A few weeks ago I received an invitation to attend an event sponsored by DHL and Excel Logistics where a group of digital communication experts analyzed the future of ecommerce. Professionals form different sectors and areas of communication and marketing were at the event as well as a group of journalists from different countries. That evening I was asked by a journalist of my home country, Argentina, if I would like to do an interview about ecommerce for one of the most prominent newspaper, La Nación. Here are my notes on this interview:
Advancements in technology increased usage of smart phones and tablets, the easy access to social networks are radically changing our buying behavior and lifestyle, promoting the rapid growth of ecommerce around the world.
A recent study published in the United States showed an estimated 17% ($1.2 trillion) growth for ecommerce in Asian countries, where ecommerce growth is particularly strong. It is expected that China, a country that has a strong ecommerce economy and has seen strong economic growth overall, will grow as much as 65.1% in 2013.
In the global market of online sales, Latin America is also showing a high percentage of sales online led by countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. This year, sales in LATAM reached $45.98 billion and are expected to continue growing. In the case of Argentina particularly, a report published by eMarketer revealed that by 2013 the amount of digital shoppers will reach 9.2 million and 11 million by the end of 2016. To make a projection in dollars is challenging due to the high volatility of the country’s currency; however, the expectations for growth in this country remain high, generating an attractive platform for foreign investment.
The change in buying behavior cannot only be seen in the consumer, but also in the way companies are changing their strategies and allocating their budgets differently, below are the areas where the trend in budget allocation is observed:
- Online Customer Service: 24hour online assistance in different languages.
- E-Mail Marketing: Enticing the consumer to come back to a website through the use of exclusive online discounts and promotions sent by email.
- Social Networks: Facebook is the leader in advertisements to reach specific consumers. Twitter and Pinterest, both play an important role to influence online shoppers.
- App development to provide a personalized user experience.
- Adaptive Web Design: Making a company’s website easy to navigate and make purchases regardless of the device used (smartphone, tablet, or computer).
- Free Shipping: Offering free shipping to online consumers to encourage repeat purchases.
- PayPal Payments: A safe and convenient payment option for both the buyer and the seller.
Going back to United States, where many brands have experienced – and continue to do so – a strong growth in attracting U.S. Hispanics are now expanding to Latin America due to the fact that ecommerce has experienced an incredible growth rate of 120% between 2010 and 2013. Some factors of this growth are the favorable market value and increasing use of internet technology.
In my opinion, the growth and future of ecommerce lies in the ability of a brand (or a particular industry’s sector) to:
- adapt to the rapid changes in technology
- maintain ongoing innovation
- have a global vision
- and show a sensibility to the consumer’s needs.
I would love for you! To share your opinion and any experiences you have had with ecommerce, please leave a comment below.