Three e-Commerce Trends to Watch

Patti RennerReflecting back on a week spent at the world’s largest e-commerce event, three trends become clear: Mobile, Global, and Specific. Let’s take a closer look at each, and what the speakers and leading experts had to say about them.
Trend 1: Mobile
Since those long lines to get that first iPhone years ago, mobile has been trending upward. It’s no longer optional; it needs to be a primary channel for online retailers who expect to grow. Sure, you may already know that. But what you may not be aware of are some of the latest statistics:
  • 48 percent of all time spent online is spent on a mobile device. (ComScore, March 2013)
  • 11 percent of retail online transactions take place on mobile. (ComScore)
  • Approximately 500 million people in the world own smart phones, and that number is rising. (Mary Meeker 2013)
  • The ease of online and mobile shopping experiences is essential for keeping customers. (Rakuten)
  • Over 42% of emails sent by retailers are opened on a mobile device. (Knotice Mobile Email Opens Report)

Here’s a link to an article covering the IRCE keynote. For retailers, this means taking a mobile-first approach. Another consideration is using design techniques that work well across device types. You can access our Good To Know Guide to Responsive Design here.

Trend 2: Global

The notion of a World Wide Web has evolved into a collective intelligence networked via electronic devices across the globe. Both Al Gore and Deepak Chopra have in the past referred to this as the “global mind” of the Internet, where local networks connect billions of people and social channels carry waves of thought and emotion. The ability to connect for information, entertainment and commerce is also creating a global middle class. Of the 7 billion people in the world, 2 billion are part of this muddle class and within 12 years, that number is expected to grow to 4 billion people. Considering the fact that online retail is currently the fastest growing industry, just imagine how much more e-commerce will expand further as more and more viable consumers use the internet to satisfy their demands for products and information. If you’re not currently taking a global approach to your business, there’s no better time to get started as demand will continue to rise in emerging markets.

Trend 3: Specific

More than “personalization” or “targeting” or “data-driven,” specific is a trend that encompasses all that and more. Yes, brands need to continue the finite targeting of individuals within their audience, using their data to better understand and anticipate what people want and serve them with high-value experiences. Specific also means taking a very specialized approach to market, having a clear view of your unique selling proposition and being known for delivering on it. An example from IRCE that comes to mind is the founder of, purveyors of high-quality pet foods delivered on-demand or on a schedule to affluent pet owners. They know who they are, what they do, what problem they solve, and what needs they satisfy. And because of this, they have been able to create a very strong cross-channel brand strategy with fast success. When you truly now who you are as a brand and know who you reach as a marketer (using advanced data management), good things happen.

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