After the fun and festivities of the Christmas season, 2013 is well underway and it’s back business as usual. Where UK high street retailers struggled in 2012 as a result of the tough economic climate, the UK e-commerce market continued to grow steadily. By the year’s end the UK e-commerce market was valued at £77 billion and forecasters predicted this to increase again in 2013. Seller Dynamics is hoping to play a role in the continued rise of e-commerce over the next 12 months by increasing client numbers and creating more listings on our supported marketplaces. Looking at the year ahead we have compiled a list of trends that we might expect to see and explain how these are going to make an impact on the face of e-commerce.
One of the most significant developments of the global e-commerce landscape in 2012 was the impact that mobile technology had regarding online transactions. In the US e-commerce market $25 billion worth of transactions were made on a mobile or tablet device. This accounted for 11% of all e-commerce sales and was an 81% increase on the corresponding figure in 2011. Figures show that mobile e-commerce in the UK was more popular than in any other nation with 16% of sales coming from purchases made on a mobile or tablet. The availability and popularity of smart devices looks set to make its mark on the way the e-commerce market will develop in 2013. Many retailers are also taking this into consideration by setting aside areas of their development budget in order to create a mobile-compatible website. Mobile apps will most likely play a major role in 2013, with e-retailers eager to provide customers with a fast and easy way to make purchases on their phone.
Increase in site traffic
The increase in smart phone and tablet numbers can also be linked to the increase in overall web traffic. Based on the growth rate of previous years, it is likely that web traffic to online retailers will continue to grow at a steady rate in 2013. Assuming that conversion rates will remain similar or will even increase, this should bode well for e-retailers and suggests that the value of the e-commerce industry will again increase.
Greater numbers of online retailers
With e-commerce now viewed as a cultural norm, many new companies look to establish an online store instantly in order to reach such a vast market full of high potential. It has become increasingly easier for companies to sell online, mainly due to cheaper, more accessible, and faster internet. With barriers of entry significantly lowered coupled with a greater public trust in e-commerce, what was once seen as a technical niche is swiftly becoming normal protocol for many retailers both new and old. Selling through large online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay gives even the smallest companies a great opportunity to reach an audience that would not be accessible otherwise.
Social Media playing a greater role in e-commerce
An increasing amount of brands are using social media to engage and interact with their consumer base. In doing so they can add a more personal touch to a customer’s shopping experience. As well as now being able to carry out transaction through a company’s social network (Facebook shopping), retailers can now reach users on an informal platform developed to allow people to connect and share with others. Rewarding loyalty through promotions, vouchers, and competitions are fast becoming popular ways for retailers to interact with their client base. Friends of those Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn users who have liked or followed a brand can also be targeted through viral content created to be shared, thus providing retailers the opportunity to target new customers through social networks.