If one thing about ecommerce is consistent year over year, it’s change. And 2015 was no exception. The most notable changes in ecommerce from 2015 are the increasing importance of mobile wallets, the shift in EMV liability, the rise of omnichannel and distributed commerce, and the growth of the financial technology (fintech) industry.
One of the most exciting changes in 2015 was the increase in availability and popularity of mobile wallets. With Apple Pay’s release at the end of 2014 and Samsung Pay midway through the year, 2015 was the year of the mobile wallet.
For 2016, what will truly set the mobile wallets apart from one another is their omnichannel presence and the ability to use them in-store, online, or in-app.
The shift in EMV liability epitomized another massive shift during 2015. As Arroweye Solutions President and CEO, Render Dahiya pointed out, “EMV is a huge, huge conversion [and] it has never happened in a country this size before.”
It’s still too early to fully understand how EMV will impact ecommerce and payments in the US but we have already started to see some of the challenges and solutions to EMV payments. Netflix, for example, has raised concerns with the EMV shift, stating that they have lost subscribers because customers receive their new card and forget to update their account.
Omnichannel and Distributed Commerce
For many retailers, 2015 marked the move to an omnichannel strategy. Although the concept of omnichannel retailing has been around for over a decade, it is only now that the tools and technologies are in place for retailers to effectively implement an omnichannel customer experience.
Like many other changes in ecommerce, the omnichannel trend has been driven by consumer demands:
- 87% of customers feel retailers need to put more effort into creating a seamless experience
- 98% of Americans switch between two or more devices in the same day
Companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared to 33% retention for companies with weak omnichannel engagement.
By creating an omnichannel experience, retailers can understand their customers and personalize interactions regardless of which channels the customer is using. As a result, retailers are turning to channels that provide the most personal, relevant, and timely data about their customers. For example, retailer specific native apps were fairly uncommon in 2014, however today nearly every major brand has an app and some are even app-only. This is because native apps can provide insightful information about customers such as real-time location data.
Connected to omnichannel retailing is how 2015 marked an increase in the prevalence of distributed commerce. Distributed commerce refers to enabling customers to make purchases anytime and anywhere. With buy buttons placed directly on social media sites, blog posts, and review websites, shoppers can quickly and easily complete purchases from any location and on any device.
Growth in Fintech
“Fintech” was one of biggest the buzzwords of 2015. This is because fintech is one of the most attractive industries today. As a result, investment in the fintech industry has grown from under $1 billion in 2010 to over $3 billion in Q1 of 2015 and the number of unique investors grew from 223 to over 894 in the same time period. There is no better proof for 2015’s boom in fintech than the number and scale of announcements that occurred at Money20/20 earlier in the year.
The Year in Review
2015 changed wallets and the way people shop in more than one way. Between smart-cards, mobile wallets, and distributed commerce, nearly the entire shopping experience has changed. And it’s not slowing down. The growing investment in the fintech industry means that we can expect to see more innovative startups coming out with their own solutions to the challenges facing ecommerce today.
We can’t wait to see what happens next.