Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Serious amount of changes on the horizon

By Chris McEldowney, vice-president of client operations at Export Technologies, gives us his tech predictions for the year ahead

Mobile phones: Mobiles will surpass desktop in terms of traffic and potentially in terms of revenue. As the hardware continues to improve and e-commerce platforms integrate smarter and simpler mobile navigation, faster payment and delivery options, this will become the default choice for the online shopper in 2017.

Personalised user experience: As part of the big data and mobile revolution, online users are becoming more and more accustomed to a streamlined and personalised experience.

The more personalised the experience, the less cluttered it is, and the easier to close the sale. In 2017, users will move from accepting personalised recommendations, to expecting them.

Imagine that a customer walks into your high street shop and before the sales attendant speaks to them, they know everything about their hobbies, likes, social groups, previous purchases, other shops they've been to, average spend etc.

How much easier would it be to help them find what they are looking for? This is happening online right now, and will only increase in it's reach and effectiveness in 2017.

International: During this year, China (left) surpassed the UK to become the world's largest retail market and this also applies to the e-commerce market.

It has been said that China is predicted to surpass the entire European e-commerce market turnover in 2017. This astounding fact gives an idea of the revenue potential that exists in international markets.

Traffic generation via video: Youtube, SnapChat, Facebook Live, you name it, the users and big players in the social and advertising spheres are gravitating more and more to video.

In 2017, this will be a major new source of untapped traffic that merchants will be able to take advantage of - providing they are ahead of the curve.

E-commerce managers within our industry need a combination of knowledge and technology to be able to maximise their sales.

We combine this technology with the data, advice and insights required to succeed in a competitive international marketplace and have achieved 70% year-on-year growth across our client base in the past year.

And taking on board these predictions we are expecting to achieve even more throughout 2017.

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