Despite economic challenges, e-commerce is growing in most countries. eMarketer released a new report, "UK B2C Ecommerce: Mobile Takes Center Stage", showing that total B2C e-commerce sales reached $109 billion in 2011, and will rise more than $15 billion in 2012.
In its recent Mediascope report, IAB Europe, found that 96% of European internet users research online for purchases, 87% shop online and 19% of all their shopping is done via the internet. "In a six month period Europeans spent €188 billion buying goods and services online - an average of €544 per European online shopper," IAB says.
At the same time, the shopping behavior of the connected - and increasingly mobile - consumer is changing. Gianfranco Cuzziol mentioned a recent Shopatron eCommerce Study in a blog post, showing that retail-integrated e-commerce increases store profits.
Retail-integrated e-commerce also helps expand retail distribution.
Furthermore, retailers are experiencing the "mobile" movement with 84% of survey respondents noting the use of smartphones in their stores as research and shopping tools.
The impact of mobile on retail
As we mentioned in a recent post, mobile has a profound impact on retail and e-commerce. According to eMarketer, "even when they do not complete transactions via mobile, large numbers of UK shoppers use their phones to take pictures of potential purchases, access online reviews, compare prices, consult friends and family, locate nearby stores, add items to an online shopping list or place an order.", thus confirming what the retailers notice themselves.
"By January 2012," eMarketer adds, "a significant proportion of web users were using their mobiles in stores to scan barcodes, compare prices, check out product details and reviews, or look for mobile vouchers."
The integration between e-commerce and retail, as well as the use of mobile devices in all phases of the B2C shopping process are two evolutions for retailers to take into account in a world where the multi-channel and multi-device consumer rules.
The opportunities are clear. To be more successful, retailers can create new touchpoints and provide better customer experiences.
Communication channels depend on the consumer and marketing is about engaging the cross-channel customer and prospect throughout integrated dialogues that are driven by his/her buying journey, preferences, triggers, signals and behaviour.
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