3 Ecommerce Trends You Need to Know for a Profitable 2015

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3 Ecommerce Trends You Need to Know for a Profitable 2015

Yesterday we published our annual Year in Review. It’s a look back at the state of the commerce industry and the growth of the Shopify ecosystem and platform.

Because Shopify now powers 140,000+ businesses, this data provides good insight into where ecommerce trends as a whole appear to be headed, and can help you prepare for 2015 and beyond.

1. One third of ecommerce sales are now happening on mobile devices


One of the major revelations was that in 2014, ⅓ of ecommerce orders were coming from a mobile device rather than a computer.



This is up from 23% the year prior, and just 12% when we started tracking this back in 2012.

That means that in only 2 years, mobile’s contribution to total sales has skyrocketed by 175%.

This by itself is impressive, but coupled with findings from earlier this year that found mobile ecommerce traffic overtaking computers for the first time in history (and increasing since then), and you can see that focusing on the mobile experience is becoming difficult to ignore.



Further reading and additional resources:


2. Social “discovery commerce” is on the rise


The increase in mobile phone traffic to online stores is partly being fuelled by another trend: the rise of social-fuelled product discovery and effective social ad targeting.

For example, we recently found that while Facebook accounted for less than 5% of traffic to ecommerce sites on desktop, that number jumps to 7% when looking at mobile phones. In comparison, search based traffic from Google represented 18% of traffic from computers, but just 12% on mobile phones.

This data seems to show that computers are being used to search for more commodity-type goods, while social media and mobile are used for more spontaneous, discovery-based purchases. And those purchases are on the rise.

In 2014 ecommerce orders coming from social media grew a staggering 202%.



While much of the Facebook traffic may also be coming from paid ads, it also demonstrates how Facebook is maturing as an advertising platform and how our ad savvy store owners have been able to capitalize on the new advertising products Facebook has developed.

But Facebook is not the only platform driving results for merchants. In fact, earlier this year we reported that certain industries were actually generating a significant amount of orders from secondary platforms.



We expect social commerce to continue to be an important trend in 2015 for both online and offline retail.


Further reading and additional resources:


3. “Always-on shopping” is now a reality


People are now shopping wherever and whenever is convenient for them. This could be on a desktop at work, on a phone while commuting, or in bed while on Facebook. This highlights how it important it is for merchants to provide a flexible buying experience that adapts to their customers buying habits.

Here’s an hourly breakdown of sales in a typical day to show how and when people shop. The most popular time to buy online is weekdays between 12-2pm and on Sunday evenings.



If you’re a PPC advertiser, this data can act as a starting model for day-parting and segmenting your ad campaigns based on device and channel.

While you should always use your own data as the basis for decision making, you might find it useful to see how your analytics stack up against these peak times.


by Mark Macdonald