Smartphones, tablet technology and changing customer expectations and demands have changed the online shopping environment profusely.
Over the next few weeks, Complete Savings will use this blog to look at some key 2012 online trends and predictions that we as consumers and retailers within the industry, are facing.
Innovative mobile devices and social shopping services will continue to develop global markets, providing huge growth opportunities and choice for consumers.
According to Rakuten, the key e-commerce online trends for 2012 and those that Complete Savings will look at include:
1) Tablet-commerce and Mobile-commerce
2) Bricks and mortar in the cloud
3) Shopping with social
4) Borderless shopping communities
5) Flexible, local shipping models
6) Online shopping gets personal
This week the Complete Savings blog will look at the first two trends:
- T-Commerce and M-Commerce– In 2011 we saw that web enabled mobile devices transformed E-commerce and online retail experiences. It opened up a new 24/7 channel to the consumer and created new and fresh ways to engage them. If we look at QR codes and the rise of location based offers for example, which were both supported by the rise of mobile.
It is predicted that in 2012, mobile-commerce will continue to gather momentum, but it is Tablet-commerce that’s causing excitement and further expectations. The tablet offers great functionality and supports the enrichment of the online experience had by its users.
People shift from using mobile devices for searching for online savings to actually using their tablets to experience the retail store. Tablets support the showcasing of video reviews for example, enriching the (tablet) experience had.
Mobile and tablet online experiences can be achieved by many a retailer by taking advantage of affiliate relationships and sharing of technologies which mean that this trend is only going to grow. It gives retailers the competitive edge and other markets such as Japan and America are leading the way for other countries to copy this process.
Gartner estimates that by 2013, smart mobile web devices will overtake the total number of PC’s in use, exceeding 1.8 billion.
- Bricks and mortar in the cloud – The rise of the cloud seems to be discussed everywhere at the moment and we know that the boundaries between online and offline worlds are becoming increasingly blurred. Retailers are fusing their digital and in-store offerings. Let’s look at Barcode Scanning services for example, which help users find savings and deals by allowing them to scan the barcode and search for better offers online. Although, what happens when these applications fail? They also have some limitations in terms of allowing users to continue to actually make a purchase. It is predicted that services such as Barcode Scanning will be allowed to evolve and adapt with the emergence of new ecosystems to fully support them.