What will ecommerce look like in 2014? Exclusive interview with Spreadshirt

By Chris Lee

Retailers anticipate that this Christmas online shopping will continue its annual trend of breaking ecommerce records. As the market continues to evolve, what can we expect from 2014? To learn more, NMK caught up with Philip Rooke, CEO of Spreadshirt, an e-commerce platform that “lets anyone create, sell and buy ideas on things consumers love to wear, use and carry”.

A year of marketplaces and rapid deliveries

Rooke believes Amazon, eBay and Rakutan are becoming search engines for shopping and recommendations and thinks that will grow in 2014.

“Better user experiences online have changed browsing habits, moving them out of the store. Being able to compare prices is also an advantage of online marketplaces,” he said. “Our relationship with Amazon has opened up a new way of selling our shop-partners’ designs in other retailer outlets and marketplaces. We expect this type of partnership to grow in 2014.”

Rooke sees shipping and the drive towards ever more rapid delivery, like the same day services growing in major cities.

“My initial thought of Amazon’s moonshot idea to use drones to deliver? I love it, I want one! It does seem impractical though, what happens if the package gets lost?” Rooke told NMK. “I loved this spoof ‘while you were out’ card! At the moment drone technology does not seem to stack up against the motorbike in terms of costs, weather proofing, security and reaching the majority of customers. So while customers do want rapid delivery for certain items, it will probably happen on the back of a motorbike in 2014.”

Tablet shopping will continue to grow

With tablet shopping starting to happen this year Rooke believes this trend will continue growing in 2014, but not necessarily in a straight-forward way.

“It seems that the shopping process often involves; browsing on a tablet, visiting the store to look at the product ‘in real life’ and then buying online, having compared costs, probably using a laptop,” he said. “This has fundamentally changed the way that customers browse for shopping ideas and it means that they have better ways to look at their options and buy.”

Make a wish…

Spreadshirt also anticipates that the tablet shopping phenomenon will see a rise in the use of wish lists next year. Being able to browse, store and share liked products to buy later, will become a key part of the online shopping process, Rooke said.

“Browsing is happening everywhere now, in all sorts of previously unused time spots. We expect to see an increase in sales through sharing and third-party sites, as consumers click on ideas that their virtual friends have shared. The retailer will have to work hard to harness the power of wish lists in 2014,” Rooke added.

Whatever the top stories are, now that e-commerce has caught the public attention, there is always something for marketers to be working on to improve their offerings, Rooke concluded. 2014 will definitely be a busy year for online retailers.

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