Grownup e-commerce

Hayden Sutherland was involved in the early days of web development and has been pivotal in the implementation of some of the largest and most highly regarded sites on the internet.

His expertise...

... covers online projects for organisations such as Nestlé, RBS, The Metropolitan Police and Philips and he has previously held senior roles such as Head of e-Business for P&O Ferries, Head of Project Management for a Top 10 Global Digital Agency and Technical Director at several online businesses. He has also won several awards including the British Interactive Media Association award for best financial services website.

For the last five years he has run Ideal Interface, an eCommerce and Digital Marketing consultancy based in Scotland. Although predominantly consulting in the retail sector (River Island, AllSaints Clothing, Sainsbury’s, etc.) the company has now built up a number of clients in the financial services, travel & tourism and other vertical markets.

He can usually be found Tweeting about anything from Social Media, eCommerce and multi-channel attribution through to reality TV contestants and the weather in Glasgow @haydens30

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31 December 2012 - 10:41pm | posted by | 4 comments

e-commerce in 2013 : some predictions

So what does 2013 bring for e-commerce?So what does 2013 bring for e-commerce?

There are lots of predictions being made for the year ahead so I've pulled together my suggestions for the future of e-commerce in 2013.

1. Site traffic will continue to increase
As more and more people use internet connected devices, the number of visits to online stores will grow in 2013. Consequently (based on the assumption that conversion rates remain the same or improve) the overall amount of money taken online over the year should increase too.

2. The number and range of online retailers will grow
Getting a site set-up and running has become increasingly easier… the number of smaller / niche retailers selling their products online will continue to grow. Nowadays you don’t need a huge technology budget to get started with e-commerce and barriers are diminishing.

3. Mobile e-commerce will continue to bloom
The impact of increased usage of mobile devices will be evident in where retailers choose to spend their development budgets with more choosing to focus on mobile and tablet specific sites. Nearly every website has seen traffic from smart phones and tablets in 2012 and this is set to increase therefore retailers will respond to accommodate.
I don’t see that the concept of responsive design (a single site that automatically resizes and realigns itself to the specific screen resolution) will take off in 2013 for e-commerce sites, but we may see this in the more innovative ‘brochure-ware’ sites.

4. Regional e-commerce will mature
Although online transactions supposedly don’t have any geographical restrictions, it is still typical to see companies in & around major cities more readily adopting e-commerce. A number of retailers in the more remote regions have yet to take advantage of online
opportunity. So… as the general level of e-commerce increases, this will have a sweeping effect across all geographic regions with confidence in the online arena growing.

5. Average order value drops
Perhaps a bit of a strange thing to predict, but it’s my belief that even though the amount of online transactions will increase in 2013, the average order value (AOV) will decrease by the end of the year.
Why? Well, there are two angles.
Firstly, as mobile usage increases… more transactions will be done via mobile/tablet but with a smaller number of items per order. Users are increasingly comfortable making mobile transactions but by the nature of mobile, it will be for convenience and therefore a shorter interaction. Comparing it to bricks and mortar stores, shoppers are less likely to do a large weekly shopping at a late night convenience store.
Secondly, as the use of mobile devices increase they will be used by a wider range of shoppers from varying income brackets. This will change the profile of your average shopper and move away from the early adopters who tend to be higher income/higher spend.

6. Multi-channel focus on the customer
Rather than just being another way to sell more stuff quicker, larger retailers with both e-commerce functionality and physical locations will look at the overall customer experience again in 2013. They will try to understand and improve the multi-channel customer journey to eventually deliver a truly joined-up and complete process that doesn’t just convert more customers, but retains them for longer as well.

7. Attribution becomes more than a concept
In 2013 we will see more e-commerce sites measuring the influence of each online marketing channel and an increased adoption of more complex attribution models. A recent study found that 74% of client-side digital marketers said they either carry out last click attribution only or don’t do any at all. This means that just over a quarter are starting to understand the value that certain in-direct acquisition efforts give (e.g. the effect that Social Media has in shaping purchase consideration, but not necessarily in delivering the final online transaction) and therefore that they could use their digital marketing spend in a more effective way.

Whatever your e-commerce plans are for 2013, I hope they turn out to be successful and profitable for you.


1 Jan 2013 - 08:40
maaya80254's picture

good piece of information

22 Jan 2013 - 09:34
nickc17306's picture

I can agree to the majority of this, particularly the regional growth of retailers outside major conurbations employing more sophisticated ecommerce platforms. IF you really want to know what I think then check out for my Blog on the subject.

29 Jan 2013 - 04:11
dirsp28540's picture

Well its completely changed since 2000, read here One the biggest changes we're starting to see is same day delivery. Customers are having orders delivered within hours. Tablets have a long way to go before they compete with computers/laptops, its just not as fun with all the tricky buttons.

5 Mar 2013 - 09:22
brian84782's picture

I have been pondering this question for a while and would be interested if you have any comments.

From the perspective of the C level, what is the strategic relationship between paid, owned and earned how do they integrate into a chohesive business model?

Of course, much depends on the type of business, industry, customer segments, digital value chain etc. - as a basis for a cohesive strategy. However, I believe there is an opportunity to optimize business value through a consolidated view.

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