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Emerging technoloGIES for future ecommerce

Shopping via Image Recognition

Soon ecommerce customers would not need to browse products using keyword phrase, bar code, QR code etc. Instead, they would have the option to scan a real world object around them or images in media, to find details for an item and shop for them. This revolutionary change in ecommerce will be possible using mobile technology.

Mobile, Tablet Showcase & POS

The goal will be to enable every store colleague to transact, checkout and take payments without needing to go to a till. Apple started this trend and most retailers see the significant advantage that this approach provides by providing access to an entire product range, as well as to drive assisted conversations. With iOS 6 and Android 4.2 Jellybean, the features you can enable in customer assisted app are endless, starting from basic tools such as using the camera for barcode scanning to viewing a virtual makeover for customers in store.

Advanced Mobile Browsing Interface

Along with the above assisted scenarios, the potential growth of mobile/iPad in retail eCommerce is enormous. Current projections, suggest that in the next couple of years mobile/iPad will exceed desktop numbers. Mobile consumers will expect websites to work like any app (i.e., intuitively they will swipe if they see a carousel or more than one image).

Responsive design is the mantra for any website as we think we have not explored even 20% to 30% of the potential with current technology. Retailers should actively take advantage of mobile functions. Features like compare prices with other retailers by scanning the product, self checkout, payment wallet, store card/loyalty as an app, GPS-enabled advertising on digital screen in store and the likes will be common in next couple of years.

Push Notification Messaging & Marketing

Mobiles have changed the way consumers respond to and look for information. The trends is moving from 'pull browsing' to 'push browsing', whereby marketers are reaching out to consumers with more relevancy than before to pull them to buying things. What was earlier only marketing emails will turn into relevant SMS notifications when a customer near a physical store or relevant basket notifications when they are tweeting or browsing Facebook updates for selected products on their mobile home screens every morning.

Analytic Data Driven Decisions

The 'Big Data' or 'Hadoop' methodology and concept will continue to be explored further. Although there is a overhype about these concepts, the beauty of combining online and offline data from various channels whether structured or unstructured, at lightning speed is something which retailers need in order to enhance decision making, as it provides those hidden consumer patterns which were never thought of earlier.

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