My first intention was to comment on the «latest» trends in e-commerce. Then, selecting topics to analyze, I’ve thought that efficiency or maximizing available resources is key to e-commerce success.
While optimizing operational aspects is central, we must not forget other equally important strategic issues.
It is somewhat basic, but often, some e-commerce sites are not optimized for international visits. in some cases there are few languages available on the site, the logistics are weak or the usability is poor. This is a very important issue because, for instance, purchases from abroad in 2013 on Spanish sites were more than 567 million euros, equivalent to 17% of the turnover, according to the latest report of the Spanish National Commission of Markets competition.
Despite its importance, too many sites are not optimized for mobile commerce. While nearly half of purchases are made today from mobile and this trend is increasing, still remains work to be done in this area. Having a responsive design or mobile version of the site is the way to maintain conversions. The creation of a dedicated native app is another option, but we have the risk of duplicating the efforts.
Closely related to the above, today the customer does not think of channels, devices, or marketplaces, he or she wants to buy a product as simple and quick as possible. To achieve these, our customers use different devices and screens and very few websites are optimized to offer a unique shopping experience in different channels. Simply put, if we can not support our potential customers throughout the buying process on different channels (search, SMS, email, push, etc..) we will be losing sales.
Social networking is another area that requires work. While integrating Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest is a good first step, social commerce is a much more complex environment with different networks that require different types of practices. The social component of an online purchase goes beyond sharing products on social networks, refers to the creation of communities around the brand, and therefore requires a dedicated strategy. Of course, there’s no single recipe to optimize the presence on social networks and each e-commerce should carefully select what strategy fit best.