Think about e-commerce 5 years ago – aside from Amazon, eBay, and a few other big boys, there were thousands of niche websites, and how much did the typical customer really trust them? ¬†That’s all changed now, but fortunately we’re here to help you gain some insight on what to do here in 2013.
In order to remain profitable and competitive in the marketplace, you have to perpetually understand how the answers to this question change. ¬†For 2013, here are 5 trends that will come into play, according to this report by Gartner:
- Potential for growth – While e-commerce sales will grow for all industries, Gartner notes that the retail, discrete manufacturing, wholesale distribution, entertainment, and travel/leisure industries have the greatest potential for growth. ¬†Make sure you identify your niche, and if possible, try to ensure it fits within one of these umbrellas.
- Social and mobile is revolutionizing the industry – No surprise here. ¬†But, keep in mind, that if you are a solopreneur or a small, completely virtual firm, you have a huge competitive advantage over larger companies trying to digitize their sales efforts. ¬†In the future, most commerce will be performed online, and offline some companies will keep flagship physical locations in key geographic markets.
- CRM will make all the difference – The companies who learn how to make each customer experience a stellar one will stay at the head of the industry. ¬†Behind customer experience come three additional factors for e-commerce success: ¬†acquiring new customers, increasing sales revenue, and increasing customer satisfaction.
- Strategies need constant evaluation – Gartner sees the changes in mobile, social, and globalization as the 3 most important reasons to evaluate your e-commerce marketing strategies. ¬†The wide availability of cloud technology and finely honed market research are some additional reasons to reevaluate your product marketing strategy.
- Aligning e-commerce strategies to a specific cultural need – With the globalization of the marketplace looming, one of the most overlooked strategies will be how well you are able to market to the needs of international customers. ¬†While Americans prefer uniqueness and individuality, for example, Chinese prefer long-term relationships with others.
As you can see, a number of challenging trends are on the horizon for 2013. ¬†Some of them, such as the increasing¬†prevalence¬†of global customers have never been seen before. ¬†For companies who adjust to these trends first, success will come easier and swifter. ¬†Hopefully, these points have helped you more finely answer the question, “What is ecommerce?” so your business can succeed in this rapidly changing marketplace.