This is an exciting time for E-Commerce. Each year, online sales are increasing by leaps and bounds. In the first business Quarter of 2014, E-Commerce made up 6.2% of retail sales in the U.S. (roughly $67 Million), compared to 5.5% in the first Quarter of 2013. Globally, online sales are projected to pass the $1.5 Trillion mark this year. Like I said, exciting times!
Because of the earning potential in this market, retailers worldwide are keeping a close eye on several up-and-coming trends in E-Commerce. They are:
1. Using Mobile as a primary touch point, rather than a second option, as they have in the past. This change of focus reflects the fact that more and more consumers have access to mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, and purchasing trends are changing swiftly. “[In] 2013 during Black Friday, it has been reported that 40% of all the online shopping were done through smartphones and tablets. In 2012, that number was much lower with mobile sales on ecommerce websites coming in at 6%. If there was a 36% increase in just one year, you can expect that number to be even higher when Black Friday comes around again this 2014 holiday season.” (http://merchantbusinessacademy.com/ecommerce-2/3-ecommerce-trends-for-2014-that-you-need-to-know). Once retailers get with the program, we’ll be seeing more purchasing options via mobile, rather than being redirected to a website for the final sale transaction.
2. Personalization and Targeting will improve greatly. Businesses are figuring out that using every little bit of data they can get from consumers is incredibly helpful with targeted marketing approaches. As the consumer base becomes more and more focused on a personalized shopping experience where they get to specify their preferences and have a hand in designing custom-made items, it is imperative that businesses use a more personalized marketing approach as well. With analytic programs improving every quarter, companies can now take all the small data they collect (or buy from other companies) and use this to narrow down which customer is interested in what product, at what time, in what location, and which advertising method works best with each individual. It’s rather incredible really. As this trend continues to grow, so too shall the analytic software and other advertising tools improve rapidly.
3. Same Day Delivery.
Now that Amazon has thrown down the gauntlet and promised to begin using drones (when the FAA adjusts certain regulations) to deliver certain eligible products within 30 minutes of purchase, the race has begun to increase delivery speeds. Consumers have begun to expect immediate fulfillment of goods and services, and we can now look forward to a time when ordering shoes online means seeing them appear at our doorstep an hour later. These growing expectations mean that other retailers will have to keep up or be left behind in the Amazonian dust. Why would anyone bother with a site that sells fabulous products for cheap, but takes 3-5 business days to ship (with additional charges), when Amazon has all but eradicated that old fashioned “the longer they make me wait, the more excited I’ll be for my new product” mentality?
Welcome to the future of E-Commerce.