The future is only ever full of development, sometimes we can predict it and other times the driving force is super elusive. But we move along in the passenger’s seat regardless, knowing or trying to guess where we end up. Of course some people are better at making predictions than others, with research we can make informed guesses from market trends or where the consumer is pointing. One of the best ways to do this is, arguably, by looking at the past. So here’s an informative e-toast to 2015 and a speculative welcome to 2016.
Ecommerce is a vast virtual city. The roads are search engines, the shops are representations: it is littered with advice and discussion. It is littered with convenience and transparency. Yet despite some major points in the favour of online payment to retail payment, the high-street still massively outsizes us. There is something about being present, being able to look at goods in 3 glorious dimensions from suppliers that seem more trustworthy, if only because they have a shop front. This isn’t to say that e-commerce is dwindling. In 2015’s second quarter alone, reports revealed that e-commerce retail increased by 14.1 percent since its 2014 counterpart. Oppositely store retail increased by a relatively small margin of 1.0%. But this isn’t a war and there’s no friction between the two, they co-exist, even better they promote and build each-other. Ideas of ‘Unified Commerce’ are predominant (the idea of many channels of the same company sharing data and resources), they can feed each other. For example exclusive in-store promotions when you spend £40 online. Which may be why holistic customer experiences, such as same day delivery are being offered. The customer experiences the same catering as being in store, i.e. instant access to their purchase. 2015 Ecommerce saw delivery times and prices being pressed down and even delivery services joint together with retailers to feed the consuming public in a short a time period as possible. Which may be why one study of 65 million transactions found that 75% of transactions online are given a 5 Star review, the internet, it seems, is a more positive place then we think.
So we know that 2015 was a time for consumer orientated development, with drives to facilitate greater detail in product specification and transparency. M-commerce is another example of an increase in technological demand, our blog early last year reported various predictions about 2015 m-commerce growth. Well as mobile technology and retail confluence, the barriers for e-commerce in 2016 will continue to drop off. Developments such as biometrics for security, larger screens and greater website functionality all help in the m-commerce experience. Which may be why the m-commerce growth is projected to be an exponential 42%, this is comparative to the e-commerce growth as earlier referenced (14.1%). These figures may balance out in the future, or one may gain more sway on the other, but this depends largely on the Smartphone. However with there now being a stunning 2 billion mobile users worldwide, it is an area I feel confident in saying is a key area for development.
Here’s what an info-graphic kindly given by Remarkety has to say on Ecommerce 2015 insights, facts, figures and geography:
Please check out their great and informative website and some of their recommended services:
For those of you who didn’t get a Smartwatch for Christmas and haven’t spent the subsequent few days repeating ‘Okay Google’ and side-swiping at your wrist: baffling less technologically savvy members of the generation before us, I’ll describe what a Smartwatch is, what it does and who does it.
There has been a real take-off in Smartwatches in Ecommerce 2015, in the second quarter Apple sold 3.6 million watches worldwide. Which means they have a 20% share of the wearable technology market, the larger chunk is owned by Fitbit who don’t quite have the function or capabilities that Apple, Samsung devices etc may have to offer, due to them being geared towards a different audience. This means that Apple essentially dominate the first wave or generation of Smartwatch sales.
Why should you get one? Well, the truth is that they’re trendy, functional and convenient. They’re not essential to the use of your everyday communication management, but they help. They’re probably less distracting whilst at your desk than trying to sneak a glance at your phone. Just rotate your wrist and you can see your most recent text or social media prompt. Like Fitbit watches, they track your fitness, I now feel answerable to a watch for my physical well-being. You have an alarm on your wrist, something you’re unlikely to miss if it’s vibrating. You can read and send texts by voice or a button press, saving you trawling through menus and typing. They have templates you can take advantage of pre-installed. The function range depends on the watch, its operating system and the device it’s paired to, but it really makes a great accompaniment to your arsenal of mobile technology.
ApplePay is an awesome reason to get a Smartwatch, with supporting stores or venues you can take advantage of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology by placing your watch against the compatible card reader. Snazzy. Which brings us neatly to our next topic.
With the current monopoly Apple have over the Smartwatch market it is inevitable the rival companies will want a slice of the Apple pie. So in the wake Android and Samsung Pay are going to be coming to the UK. This is big news for android users who have been waiting eagerly to follow the example of the Apple consumers and pay on the go, from the wrist. Whilst we don’t have specific dates, speculation is rife and just because they may be late to the party, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t be able have as much fun. It will depend on the platform and devices from which they operate evolve, the wallets functionality, security, ease of access and just how charming the interface is.
Such payment providers will be expected to comply with the new PSD2 (Payment Service Directives) 2016 instructions. Number 2 is an initiative which seeks to allow such services to be permitted access to cardholder’s banks, this will remove some barriers technology may be facing at the moment. In exchange they have to undergo checks and security usually reserved and imposed more strictly on payment gateways such as Cardstream and other similar institutions.
Well we’ve spoken in some detail about the customer experience, the face of their ecommerce future in 2016. What about the Cardstream future? Well we have only gone and integrated with MasterPass for our merchants and resellers. You can expect this to be released in the kick-off to the New Year, there’s even news articles about our new partnership:
As always we will keep our ears pressed firmly to the ground and mould our service over 2016 to keep it current and ensure our gallant strides continue in the right direction. Watch this space as our list of integrations and developments expands. If you are new to Cardstream or E-commerce generally, why not contact us in 2016 to see how we can assist your business and help it grow.
Happy New Year.
For further details on anything discussed, please see sources below