3 E-Commerce Trends to Watch in 2014
With e-commerce sales expected to reach $434.2 billion by 2017, retailers need to keep pace with new technological advances and lofty customer expectations to capture a larger portion of sales this year.
Although the retail landscape changed dramatically in 2013, many common themes that were introduced last year will continue to shape the industry and have a greater impact throughout 2014. In particular, three major trends will play a large role in retail e-commerce strategies as we move into 2014:
1. Delivery speed: Amazon.com's recent announcement that it will use drones to deliver packages under five pounds within 30 minutes positioned delivery speed top of mind for consumers. Although it's just a blueprint, Amazon's plans represent a fundamental shift in customer expectations regarding the demand for ultraspeedy deliveries.
While this is a futuristic concept for most major retailers, same-day and next-day delivery are gaining traction in the industry. Last fall, Amazon announced it would offer same-day delivery in many large U.S. cities. Since then, many other big-box and online retailers have announced similar offerings, most recently Home Depot.
We can expect this trend to continue as more consumers expect same-day and expedited delivery at a reasonable price. Implementing faster delivery times and same-day delivery can be a logistical nightmare however without the technology and processes in place to track and fulfill timely orders. Retailers should ensure their third-party logistics provider can quickly scale for higher order volumes with no impact on quality or speed.
2. Omnichannel expansion: Many brands were focused on building and experimenting with their cross-channel capabilities in 2013. In 2014, the omnichannel concept will continue to evolve as brands focus on further integrating the offline and online experiences through social media, physical showrooms for online-only retailers, mobile and tablet offerings, and branded delivery.
Maria is CEO and co-founder of Dotcom Distribution, where she has played an integral role in developing and defining all aspects of the operation, including sales and marketing, operations, finance and IT. Her strategic leadership helps the Board and senior management to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans, and policies. Maria has developed the systemic and procedural infrastructure necessary to provide timely and accurate analysis of budgets, financial reports and financial trends in order to assist the Board, senior executives and clients in performing their responsibilities. Maria holds a CPA. Prior to founding Dotcom, she began her career as an Auditor at Arthur Andersen and was the CFO of GoodTimes Home Video.