Ecommerce continues to grow exponentially as millions of customers incorporate digital technologies into their daily lives. One of the key factors driving ecommerce in 2012 is the extensive and expanding mobile market. Targeted and personalized marketing has evolved through the popularity of Facebook and Twitter. The continued interest in smart phones and tablets has also played an important role in this development because they offer consumers a new, different and convenient way to shop from the comfort of their homes, or on the go.
It is estimated that 82.2 million Americans use smart phones. While shopping on laptops and desktops has declined, more consumers are now using their mobile devices to shop. Tablets also have contributed to this trend.
One in ten retail searches are now done mobile devices, resulting in a marked increase in retail sales transactions. Since retailers will continue to see increased interest in this area of their business, they will have to search for ways to make the customer’s shopping experience as pleasant and effective as possible. Developing apps that are convenient, easy to use and secure will allow retailers to offer expanded services to their customers. Retailers trying to compete in the e-commerce world will strive to offer the best experiences both online and offline.
Consumers now rely on their mobile devices to cover every aspect of their lives, leaving retailers to think of ways to develop apps to get personalized, relevant information to each customer in a timely manner. Retailers have recognized the relevance and potential of social media, like Facebook and Twitter, and try to take advantage of their marketing power. According to recently conducted research, 83% of consumers are influenced in their opinions by comments on either Twitter or Facebook. In order to be competitive, retailers must establish a presence on these social media platforms.
A fairly new term, “M-commerce,” refers to media devices that are capable of making business transactions. This includes not only smart phones and tablets, but also the convergence of media players and home entertainment equipment with Internet and app technologies. This convergence has prompted another trend that is directly linked to financial transactions on mobile devices. New advanced payment methods will continue to be developed and implemented that will allow secure payments to be made directly to ecommerce platforms from any mobile device. Paypass by Mastercard, and Google’s Wallet service are examples of this developing trend.
The USA B2C E-commerce Report forecasts a slowdown in the American e-commerce growth rate until 2015, while European ecommerce is predicted to rise annually by 10% over the next 5 years. Retailers will have to find ways to expand their sales globally to include European markets, if they want to stay competitive.
Retailers will be challenged to stay on top of always-changing e-commerce trends in order to satisfy their customers in 2012. Providing customers with the overall best shopping experience will make a big impact on whether or not sales are completed, or if a customer will even bother to return to the mobile shopping site in the future.