Top ten eCommerce features of 2015

1. What should retailers do to win the online fulfilment battle?

Fulfilment has been the retail word of 2015. As more people turn to online to do their shopping retailers are struggling to deliver these orders in the manner customers expect. Amazon offers delivery within an hour, but multichannel retailers have realised click & collect has become too costly to provide for free. John Lewis made a bold move over the summer to introduce a fee for its click & collect service and Essential eCommerce investigated whether this would be accepted by customers and whether other retailers are likely to follow the department store's lead.

Click here to read the analysis.

2. Why are retailers launching online marketplaces?

More retailers than ever are looking to sell their products on third party marketplaces like Amazon and in the US.

But Halfords made an interesting move over the summer to launch its own branded marketplace to direct customers elsewhere if they couldn't find the product they needed at the retailer.

Partnering with 30 approved companies to expand its range of bike and car accessories online, Halfords may look like it is sending customers away from its brand, but is it in fact improving customer service and allowing the retailer to test the waters with products it does not currently sell? Essential eCommerce takes a look at the opportunities of launching an online marketplace.

Click here to read the analysis.  

3. Five ways retailers can reduce online basket abandonment

Online basket abandonment is one of the biggest challenges e-tailers face. But there are some simple processes that can be put in place to help guide customers through to the checkout, from being upfront with total basket costs, to following up with targeted marketing.

Essential eCommerce lists five ways retailers can reduce their online basket abandonment rates.

Click here to read the analysis.

4. How could internet connected smart fridges change the face of online retail?

The idea of your fridge emailing your local Tesco to say your running out of milk has long been the example of how the internet of things could change consumers' lives. But how close are we to achieving this nirvana where your shopping has been delivered without you thinking about it?

Essential eCommerce takes a look at whether smart fridge technology is actually smart enough to be seen in households within the next decade.

Click here to read the analysis. 

5. Should retailers look towards start-ups to solve digital challenges?

Start-up technology companies have been gaining a lot of attention for disrupting various industries with their fast deployment and lean digital methods.

But should retailers be stepping away from the traditional IT vendors to check out what start-ups have to offer? Essential eCommerce speaks to several retailers to ask why they are considering working with start-ups.

Click here to read the analysis.

6. Five things US retailers need to do when launching UK eCommerce sites

From pricing strategies to understanding UK logistics, launching an eCommerce site in a foreign country can be a minefield of logistical problems. 

American Eagle launched online in the UK earlier this year, and Essential eCommerce looked at the five things US retailers need to think about before digitally crossing the pond.

Click here to read the analysis.

7. What will Sainsbury's achieve by launching online with Alibaba?

Chinese eCommerce giant, Alibaba, is continuing to go from strength to strength and is turning heads of international retailers who want a piece of the pie – or should we say, piece of the dumpling?

Sainsbury's announced in September it is softly launching a Chinese eCommerce website via the marketplace, but what exactly will the UK grocer achieve from this venture?

Click here to read the analysis. 

8. How can luxury retailers replicate exemplary service online?

Shopping for luxury goods is very different from picking up your groceries at the supermarket. The experience of luxury shopping is designed to be pleasurable and to ease the process of parting you with your well-earned cash.

It is also theatrical and aims to fill the shopper with excitement. If the customer is willing to pay a premium for a product, expectations regarding the quality of the service rise as dramatically as the price tag.

Essential eCommerce looks at how some luxury retailers are trying to replicate this impeccable service online?

Click here to read the analysis.

9. What does Amazon hope to achieve with its new Pantry proposition?

It's been another busy year for Amazon, from delivering shock profits earlier this year and experimenting with Dash buttons, one-hour delivery and rumours of grocery proposition coming to the UK. But while the UK waits with bated breath for Amazon Fresh, we took a look at its less-celebrated Pantry proposition which launched in in the UK in November.

Amazon Pantry allows shoppers to fill a box with up to 20kg of non-perishable groceries for next day delivery at £2.99. But will the psychology of filling up your box to the brim encourage shoppers to spend more? And where are the one-hour delivery slot options? Essential eCommerce investigates if Prime customers are likely to adopt this new service.

Click here to read the analysis. 

10. The challenges and opportunities of the EU's Digital Single Market

The European Commission is in the middle of consultation on a Digital Single Market which, if introduced, will create a set of standards for trading goods online, while adding £375 billion per year to the EU economy in the process.

Essential eCommerce looks at the challenges and opportunities of creating one set of eCommerce rules across Europe, which may help retailers expand internationally.

Click here to read the analysis.