This article originally appeared at The WHIR
Nearly three-quarters of retailers in the US expect online revenue to increase by 17 percent in 2015, a growth supported by cloud technology and investments in mobile, according to a new report by eBay Enterprise.
The 2015 Retail Growth Outlook report surveyed more than 1,000 ecommerce and marketing professionals from retailers with revenues of $3 million to $250 million.
The survey indicates that online engagement, global ecommerce expansion and mobile commerce are top areas retailers expect to fuel growth in 2015. Digital targeting and product innovation are other ways retailers expect to foster growth this year.
Ecommerce Hosting Moves to the Cloud
Cloud technology will help support ecommerce growth, with 55 percent of retailers planning to bring ecommerce hosting into the cloud in 2015. Retailers also plan on bringing inventory management (46 percent), marketing program management (40 percent) and CRM (40 percent) into cloud environments.
Security concerns continue to be a stumbling block for 26 percent of retailers looking to move to the cloud. Shared resources (17 percent) and lack of IT support staff (16 percent) are other concerns. Still, 26 percent of large-scale retailers ($50 million to $250 million) say cloud technology is critical to their future growth.
“The distinct advantages of cloud, such as the ability to access unprecedented real-time data and flexibility, puts it on the short list of business transformation enablers for retailers looking to deliver the seamless experiences that today’s consumers expect,” said Craig Hayman, president, eBay Enterprise. “Working with a broad range of cloud hosting partners, including IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Joyent and Rackspace, and drawing on our extensive experience across more than 240,000 sites, we empower retailers, brands and branded manufacturers to embrace the cloud-service delivery model that best fits their unique business needs.”
eBay Enterprise signed with IBM as a cloud infrastructure provider for Magento in February.
China a Target for Global Ecommerce Expansion
Forty-seven percent of respondents said they are prepared for global expansion, with 73 percent claiming they are “ahead of the curve” when it comes to this initiative. China is a top target for global expansion, with retailers indicating it is their third priority for global ecommerce expansion.
A big challenge for global expansion is ecommerce localization, with 39 percent citing that as their top barrier. Eighty-seven percent of respondents are also very or somewhat concerned about the dilution of brand values when entering new markets.
Creating partnerships is critical to enable localization, retailers say, with 45 percent working with technology partners that provide solutions and 41 percent working with services partners to help optimize their business.
Mobile traffic in China between Q3 2013 and Q3 2014 increased 83 percent, according to a recent report by Cisco.
Retailers Focus on Mobile Device Optimization
More than half of retailers (54 percent) are investing in mobile device optimization and 46 percent are investing in mobile application development this year. Fifty-one percent of respondent investing in mobile commerce plan on building an Android application and 50 percent plan on building an iOS application.
“With our announcement of Magento 1.14.2 and Mobile Software Development Kit we’ve made it easier than ever for retailers to reduce their time to market for responsive web design or accelerate application development,” said Mark Lavelle, senior vice president, commerce technologies, eBay Enterprise.