What e-commerce operators can expect in 2014

on   /   in Finance 12:50 am   /   Comments

CommerceAs we wrap up another year, looking back at the retail and technology trends that shaped 2013 can help us gauge what retailers can expect for 2014. Heated competition from online retailers and the lack of traction for mobile wallets show we’re still in the early stages of digital and merchant convergence.

The industry will continue to evolve in 2014 as mobile commerce continues to grow and retailers put more focus on creating targeted, personalized and seamless shopping experience for consumers. What can we expect from commerce and mobile marketing in 2014?

Experts believe that part of the prominent feature of 2014 mobile marketing would be the drive for mto deliver the best consumer experience. Consumers would shift loyalty to merchants that focus on delivering the most engaging, rich and useful customer experience. If retailers want to stay competitive, they will need to focus on making it as easy as possible for customers to find – and pay for – exactly what they want.

As is becoming the trend in the later part of 2013, in an effort to provide a better experience, convert more sales and build loyalty, more and more merchants are releasing personalization apps that aren’t just focused on commerce, but make the entire shopping and purchase process more seamless for their customers.

Also given the challenges of payment in the e-commerce platforms, it is likely that in 2014, there will be more campaigns from mobile payments providers educating consumers about their offerings and convincing retailers why they are the best or most ubiquitous. But until some of the players shake out, there may not be significant adoption from consumers.

But also critical to note for merchants, is that investing large amounts of money and time in a platform that could be outdated within a year poses a huge risk.

From the current trend in 2013 of increasing mobile penetration, it is very likely that 2014 will be the ultimate year for mobile commerce. This is given the prediction that, by 2017, a quarter of all online sales will be made from a mobile device.

In 2014, we will likely see a tipping point where adapting to the competition from online retailers becomes mission-critical, as quick shipping and pricing pressure remove the barrier between in-store and online purchases. Retailers will need to invest more in their mobile apps, but also focus on creating a great in-store experience so customers won’t be tempted to buy elsewhere or online.

Lending his voice on the expectations of e-commerce operators in Nigeria, Konga’s Public Relations Startegist, Ifeanyi Abraham said, given Konga’s experience in 2013, it has high expectations, especially for improved turn over.  He said, “2012 was an experiment, this year, it was a journey because we doubled our sales in December compared to all of our sales in 2012 alone. 2014 is going to be a year of consolidation.

The e-commerce space would see a period of more campaign to bring more people to embrace online shopping platforms because at the moment, there are lots of people with disposable income who would have shopped online but the awareness is not yet there.

So I think 2014 would see increased participation in online commerce as competition among retailers toughens leading to more awareness about the platform.”

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