It was without a doubt an outstanding year for ecommerce — we saw new and exciting trends make headlines in the shipping and retail industries. As 2015 comes to a close, let’s take a look back on the ecommerce trends that impacted online retailers this year.
Here are the themes that made a splash in 2015 and will continue to attract attention in the new year.
1. Online Retailers Go Global
Expanding an ecommerce business internationally can seem challenging, but in 2015 we saw countless online retailers take that step to go global. Shipping companies launched new services and offerings this year to make international shipping possible for even the smallest businesses, like Endicia Global Service shipping to Mexico and Brazil.
Many are unsure where to start since there can be high shipping costs, customs and tax issues, and a lack of credit cards in developing regions. But, one way many online retailers are making it easier on themselves is by selling through international online marketplaces.
For advice on how to sell around the world, check out our blog post, “How to Sell Internationally: Make 2015 the Year to Go Global.”
2. Drones, Virtual Reality and More
New technologies and blossoming consumer expectations played a big role in the world of online retail this year. This led to drones and virtual reality becoming a regular topic of conversation. Consumers said they see drones as the next rapid-delivery option and expect virtual reality to soon be a part of their online shopping experience.
In the blog post, “Drones and Virtual Reality: Study Reveals Online Shopping Trends and What Businesses Should Expect in the Near Future,“ we discussed these growing trends and shared results from the WalkerSands Communication Future of Retail Study 2015.
3. “Buy” Buttons
Another big trend we saw in 2015 was the addition of “buy” buttons to multiple social media platforms. Social media giants Pinterest and Instagram both made moves in this department. These new features make shopping via mobile devices easier for consumers, and helps online retailers reach their target audiences. With “buy” buttons, consumers have the ability to purchase products all without leaving their social media app.
We discussed how these tools help ecommerce businesses in our blog post, “Get Ready to Sell on Pinterest and Instagram with New ‘Buy’ Buttons.”
4. Same-day Shipping
This year, shipping startups and retail giants tested nimble delivery options, striving to play in the same-day shipping space. For example, Amazon and Uber captured attention with their crowdsourced delivery options, Amazon Flex and UberRush.
With tech companies tapping everyday Joes to deliver packages, we asked 1,000+ consumers for an inside look at their delivery preferences. Check out the results here: “Consumers Tell All: Should Your Delivery Person Wear a Uniform? [Infographic].”
5. Retailers Stay Home for the Holidays
Some retailers have stopped competing for the earliest customer on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Instead, they’ve taken the opposite approach by closing their doors. Many businesses are joining the trend, encouraging their customers to spend the holiday with their families, rather than at the mall.
We covered REI and GameStop’s bold moves to close during the holidays and discussed why this is good news for small online businesses in our blog post, “REI and GameStop Closed on Thanksgiving Day: Why this is Good News for Online Retailers.”
For additional trends from 2015, check out our Ecommerce Tips and Trends page.