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Hard facts on software – New trends in e-commercet

Most people know that e-Commerce has changed greatly in the past several years. In SA there was over 30% growth in 2010 and 2011, which was significant for that period, while traditional retail grew no more than 6%.
In SA we are currently seeing a wave of e-commerce shopping coming. Just last week Mr. Price opened their new online store; just one in a chain of major retailers finally embracing online shopping.
So what trends can we expect from e-commerce in the future?
Multichannel policy.
Modern retailers are going to view their customers rather close in order to let them see the retailers as well. The competitive environment is full of on-demand resources which pushes retailers to offer more services, such as home delivery and free content. This means that now e-commerce solutions and Point of Sale systems need to get connected, so that the retailer has a single view of the customer. This is quite a challenge.
The Explosion of the Conversional Marketing.
Here the main goal of e-commerce development is to turn the shoppers into the real customers. This includes Add-on features allowing the users to buy easier and in less time. The good thing about selling on the web is that everything is measurable. Hence a retailer can put multiple strategies into place, all aimed at getting customers to buy more and more often. These strategies can then be measured for their effectiveness.
m-Commerce in action.
The latest feature here is mobile commerce enabling people to access the shop through their mobile devices and pay via credit card right on the spot. The surge in smartphones has surely enabled this channel. It is now not uncommon for a shopper to shop on his phone while watching an ad on TV. So there are many new possibilities of engaging customers with a meaningful shopping experience.
Tablet Commerce steps forward.
The best e-commerce software allows easy browsing without spending too much on traffic or time. It allows shoppers to access the online store in the airport, at the bus stop etc. The challenge here is to make a shop look good on the PC, the tablet and the mobile phone, and as we will see in the near future, on the TV as well.
The Growth of Social Media Skepticism.
It’s time to assume the popular “likes” and “follows” are not so attractive anymore. Very few resellers managed to get a decent return on investment for the funds they invested in the social network advertising strategies. According to research overseas, only 28% of companies really got measurable results from this strategy.
In the end, retailers need to understand much more about their customers now than they ever did before. Customers are now not just simple shoppers looking for something in a retail store, but they engage with your brand and your shopping experience much more than ever before OUTSIDE of your store. It’s important what other people say about your store and your product offering. Its important what people can find out about your store or your products online. They shop online first, and then will go to a retail store to buy if they don’t want to wait for delivery.
Also, customers are getting spoiled online in a way a retail store can never match. For example, one shoe store that we have built will first ask you what shoe size you want to shop and whether you are looking to buy shoes for a guy, a girl or a kid. Based on that selection when you enter the store, the online shop will only display available shoes that fit those criteria. Never again will you look at a shoe only to have the shop attendant run into the back of the shop and search for your size for hours on end, only to disappoint you. Physical retail stores will have a hard time matching this experience!
Let’s look at these factors in more detail next week.
Until next time then – Keep it (A)fresh.

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