Anyone can make a prediction. Few, however, are willing to stick with it over the long haul, especially when the unforeseen can send things sideways. So, when Silicon Angle approached us about participating in their second annual Technology Predictions, we wanted to make sure that whatever we put forth was grounded in the things that we see from our clients on a daily basis and thus more likely to stand up over time.
If 2015 is anything like 2014, then we believe it’s going to be another tough year for those businesses that refuse or are slow to embrace commerce automation and digital commerce in general, and conversely, place too much faith or emphasis on mobile payments. With all the complexity and disruption caused by modern marketing and mobile, 2015 will be the year that companies embrace both commerce automation and digital commerce as way to solve the “Commerce Hairball” and build deeper, longer-term relationships with their customers. Let’s take a closer at each of our individual predictions to see why that will be the case.
2015 Will Be the Year of Commerce Automation. Modern marketing has created multiple points of engagement for customers to interact and exchange value with you on their schedule and on their terms. Couple this with the growing complexity of managing these new engagement touch points and wiring it back to your legacy ERP system is causing a “Commerce Hairball” of complexity to manage. Commerce automation solves this by automating commerce programs, such as new customer setup, cross-sell, replenishment, repeat business and more, to maximize engagement and overall customer lifecycle value.
Marketing Tech Investments Will Embrace Digital Commerce. Digital disruption, particularly on mobile, has given people incredibly easy access to all the information and tools they need to make smart purchasing decisions. According to Gartner, “By 2020, more than seven billion people and businesses, and at least 30 billion devices, will be connected to the Internet. With people, businesses and things communicating, transacting, and even negotiating with each other, a new world comes into being – the world of digital business”. With global B2C digital sales alone growing at 20% annually and forecast to exceed $2.3 trillion US in 2017, 2015 will be the year businesses shift more of their marketing tech investments and resources toward capturing digital revenue.
Mobile Payments Still Have a Long Ways to Go. According to a recent survey by Avangate, consumers are not quite ready to say “I Do” to mobile payments. Almost half of consumers have not used their mobile phones to make a purchase, and one in five don’t feel secure making mobile payments. While more investments are going into mobile payments, such as ApplePay, businesses can’t ignore consumer preferences for how they want to pay. In 2015, we’ll see payments, including mobile, become subsumed by commerce—in fact, it will be the year of Digital Commerce, where will see companies transition away from single point transactions with customers into deeper longer-term relationships.
Short of a crystal ball, no one can say with absolute certainty what will or will not happen over a coming year. What we can do, however, is make an educated guess based on what we know and can see at the time. If what we’re seeing from our 3800 customers is any indication, then 2015 looks to be the year where businesses go all out to embrace digital commerce. Whether or not that unfolds as we predicted is for time to judge. Whatever the case, we’ll be sure to be here next year to tell you about it.