E-commerce continues to enjoy strong momentum to the detriment of high-street retailers, which will unfortunately list 2012 as one of their unsuccessful years and one that forced many of them to cease operations, with those that survived finding it extremely hard to attract customers and trigger sales. This is not the case with online retail, which is on the right track for high growth. I read recently an article by Adam Stewart, marketing head of Rakuten’s Play.com website, outlining the trends that will shape the e-commerce landscape next year which I’m now going to share with you.
Online retailers are seeking to please consumers by providing them with an unforgettable experience when visiting their websites, shifting their focus away from price-driven strategies that traditionally work. So engagement, i.e making consumers come back to your site again and again, will become more important than ever. Having a high number of people who have liked your page on a social media channel does not immediately translate into engagement; this, however, could easily change if brands do their best to make fans not only loyal, but friends as well.
Curated collections, which nowadays can be seen displayed on platforms such as Pinterest and The Fancy, will also be among the key factors driving e-commerce next year. People usually want to hear a second opinion before making a purchase and this is now possible in the digital space as well, as consumers have the chance to make collections of their most preferred products and share them with friends.
Retailers should also take note of the fact that consumers are moving back to specialised retailers offering a particular range of products on the expense of mass-market players, as they feel they are better served there.
Last, but not least, making your website mobile-friendly or coming up with a dedicated app is what would certainly engage more consumers given the increasing use of smartphones and tablets among consumers when shopping both online and in-store.