It seems online marketplaces are cropping up everywhere. The most successful examples are of course Amazon’s Marketplace, eBay, Apple’s App Store, and Valve’s Steamworks. In 2011 E-commerce displayed resilient growth and is supposed to grow steadily in 2012
One of the leading technology-focused research and consulting firm, Forrester, recently provided a report on European e-commerce and its future development across 17 major European markets. Overall, online European retail sales are forecast to grow 12.2 percent annually, reaching a total value of 230.4 billion U.S. dollars by 2016.
While e-commerce is set to increase across all major European markets, the highest compound annual growth rates will be seen in countries like Spain and Italy where consumers so far have been more resilient to embrace online shopping.Although the U.K. and Germany will remain Europe’s two largest online economies through 2016, Sweden and the Netherlands come out on top as the countries with the highest percentage of online shoppers by 2016, with 86% and 85% Judging by the reports of the total online population making purchases through this channel, respectively.
So it turns out that e-commerce can be considered a quite perspective sector. So what trends will influence and fuel the e-commerce sphere in the next years
1) T-Commerce and M-Commerce (Touch and Mobile Commerce) – In 2011, web enabled mobile devices transformed E-commerce. They opened up a new 24/7 channel to the consumer. There appeared new innovative ways to attract customers, from QR codes to location based offers. T-commerce is the trend that will be particularly exciting in 2012. Gartner predicts that by 2013, smart mobile web devices will overtake the total number of PCs in use, exceeding 1.8 billion. With 1.8 billion consumers just a click away, this too big an opportunity for retailers to miss.
2) Shopping with your social network – Getting a second opinion before committing to a purchase is nothing new, but now instead of taking a friend shopping you can take your entire social network with you. Retailers are becoming increasingly aware of the power of “the fan” and social will form an integral part of the E-commerce evolution in the next few years.
3) Online shopping gets personal – Gone are the days, when retailers tracked consumer behavior based on loyalty points. Today’s online retailers can acquire huge volumes of data on both their potential and existing customers based on user browsing habits alone. In 2012 data exchange between retailers and social networks will begin to provide solid business models for social platforms and offer new insights into the psyche of the shopper. What matters most to retailers however is how their marketing teams translate this wealth of data into meaningful and timely communications with customers.
4) Borderless shopping communities – 2012 will see the rise of the local global e-marketplace. In 2012, international marketplace models will provide sellers of all sizes around the world with the opportunity to expand their operations internationally, without the cost intensive outlay traditionally associated with establishing local delivery models, storage facilities etc. Sellers will be able to dabble in international shopping communities and dedicate resources based on real-world demand.
5) 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. It’s true that the internet has created a global marketplace, but local market shopping preferences must be taken into account. In 2012, flexible shopping models will be vital for growth, as evidenced by the growing popularity of the click & collect phenomenon, which accounted for 10.4% of all E-commerce sales in the UK this Christmas according to the IMRG.
That were the trends that we consider will get more and more popularity in e-commerce. What other trends can you add to the list that you think will gain popularity in the next few years?