Shaping Future eCommerce


I get asked a lot and I discuss a lot about what the shopping experience of the future will look like.
The global retail and business landscape remains uncertain: Traditional retail and direct-to-consumer companies are under ongoing pressure. Online and mobile commerce are becoming critical components of today’s multichannel customer experience - whether the customer buys online or not.

Even if we talk about the next few years it’s not that easy to say how the e-commerce environment of the future will look like . On the one hand it will depend on the line of business and on the other hand it will vary from target group to target group – that means it will develop different in many ways and different speed.

In the course of my research and evolving efforts to apply user-centered design to interactive media and especially e-commerce, I see a number of areas that will be impacted rather sooner than expected by many.


  • Cross-touchpoint solutions
  • Complex customer relation management
  • Challenging order management
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased fulfillment complexity
  • Increased emphasis on site, product, and web content management
  • Predictive Functions 
  • Wearable Tech 
  • In-Store E-Commerce

I’m not fortune teller, but it doesn’t take a seer to see that traditional retail and e-commerce are crumbling and involving at the same time. This has led to what is being called multi strategy for commerce at all.


When and how these and many other upcoming changes will play-out in the virtual- and real-world is anyone’s guess – If you ask me when to start think – my answer is: ‘yesterday’ and the time to act is now!
The users’ interaction is moving beyond the traditional paradigm and will overtake you sooner than you might think.


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Cross-touchpoint solutions

Use of multi-channel strategy and marketing will be essential for survival
Customers may use many different channels during the shopping process: from taking initial inspiration from a printed catalogue, visiting the outlet, comparing products on their mobile to buying the product in an online shop. And the internet is becoming mobile – the multichannel strategy must take into account this change in user behavior. Responsive design or a native app for mobile systems are only two question that have no clear answer – as so often there is no holy grail.

  • Direct Traffic
  • Paid Search
  • Comparison Shopping Engines
  • Marketplaces
  • Mobile Solutions
  • Social Marketing
  • Couponing
  • Direct Mail
  • Direct Selling

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Complex customer relation management

Changing role of traditional marketers
Brick and mortar stores aren’t dead or dying. Traditional marketers simply have to progress as user find new technologies that simplify their lives. The challenge for businesses going forward, large or small, is adapting to this change in user behavior.



Changing user behavior and their growing expectation
Consumers are adopting new technologies quicker than ever. According to a recent study by Pew Internet Research, more than the half of all Americans now own a smartphone or just check the numbers of laptops they doubled their number from 2006 to 2012 or have a look at the tablets, their percentage (34%) was in May 2103 pretty much the same as the MP3 players' percentage was in December 2007    . These are an enormous increases – and the market still has great potential for growth. A recent study from comScore  also found that about 86 million Americans are using their smartphones to shop online and 1 in 5 Brits used their smartphone to purchase a good or service in December 2012 in UK.
The 57.8 million internet users in Germany each spent nearly 20 hours online during June 2013. Social networking accounted for a quarter of time spent online in Germany, making it the most engaging activity that month.Retail sites reached 77 percent of the German online population (comScore ).



Relevant data and flows
Content and context as well as the user’s expectation is the beating heart of ecommerce. The content and its functions have to in account the user behavior and have to support it with the suitable and helpful things and interactions. (Content is King - UX is Queen: http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.com/2012/06/content-is-king-ux-is-queen.html)





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My suggestions - Take a really broad view of …

  • your enterprise strategy and your channel strategies
  • ecommerce within the business
  • new and emerging technology
… and involve in this approach and this user and customer centered approach every stakeholder and decision maker.



Understand your customers lifecycle and thinking and their driving forces - and merge everything you know and expect from your consumer and targetgroups to a clear strategy and design.




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Finaly a closing idea / tip 


You can still ask and prove ...
How many users accessed my website content?
But you should ask also from now on ...
How many of my users consume content across multiple devices? 
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

You can still ask and prove ...
How profitable is our website? And what is its conversion rate?
But you should ask also from now on ...
Are multi-channel users more valuable than single-channel users? And how can we track the conversion rate across all touch points? 
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

You can still ask and prove ...
What are the engagement metrics and factors for our website?
But you should ask also from now on ...
Do your multi-devices' content and strategy complement each other and does it increase loyalty? - Single channel and website experiences are replaced by multi-channel experiences, thus empowering consumers to enjoy consistent brand experiences through the connecting and touch point of their choice. 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

You can still ask and prove ...
What are my target groups?
But you should ask also from now on ...
Who are my users and customers and which role, behavior and aim do they have? - Customizing and personalization will drive the growth of eCommerce.. 





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You Might Also Like ...
The ultimate conversion rate:
http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.de/2012/06/ultimate-conversion-rate-or-there-is.html

Cross-Channel Usability - Creating a Consistent User Experience (by Janelle Estes):
http://www.nngroup.com/articles/cross-channel-consistency/

Essential tips (checklist) for e-commerce:
http://ux4dotcom.blogspot.de/2013/09/essential-tips-for-e-commerce.html



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