Top eCommerce Sales Trends for 2013

I’ve been busy doing research for this article all week. It’s actually been a lot of fun reading what different gurus have to say about the trends for 2013. I’ll add the list of articles to the bottom of my post so you can continue reading about the subject if you’d like. I was pleased to see that many of the trends I felt were important were also named by one or more of the companies and thought leaders I checked in with. What was amazing was that several were mentioned by ALL.  So I’ll start with those two.

To set up the trends, let’s look at some statistics, courtesy of TrendWatching, that show us the projected growth, across the globe, in the eCommerce world.

  • US e-commerce sales will grow 62% by 2016, to USD 327 billion (Source: Forrester, February 2012).
  • European e-commerce sales will grow by 78% by 2016, to USD 230 billion (Source: Forrester, February 2012).
  • Brazilian e-commerce sales will grow 21.9% in 2012 to USD 18.7 billion (Source: eMarketer, January 2012).
  • Chinese e-commerce sales were CNY 780 billion (USD 124 billion) in 2011, an increase of 66% from 2010. E-commerce is expected to rise from 3% of consumption to 7% by 2015 (Source: IDC, March 2012).
  • India’s e-commerce market is expected to grow to USD 70 billion by 2020, from just USD 600 million in 2011 (Source: Technopak Advisors, February 2012).
  • Indonesian e-commerce sales are forecast to grow from USD 120 million in 2010 to USD 650 million by 2015 (Source: Frost & Sullivan, February 2012).

Hot Trend #1 – Mobile

Now, this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone with all the news and advertisements coming out lately on every channel talking about mobile shopping, but the numbers are even higher than anyone thought. By 2016 over one million consumers will be shopping on a smartphone. For 2013 it is no longer about whether a website should ‘go mobile’ but about how.  Should they spend on making sure their site is ‘mobile optimized’ or go the route of hiring a developer for their own Mobile App? That is the question.

For sellers who utilize marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, nothing needs to be done as both of these companies are on the ball with mobile optimized shopping AND shopping applications for smartphones. If you already have a website or are opening one in 2013, making sure it works for mobile should be #1 in deciding where you open the site.

I enjoyed this quote from Eu.cmo.com: “Most shoppers now carry a virtual shop in their pocket, in the form of a tablet or mobile device.”

Hot Trend #2 – Personalization

Now this is not the type of personalization as in ‘put my name on my cell phone case.’ This concept folks are talking about is making the entire shopping experience personal. For instance, when I go to shop on Amazon and they show me all the items I’ve looked at recently. Or when I search on eBay, the new Cassini search will know my history of shopping and buying.

Again, as marketplace sellers this is nothing more than a trend to be aware of. However, if you are working on a website, this is something you should be looking for in your site design and hosting options.

Another aspect of personalization making waves is re-targeting email. What that means is that you are able to send an email to a customer who was looking at a product, or even had placed it into his shopping cart but abandoned it before checking out. You would typically send them an email in the next 24 hours reminding them of the almost purchase and even, in some cases, offering a % off or a coupon for free shipping. In fact, this has become so common that many of the ‘Save Money’ sites recommend doing this before actually purchasing any item. Add it to your shopping cart and then abandon and wait 24 hours to see if you get a better offer.

Hot Trend #3 – Video

Video is huge and becoming humongous! As a marketplace or website seller, you need to find a way to incorporate video into your selling strategy. Video has always been a great sales assistant but the internet speed of the majority of households made it difficult to utilize well. Now that the majority of households are no longer on dial up, video has started to flourish. If you aren’t comfortable in front of the camera – start practicing!

If you enjoy reading trends, here are some links to other articles:

PixelCrayons Blog

EU CMO Blog

I-95 Development Blog

Website Magazine

Another place to continue this discussion is on Quora.

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About Kat Simpson

Respected as a trusted eCommerce speaker, educator, and entrepreneur, Kat Simpson has been a successful eCommerce merchant for over 10 years. She is an eBay Education Specialist and Silver Level PowerSeller, who also maintains stores on Addoway, Bonanza, Buy.com, and iOffer. Currently Kat is the producer of popular weekly Amazon FBA Podcast FBA Radio along with Chris Green of FBAPower.