Dear CTO…. What Are Your Top 5 Predictions for 2016?

Peter Buckley

16 Dec 2015

It’s that time if year again. No. Not the one where you have to apologise to your boss for being inappropriate at the Xmas party (again).

It’s the time where everyone worth reading publishes a list of the upcoming trends they think we’ll be seeing this time next year.

Adding Taggstar’s fuel to the flames, we asked Andy Lucas, our CTO, what he thinks will be hot for eCommerce technology in 2016. Here’s what he said:

  1. High street fashion retailers will realise omni-channel experiences by bringing online social proof in store: Tapping into customer demand to fuse the online with the offline shopping experience, we’ll see retailers shortcut the offline fashion discovery process.  They’ll do this by representing the process of hunting through racks of clothes by providing in-store social proof metrics for items that are also available online. We’ll start to see large in-store video screens, removing the need for shoppers to walk around stores glued to their mobile phones.
  2. Google will continue to erode organic search result traffic to eCommerce sites: Google is giving less and less weight to simple keyword SEO, increasing retailers’ reliance on Adwords and Google Shopping products. We’ve already started to see retailers spend more on content marketing and, although CPMs are high when combined with high-quality content, returns can equal or exceed PPC marketing. Twitter and Pinterest ad platforms will also benefit as retailers try harder to get measurable ROI from social channels.
  3. Onsite eCommerce ads: The largest high street eCommerce retailers will start to follow Amazon by placing advertising on their sites. Retailers like Argos have already began to experiment with placing Google Ads on product list pages, and other strong e-tailers brands will follow in 2016.
  4. Personalisation: Every eCommerce retailer has this as a roadmap item. Who wouldn’t want a more personal service? However, if it’s done wrong personalisation can be annoying and actually damage sales conversion rates. For example, everyone hates that advert (for something they’ve already bought) that stalks them around the internet. Sadly I think that in the next year we’re going to see many retailers trying personalisation and missing the mark. To do it properly will need expert help from third party optimisation companies.
  5. Black Friday 2016 Becomes Black Week: Extending a trend that already started in 2015, Black Friday 2016 will become diluted into a continuous week-long sales event. Retailers have learned from the past two years that asking their customers to wait all November for massive discounts at the end of the month is ultimately detrimental. Web-sites crash under huge traffic load and customers are disappointed when the discounted products sell too quickly or have limited supply. Everyone will be happier with a longer ‘discounted’ window.

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