If you’re reading this, chances are you Googled “2014 eCommerce predictions.” Most likely you’ve read Bloomberg reports, benchmark analysis from Baymard and even a few op-eds on the burgeoning growth of online sales on HuffPo. Everyone has seemingly been throwing their hats into the ring to “predict” what’s happening in 2014. The more notable “2014 eCommerce predictions” are:
1. Mobile Mobile Mobile. If you don’t get people on their smartphone (commuters) or tablets (sofa-shoppers), you might as well die a horrible death or work in a factory, kid. You know nothing if you don’t know mobile is the new black.
2. Mobile marketing. Hit them where you’re now trying to go. Get them when they turn on their smartphones, when they search for an obscure film title or watch the Macklemore bus video. Give them ads. All the time. Give them…
3. Retargeting and Smart-Targeting. Display is dead. Smart-targeted (similar audience) ads or re-targeted ads are the future. Either get them back to your site or bring people to your site that look like the shoppers who convert.
4. Social is King. Facebook is serving 26% of the world’s ads. And they’re cheap (due to the countless real estate). You need to be there. Better yet, be there with Retargeted Social ads. Ah, even better! YES! that’s the ticket. (And the use of Facebook Lookalike Audiences merges #4 and #5, and is working!)
5. Get Responsive, because only your parents are using m.sites and rotary phones. Share a code base and multiple grid widths, eh? (And while you’re at it, make it Flat Design.)
6. Make sure all the above 1-5 are dialed in, so A/B test the crud out of them. Hell, A/B/C/D/E test them. Make them sing. Get it right.
Well, I have news for you. These aren’t predictions. These are trends. In fact, they’re already here. The “Haves” are doing it. The “Have-nots” put them on their 2014 eCommerce Prediction list. (There are other predictions, too, from GeoFencing your brick and mortar store, to personalization, to aligning your dates better for next Holiday Season — yes, Cyber Monday is in December again. But I digress.)
The truth (I won’t lie to you, dear reader) is that if you’re learning about these now, you’re already behind. Your competitors are already winning. And I actually wonder: Have you not anticipated these moves? Mobile wasn’t on your radar? Was not social? These ideas didn’t sneak up on us. They evolved. And as such, they shouldn’t be a surprise.
No, these aren’t predictions.
The thing is, we don’t know what’s the next Facebook, iPhone or Optimizely in 2014. And that’s what’s exciting. From necessity being the mother of invention to ecommerce literally and truly being the way we shop these days, it could be you and your company that sets the next watermark. Don’t be tied to what you think you should be doing… go do it. And if it’s not available, Kickstart a campaign to create it, share it, and maybe it’ll be on someone’s list in 2015. That’s innovation.
(BTW my predictions are: 1. The rise of Day-parting ads and email; 2. The rise of on-site Behavior Targeting; 3. The broader use of Smart Analytics; and 4. Dynamic page generation vs. personalization. We have 12 months to see if I’m right.)