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ARTICLE Business TipsJanuary 20, 2016

Australian e-commerce: five predictions for 2016

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As we welcome in the New Year, it is time to take a look at the trends that could shape the Australian e-commerce industry this year. Here are the top five expert predictions for 2016.

The last year saw massive changes in the Australian e-commerce landscape, but what’s in store for the industry in 2016? John Debrincat, founder and Managing Director of eCorner, shares his predictions.

1. Content marketing. According to the Content Marketing in Australia 2014 report, 81 per cent of Australian marketers are producing more content than they did a year ago. This trend will continue this year, however, the focus will be on content that gives customers a chance to see how a product can be applicable to their real life. For example, a lookbook at Topshop shows how a dress can be worn by someone who buys it – a great way to convince a prospective buyer to make the purchase. 

2. Video takes over. Videos have always been around, but the increase in mobile video streaming and the availability of affordable video editing tools have made it easier to include videos in your marketing strategy. Today, customers expect a good quality video experience and brands of all shapes and sizes should aim to create videos that people want to watch. As Google CEO Sundar Pichai puts it, “People turn to YouTube when they want to research, buy or fix a product.” In e-commerce, video provides a real opportunity for a 360-degree view of the product through how-tos, product and explainer videos. For example, fashion e-commerce store ShopBop posts runway videos on its product page to show how a model wears a certain dress.

3. Same-day delivery. In New York and London, Amazon Prime customers can get products delivered to them within an hour. This service caters to the expectations of the younger demographic, which doesn’t mind paying a little extra if they can get their hands on a product of their choice on the same day they place the online order. To cash in on this trend, many Aussie e-commerce businesses will aim to make delivery windows shorter this year. But this will happen only in the cities initially because small Aussie retailers could still take days to deliver products to remote parts of Australia.

4. Go mobile. Mobile commerce is growing at a rapid rate and is forecast to reach up to 33 per cent of the e-commerce market in the US and 40 per cent in the global market, according to the State of Mobile Commerce report released by Criteo. More and more businesses will therefore focus on responsive websites because if a product is not predominant on mobile search, then you miss out on sales – especially after Google’s algorithm change. Mobile advertising will also get more popular, and e-commerce storeowners are going to be among the first big spenders on mobile ads.

5. Omni-channel. With the increase in digital consumption, customer buying behaviour is spread across multiple screens and the physical store. This is a clear signal for online retailers to provide a seamless brand interaction both online and offline. For example, if a person is looking at a pair of shoes online, then they should be able to pop into a store and be able to try them on. Online shoppers should also be provided alternatives to shipping such as “Click and collect” and “Reserve and collect” so they don’t abandon shopping carts due to shipping charges. In Australia, big retailers such Myer offer a “Click & Collect” service to provide a holistic shopping experience. 

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