According to Germany’s Institute for Trade Research, online sales increased 11% between 2013 and 2014, amounting to a total of 42 billion euros in sales. Experts are seeing the first signs of consolidation in fashion and accessories, while “latecomers” like food and drugstore goods are beginning to show promise.
With the eCommerce landscape continuously changing, one can expect many shifts in the upcoming year. For a glimpse into the crystal ball, we sent out a small survey to our eCommerce experts regarding their expectations for 2016. These are the results:
Founder and owner of Shoplupe GmbH
"Individual product feeds and product streams are my top theme for 2016. For these, shop owners aren’t reliant on comprehensive user data. Instead, they can start immediately with a clever concept. Therefore, every shop should use this opportunity!"
Tip: Shopware offers you the perfect tool for creating Product Streams. Check out more information in our Shopware 5.1 overview or in our wiki.
Dr. Kai Hudetz
CEO of Instituts für Handelsforschung Köln
“We can expect a seriously dynamic market in 2016. The boarders between online and offline will become even more indistinct. Customer orientation will become the central success factor for online merchants. The last mile will be particularly innovative. The basis being Smart Data – so the concepts used to collect and analyze data will become more sophisticated. The fight for customers will come down to customer loyalty – Amazon leads the way with Amazon Prime."
Operator of wortfilter.de
“I see four trends in 2016. So for one, the connection between stationary and digital trade. I also don’t see the Chinese market as a one-way street, but rather a market that hold a lot of sales potential. Merchants can benefit from an increasingly diverse marketplace, as there are more than 200 relevant marketplaces worldwide. As a final important trend, small and medium-sized businesses will continue to make themselves more professional.”
Operator of shopanbieter.de
“2016 will definitely be an exciting year in eCommerce, so much so that highlighting individual trends falls somewhere between difficult and impossible. There is simply so much going on in every area of online trade. However, the most striking trends lean towards indicator-based enterprise and increased customer focus.”
Founder and CEO of Spryker Systems GmbH
“It comes down to being a strong manufacturer/brand with loyal customers/followers. Then you have to make your customers happy and have control of your eCommerce software. It’s increasingly difficult for merchants to remain relevant in the world of Amazon. The focus on profitable new customers will certainly rise and be supported by widespread discount campaigns.”
Operator of Exciting Commerce and organizor of the K5
“Online trade develops on several levels. The big acts are increasingly global, while the smaller merchants have to find and completely exploit of their niche. Mobile commerce has been a topic for a long time, but what is really interesting is how revenue can be generate and which trends are sustainable. It will also be interesting to see how infrastructures will be adjusted to fit online needs.”
Operator of geistreich78.info
"Due to the digital revolution, we’re moving towards a 'winner takes all' economy. In every branch and every niche, we can expect to see a monopolist largely dominate that field. Shopware owners should try with all their might to become the dominant player in their field. For instance, through the help of SEO and high performance re-pricing, you can reach high BuyBox quotes, or you can create your own ecosystem or create more inspirational shopping experiences. Many will have to 'start from scratch', meaning go back to the drawing board in order to effectively change their appearance."
“There is a realistic chance that free same day delivery will become a standard in 2016. Amazon already made a big step towards this at the end of 2015 in 14 cities with an average of 1 million items. Other merchants should follow suit. This is incredibly difficult, because even larger merchants struggle to calculate this kind of service.
Didn’t I say last year that Bitcoin was going under? Gee, I hit the money on that prediction. Although many large companies stepped up their efforts in this area, most are still waiting for their breakthrough. Ask me again next year.”