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What Will – And Won’t – Happen In US eCommerce In 2015

Sucharita Kodali
Sucharita Kodali
Vice President, Principal Analyst
November 6, 2014
2015 is upon us: in Forrester’s just-released “Predictions 2015: US B2C And B2B eCommerce Players Will Struggle To Keep Up With Customers” report, we predict a number of key issues will challenge B2C eBusiness & Channel Strategy professionals in the coming year, while a number of new and exciting—but not pressing—topics will circulate. B2C eBusiness & channel strategy professionals ought to know which key issues to watch and which over-hyped trends to ignore.
 
What Will Happen: Flexible Fulfillment is the new term for omnichannel
Starting in January 2015, UPS and FedEx prices for ground shipping will take the size of the box into account, which will increase shipping costs for many merchants. As shipping costs increase and customers continue to crave and expect flexible omnichannel fulfillment options, B2C eCommerce firms must work to minimize the impact of price increases while continuing to serve customers in their moments of need by exploring alternative delivery methods like ship-to-store solutions, lockers, and local store pickups. Forrester further predicts that European eBusiness professionals will finally experiment in areas like mobile, in-store technology and cross-touchpoint measurement in 2015 in light of European consumers’ increasingly multi-touchpoint shopping behavior. Read Michelle Beeson's "Predictions 2015: European Retailers Will Embrace Experimentation" report and blog for more insight into the 2015 European retail landscape.
 
What Won’t Happen: Hyped Solutions That Have Significant Constraints
Topics like Alibaba’s IPO may create buzz among merchants, though despite the company’s innovative success in China and extremely low prices across every product category, Forrester does not believe that Alibaba will transform the US eCommerce landscape this year. However, eBusiness professionals can be sure that the eCommerce rivalry to watch in 2015 will be Alibaba versus Amazon. As my colleague Zia Daniell Wigder has written in her “Predictions 2015: Prepare For More Global eCommerce Players To Spread Their Wings,” and blog post, we expect to see both Alibaba and Amazon make international markets a bigger priority, taking their competition global.
 
Together with my colleague Andy Hoar, we are making calls on what to expect in 2015 regarding the tech titans Google, Facebook, and Amazon, the holidays, social commerce, B2B eCommerce, corporate procurement, Apple Pay, mobile and more. 2015 will be a more amplified 2014, which means B2C and B2B retailers who ignore challenges and focus on hype will only find themselves falling further behind. If you want to know more, you can either download the full report or contact us
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