Ian McCaig, Marketing and Strategy Director for Qubit.
2013 was a great year for ecommerce, particularly fashion retailers who really began to up their game when it came to delivering a great, online shopping experience for their customers. There is now a real focus on delivering a real-time, personalised experience for shoppers so with 2014 fast-approaching what's going to be on the agenda for retailers in the New Year? Here are our top five predictions...
1. Shop social
Advancements in technology are delivering consumers better mobiles, tablets and other communication devices. As a result, these more sophisticated tools will allow consumers to shop socially, allowing them to invite their friends to the shop virtually. For brands this will provide a range of dynamic and creative marketing opportunities allowing them to engage and interact with new and existing online consumers in a variety of ways.
2. Leave reality at home
Providing customers with content relevant to them will always be a winner when it comes to increasing online sales. Next year, 3D animations and augmented reality will be used by fashion retailers in new and exciting ways. For example customers will be able to see the latest trends on their bodies without having the physical product in the room.
3. Behavioural data
Data is the lifeblood of retailers - understanding how their customers shop both in the physical store and online is key to driving sales. 2014 will see less tangible data than just a customer's basic demographic being used to deliver consumers with the right products and services. Analysis of our emotional behaviour such as mood or physical behavior such as if you're on a diet will help fashion brands make even more sophisticated product recommendations.
4. 'I want it now'
In today’s world we expect everything to happen instantly. Same day delivery has begun to gather interest but next year this model is likely to explode as the fashion world looks to take advantage of our desire to have everything there and then. With Amazon already piloting drones we’re sure this is going to be an interesting space within retail.
5. Cross-channel shopping
Fashion is a serious sport for some people. Savvy consumers will research, compare and purchase across not only the physical store and the website but also social media to collect those vital peer reviews. Successful brands next year will build solutions at each stage of the value chain whilst creating cross-channel marketing initiatives that will resonate with the wants and needs of their target audience.