Thursday, June 23, 2011
The past few years have seen major advances in ecommerce, in terms of technology and user experience. In a recent article, Econsultancy made mention of a few ecommerce trends that can’t be ignored. Here are a few of them as well as some industry examples of who’s doing what.
1. Digital giants strive to develop ecommerce capabilities:
a. EBay acquires ecommerce services company GSI Commerce.
b. The emergence of Facebook- commerce: stores are opening on the social media platform and brands are using it for loyalty programs. F-commerce enables small businesses to set up a secure shop without the hassle of owning and setting up their own ecommerce store.
c. Independent companies are renting their ecommerce solutions to small businesses
2. Mobile commerce matures as a bridge to multichannel retail:
a. Luxury brands are implementing mobile CRM strategies to drive sales and loyalty among high-end customers. Such brands include Matthew Williamson, Ritz Carlton, and Diane von Furstenberg.
b. Personalised destinations and experiences for shoppers
i. Tracking down consumers once they visit a retailers site. Show them products according to the parts of the site they clicked on.
ii. Because mobile shopping sites display little content, it’s very important that all offers and products are relevant to each consumer.
c. Social integration: not only good for the user, but good for the retailers as they are allowing their consumers to easily share products they like with their friends and family.
d. Mobile advertising: store location and hours are key for mobile marketing, as are Google maps- advertisers should take advantage of those areas.
e. Data capture: ask consumers visiting your site for their email and mobile phone number so that you can continue the conversation at a later date.
3. Commerce continues to get more social:
a. Add a layer of social to retail, or a layer of retail to social
b. Increase customer lifetime value by helping people use their social intelligence to shop smarter
4. Retailers seek to join up online and offline channels:
a. Online shopping means we no longer have to shop alone- there are hundreds of opinions and comments of other shoppers at your disposal. This experience unfortunately gets lost at traditional retail stores.
b. Social media, mobile applications and instore digital POS signage, can bring the seamless online shopping experience into brick-and-mortar stores.
The world of ecommerce is only getting bigger. With the number of people who own smart phones, the number of hours the average consumer spends online and the number of active social media users, there is tremendous opportunity for online retailers.