement for themselves. For SMEs, keeping an eye on well-established ecommerce sites is a great way of getting to grips with current market trends, and potential customer expectations.

Top tips ecommerce for Christmas

Last but not least, a post that was successful with many in the ecommerce business was our video – The 12 tips of Christmas: Optimising your ecommerce site. From Black Friday through Christmas is, without a doubt, the biggest trading period of the year, but getting it right isn’t always easy. To create this video, we spoke to the industry’s top experts, including Yotpo, Bosch, and Pixafy, in order to get their top tips for optimising ecommerce websites over the festive period. While it may seem a little late to be watching this video in time for this holiday season, it is never too early to prepare for next Christmas.

What’s been your favourite ecommerce read of 2017? Join the conversation below.