2014 Ecommerce Predictions: What’s In and What’s Out

man in suit with charts and a 2014 calendarThe year is already coming to a close and it seems like just yesterday that everyone was lauding social, mobile and local as the next game changers.

Fast forward a year and we have another set of predictions that are ready to take center stage.

[CLICK HERE to view the entire 2014 Predictions archive]

There won’t be any surprises, but a few trends will expire in 2014, while a few will be forced further into the lime light.

Omnichannel will fade away: The term “omnichannel” will be phased out as merchants transform from product centric to customer centric businesses. The very idea of omnichannel only showcases the inside out view that the merchant has of its business.

Big data is here to stay: Big data will start to have more meaning as leading merchants and technology vendors use big data to solve real world problems. To start adding real value, big data will move beyond reporting and visualization and we will see more merchants using big data driven applications to drive relevant, personalized real-time experiences for shoppers.

Adapting the showroom experience: Showrooming was one of the big trends in 2012 and early 2013. Merchants now realize the issues that drove consumers to shop in store and buy online and they have offered price matching, altered return policies and created unique products to make buying in-store a more appealing process which will bring some people back to stores. If you need a reminder there are these great commercials from BestBuy.

Luxury brands will lead with personalization: Knowledge of the customer is key in the retail experience, especially in creating loyalty. We will continue to see luxury brands invest in creating more intimate, personalized experiences for their high value consumers with interactive shopping tools and other innovations that will pave the way for the rest of retail to follow. In particular, I am impressed with how Tori Burch and Burberry are integrating the digital and physical worlds together in their shopping experience.

Dan Darnell is vice president of marketing and product at Baynote.

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