Certona's Use of Cookies

Certona uses cookies to enhance your experience, to display customized content in accordance with your browser settings, and to help us better understand how you use our website. By continuing to browse or closing this banner, you indicate your agreement.

Gartner Names Certona Personalization Leader For 3rd Straight Year

Trends to Drive E-Commerce Strategy Through 2016

Trends to Drive E-Commerce Strategy Through 2016

Developing an effective business strategy is challenging enough, but in today’s marketplace it is becoming more difficult with the fast shifting atmosphere. With so many changes coming about, what should you really keep note of in the coming years? Forrester Research, in a study entitled “U.S. Online Retail Forecast, 2011 to 2016”, provides five trends it believes will bring consumers to be spending $327 billion by 2016 (up from the $200 billion spent in 2011).

1. First, and most importantly, the percentage of online sales will continue to increase from seven percent of overall retail sales in 2011 to about nine percent by 2016. In 2011, shoppers spent, on average, $1,207 during the year. In 2016, that number should increase to around $1,738 a year. With this in mind, it will more important than ever to understand your online consumers, especially when it comes to completing their purchase. (To learn about why consumers abandon their shopping carts, how you can recapture them and about conversion rate and average order value, click here).

2. Know that the fourth quarter will continue to be the dominant one for online sales. In 2011, ecommerce accounted for 15 percent of all holiday sales – easily the highest percentage versus any other part of the year. To better take advantage of this quarter, consider rolling out deals and promotions earlier than your competitors. Forrester’s study revealed that more than 70 percent of shoppers who did buy online during the fourth quarter did so due to deals and promotions being offered. Also it may be worthwhile, like Wal Mart and Amazon, to extend deals beyond specified holidays (see what they did here).

3. Flash sale sites are growing more popular by the day. These sites, like Jack Threads & Woot, offer consumers the ability to buy higher end, designer products for discounts of up to 80 percen for a few days. It will be interesting to note whether the current popularity levels with these sites maintain over the years.

4. Even though the numbers are not staggeringly large, online loyalty programs are becoming more of a factor. Whereas nine percent of shoppers belonged to a loyalty program in 2010, that number grew to 12 percent in 2011.

5. The fifth trend relates to (I know you were waiting for this) the increasing importance of tablet shopping. Forrester noted that while smartphones are an important aspect in online retail, especially when considering in-store comparisons, tablets should demand more attention than they currently receive. The reason being is that tablets are more likely to be used for researching, browsing and buying physical goods.

If you hadn’t considered it before, this makes perfect sense based off of, not only the screen size, but the now available retina resolution thanks to the iPad 3. Instead of having to squint and bring the phone closer to their faces, consumers can get a large, crystal clear image of what they are about to buy on their tablet.

If you’re more of a numbers person, then consider how 47 percent of tablet users are likely to “place an order for physical goods” using a tablet versus 17 percent of smartphone users. (Food for thought: in light of this and despite the omnipresence of the phrase “mobile optimization”, you might want to consider “tablet optimization” first).