5 E-commerce Trends For 2014

With the explosive popularity of mobile devices, e-commerce stands to expand even further and faster. Some of the hottest trends in online commerce rely on the increasing ubiquity of smart phones and tablets. Here are just five of the latest trends.

Personalization
Even though online retailers have been using personalization for several years now, based largely on a person’s browsing history, the proliferation of social networking sites and the use of mobile devices both make it even more crucial. Such sites as Pinterest, for example, allow users to tag items that interest them, which can help retailers customize the shopping experience. Rather than simply knowing a general area that interests their customers, they will now know specific items in which their patrons have already expressed an interest. Linking their online shopping experience to these social sites can create a far more detailed picture and far more useful personalization.

Push Notifications
Knowing what a shopper wants, however, is only the first step. Mobile devices allow retailers to surpass the old form of passive online advertisement. This more targeted way of advertising involves sending out a notification directly to a specific shopper based on her or his own expressed interests. This new technology allows businesses to send out notifications about sales of a favorite product, or about a new line of related products.

Geolocation
Geolocation fits practically hand in glove with push notifications. Imagine being able to alert a potential customer who is pausing at a brick and mortar storefront about the day’s current specials. With advances in geolocation and use of in-store wi-fi networks, retailers will, for example, be able to alert interested shoppers about the discount available on an item in aisle three. The advent of cutting edge technology, like Google Glass, will only accelerate this type of targeted on-site marketing.

Loyalty Programs
While loyalty programs do not need to rely on mobile devices, the increase in data mining and geolocation may cause some small fraction of consumers to become wary of overly aggressive marketing. This means that retailers will want to focus more than ever on repeat customers and cement their brand loyalties. These new technologies, which rely on data mining, will likely be even more useful in retaining consumers who are already interested than it will be in luring new ones.

Better Mobile Sites
Websites that react like apps will certainly become increasingly important for any retail business trying to attract new customers or retain current ones. Users of mobile devices expect that the sites they visit will work on their touch-screen devices, for instance swiping through a selection of products rather than using a scroll bar. Those retailers who develop the best mobile sites that react the most intuitively will surely outperform those who continue to use only desktop-style websites that do not display as well on smart phones or tablets.

Online commerce has grown enormously in the past decade. Keeping up with the latest trends in technology and commerce can help retailers stay ahead of the game. The recent technology trends revolving around smart phones and tablets should prove to be the most useful and the most lucrative for online retailers moving forward.