In 2014 we can expect consolidation and professionalization of e-Commerce. Almost each retailer has e-Commerce channel now, additionally, manufacturers are developing own e-stores. It’s last time to build a strong position on the internet.  Below I suggest few hints that should be considered in 2014.

Growth Hacking
Standing in opposition to traditional marketing, growth hacking is gaining popularity. Main points of this philosophy are: stable growth engine, efficiency, experimenting instead of planning, focusing on sales rather than brand. You can find more about growth hacking in Growth Hacker Marketing book.

Lean Startup
The new project methodology is based on the constant optimization of key project indicators. It promotes the idea of Minimum Viable Product ( MVP). Instead of investing in research – just quickly create a version of the product and release it on the market. You should use techniques such as A / B testing to optimize your e-business. I strongly recommend: The Lean Startup Book.

New business models
In 2013 we saw a lot of new business models in e-Commerce. One of our clients promotes recipes for homemade cosmetics by content marketing. To each recipe, they add set of products (ingredients). Just one click and all these ingredients end up in the cart. These activity helps to cross-sell more products. Another customer – Airlines, created the duty-free online store. Buy on-line from home and pick up the product on board when you fly.
I’m also sure that in the coming year FMCG companies will try some new ways of selling on-line.

Smarter prices
According to Vendavo up 60 % of customers can be a non-profit for the company. It is estimated (same source) that about 30 % of the offering is sold too cheap. Amazon is changing prices of some goods even few times a day. In the future, companies will work harder to put on the intelligent control of the price. You can try tools like WisePricer . Some retailers use really complex techniques to set prices. For example – their change prices based on your location.
The most important aspect of pricing strategies is to not harm customers. There is interesting document about price and search discrimination on the Internet.

Diversification of traffic sources
Some of our clients says “SEO is death”. For sure – there are industries where this is true. Of course SEO Ninjas says something different. Anyway you should consider more traffic sources because Google strategy is “pay per click” and sooner or later – You will pay for all your clicks.
The best case scenario is that one source of traffic should not exceed 20-30% of the overall traffic of Your site. To do this, you should test marketing tools such as affiliations, RTB, mailings to external databases, building own mailing list, call-center.
The ultimate way to stability is building a strong brand.

Own database
In many branches we see increased traffic acquisition costs. You should consider building an e-mailing list or user base in social media. This is even more important when you understand that lots of users are not ready to buy just now. To get a registration to the base of such users, you can offer them a free ebook for example. You can also offer a discount coupon after subscription.

Responsive Web Design
RWD is standard now. Users are really surprised when website doesn’t work on smartphone or tablet. Today users prefer to use mobile websites than apps. You can build an app when you have something to offer. For great majority of e-Commerce websites RWD template will be just fine. But please don’t forget about User-Experience of your mobile channels. Need some inspiration? Check this 10 awesome examples of e-Commerce sites using RWD.

Tom Karwatka

eCommerce expert focusing on UX and tech innovations. An avid speaker and a writer sharing knowledge on eCommerce trends, mobile-first solutions and modern approaches to eCommerce. CEO at Divante eCommerce Software House | LinkedIn | Twitter

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    Hello, I need some help with it. When I try to go to magento front page it pops up this: Warning: seixlmpml_load_string(): Entity: line 2: parser error : Comment not terminated. Nothing is shown in system.log about this as well. I don’t know where to put Mage::log(print_r($filename, true)); to help me find this error.Help please.

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