The online retail industry isn’t one to stand still, and according to industry insiders, 2019 will be no exception.
As 2018 comes to a close and workers across the country are switching off and preparing for a week of feasting and celebrating, we took a moment to talk to a selection of retailers and solution providers to see what they think the next 12-months will hold.
Billy Huynh, Founder and CEO, Interior Secrets
Voice search is an exciting one! We’ve seen the capabilities of Siri, Alexa and Google assistant. I think the voice-centric world is still in its early days, however, the thought of being able to search for the best price for a particular product simply by saying the product name to your phone is probably as convenient as it gets. Online retailers could create content that answers common questions asked through voice assistants.
Small or large, brand value will matter. With smaller retailers, in particular, we are seeing more creative ideas emerge. A clear digital strategy will be critical for retailers to survive in a growing competitive landscape. We’ve overhauled our digital strategy at least six times in the last year, and our new website is set to launch in January 2019.
Retailers with increased store numbers will advance there supply chain making it possible for retailers to capture and fulfil orders quicker. We launched our first experience store in the heart of Southbank directly opposite Crown Casino last year, the second store happening in Sydney next year. When we first opened, we had in-store sale targets and focused heavily on closing the sale with every visitor that walked through the door. Now, we’re centred on providing exceptional customer service. Often, we would assist a customer in the store in the morning, and soon after would see their name pop up in the back end of the sales system.
Phil Suggate, Co-Founder, EasyShed
Retail overall in 2019 will continue to perform strongly. Retailers continuing to ignore the essentiality of integrated e-commerce platforms and the rapidly changing shopping habits and expectations of their customers will continue to struggle and die. However, retailers that are providing a well-integrated and engaging omnichannel experience (both online and offline) will see strong growth and continue to rapidly gain market share.
James Tinsley, Founder, FitMyCar
I really hate seeing the bad news stories about established bricks-and-mortar brands collapsing because they haven’t adopted digital and e-commerce strategies. So my hope for 2019 will be seeing good new stories about iconic brands kicking goals in the digital marketing and e-commerce space, embracing social media and being rewarded for it.
Mike Wilson, Founder, TinyMe
Certainly the big trends such as mobile, social, video, on-site personalisation and relevance, speed and contextual commerce are as big for us as they are for everyone else in e-commerce. We are, however, primarily a design and manufacturing business with core capabilities in software and engineering automation interested in building direct-to-consumer brands. In this sense, the trends affecting us go well beyond e-commerce and are more into areas such as mechatronics, robotics and automation, as well as global logistics, large data wrangling etc.
Dion Appel, Chief Revenue Officer, Openpay
2018 was a big year for e-commerce with a number of changes and developments, and we’re most excited to see how things will continue to grow in 2019 – especially the continued growth of digital payment solutions. Convenience will be key for consumers and there are so many ways this can be achieved, with payment methods at the forefront, allowing e-commerce sites to increase conversions and shopping basket sizes to remain competitive.
We also see the online retail industry continuing to grow and evolve at a rapid pace with payment solution offerings leading the way. The rising popularity of buy now, pay later providers has proven that customers want an online shopping experience that is tailored to their individual preferences. They want to be in control of how they shop and the industry will need to continue to evolve to keep up with that.