Monday, December 11

Complete Savings: Online Trends – Part 3

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We have looked at the affect that movements in social and technological advances have had on the way we shop, the way we interact and the way we experience retail stores.
These movements and changes are also ultimately affecting how retailers operate and how they compete. Technology and social network advances have had a knock on effect on how retailers must operate and what they provide and give to their consumer base.

Recent technical innovations, such as the emergence and rapid adoption of Smartphone and Tablet technology, have transformed the shopper seller relationship as we see it today. Fuelled by mobile technology, ecommerce growth shows no sign of diminishing. JP Morgan estimates that global E-commerce revenue will hit $963 billion next year for example.

Commenting on the E-commerce industry in 2012, Adam Stewart, Marketing Director, Rakuten’s Play.com said: “In 2011 we barely scraped the surface of what’s possible with online retail. We are on the cusp of creating an experience-rich, 24/7 international shopping community. In the year ahead, cutting edge mobile devices, worldwide mobile and broadband penetration and innovative social shopping services will open up global markets, providing huge growth opportunities for merchants large and small and unparalleled consumer choice.”

This week Complete Savings concludes our look at the online trends we see in 2012. Today we look at the below:

– Flexible, Local shipping models – According to a report by Forrester in January 2011, shipping issues were one of the most common reasons for cart abandonment in Europe. Last week Complete Savings looked at how emerging trends and technology advancements has led to the creation of a global marketplace. But retailers need also therefore to allow and adapt for local market shopping preferences to be taken into account. In some countries for example, payment on line is not popular. So retailers have to arrange for bikes to deliver goods and take payment. In 2012, flexible shopping models will be vital for growth, as evident by the growing popularity of the click & collect phenomenon, which accounted for 10.4% of all ecommerce sales in the UK this Christmas according to the IMRG.

– Online shopping gets personal – Personalisation is absolutely key within today’s world. People are demanding more personalised touches to their shopping experiences, their customer service and their social network interactions with brands. Online retailers today also have access to large volumes of data on both their potential and existing customers. In 2012 data exchange on social networks will give way to opportunities for brands and retailers to really provide experiences, information and content to their fans and followers, in line with their personal likes, dislikes and online behaviours.

All communications, whether online or in store will be affected by the insights that retailers will have on its consumer base. People will expect the personalised approach to advertising and promotions and stores and brands will have to meet those expectations. Personalisation with regards to specific times of day, item detail and sharing options amongst social networks will all be considered and adapted to each individual that touches a brand or store.

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