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eCommerce Trends for 2011

While Retail has generally been lagging with the exception of a few specialty retailers who have carved out a niche, eCommerce continues to buck the trend and 2010 was one of the most successful holiday seasons ever for online retailers. Both the Chase Paymentech's Pulse Index and MasterCard's Pulse Index round the Q4 2010 online holiday spending season to be the largest on record. Forrester's five-year forecast predicted a 13% growth rate for online retail in 2010 over 2009; online holiday sales were predicted to grow by 16% in the US Online Holiday Retail Forecast, 2010.

A recent report published in January 2011 Five Retail eCommerce Trends to Watch in 2011 by Forrester Analyst – Suchitra Mulpuru shows that web growth has outpaced non-web growth for years. In a survey that Forrester conducted with Bizrate Insights in December 2010, 49% of recent online shoppers agreed with the statement "I shopped in stores less because I shopped online instead" when thinking of their Thanksgiving shopping experiences.

Forrester Research Online Retail Forecast, 2009 To 2014 (US)

The growth however has slowed down. Just a few years ago, online shopping was growing at more than 20% per year. But today, that growth is stabilizing, as shopping habits have shifted to make buying online a more regular occurrence. This means ecommerce competition is even fiercer than in previous years. So how do you define your online brand and be successful in this intensely competitive market?

Here are some tips for you based on expected trends for eCommerce in 2011

  • - Mobile ecommerce and Tablet commerce: The trend for mobile has deepened and strengthened. More buyers now not just browse but will also shop online. Ms. Mulpuru in her Forrester report calls the Table Commerce T-commerce. Mobile optimization requires a few things. At the low end, you want your website to render appropriately in a mobile browser without errors. Most mobile operating systems including Windows Phone 7, iPhone, and iPad do no support Flash. So it is time for you to get rid of the flash and use simpler AJAX or Animated GIFs to provide similar effects. At the higher end you want to have an optimized mobile browsing experience. The latest version of Ignify eCommerce brings to the market an experience optimized for mobile with a separate mobile store in addition to the web store that is optimized for PCs. Finally – if you have enough traffic and volume you may want to consider a mobile app – but that requires you to have enough scale to justify a download by the consumer. The Forrester report points to the fact that putting store hours and locations center-stage in the mobile version is important as most consumers looking up a store on a mobile phone are typically looking for this information while the ‘T-commerce’ will go deeper into the product catalog.
  • - Marketplaces: Most successful online retailers now realize that they need to not just depend on their web store but need to further the channel by listing their catalog on marketplaces such as Buy.com, Amazon.com, eBay, Bing Shopping etc. Ignify eCommerce integrates with Microsoft Dynamics commerce services to offer the ability to publish to multiple marketplaces. That allows our customers to be able to take a single catalog and publish it into multiple marketplaces without having to create listings for each marketplace individually thus increasing revenues and lowering costs of selling online.
  • - Multi-channel: Brick and mortar (BAM) retailers may find delight in this one. The ability to buy online and pick up in store is gaining currency. BAM retailers with effective and integrated online web stores are able to. Ignify ecommerce in its next version integrates with the Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail point of sale to allow for this to be a reality where customers can buy online and pick up in store.

Email us at ecommerce@ignify.com to learn more ways on how Ignify ecommerce can also help you stay ahead of the fierce online competition.

Sandeep Walia is the Chief Executive Officer at Ignify. Ignify eCommerce is the only PCI certified eCommerce solution in the market that integrates with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Sage ERP solutions. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for four years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine. Ignify was ranked in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011 – this list represents the top businesses world-wide with disruptive and innovative technology.

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