Opportunities and challenges for e-commerce

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In today’s online retail environment, while consumers benefit from a larger number of options in terms of products and buying possibilities, the sellers/service providers , ironically, face with a much intensive competition to convert shoppers into buyers.
This article discusses the changing landscape of ecommerce web development and puts forward the future of online retail and the key factors most significant to success. Nowadays there is nothing left without the word ‘social’ in it. Most of the budgets of the brands are utilized to incorporate social media into all of their services.

Evolution of e-commerce
In the past years, ecommerce development was advancing at a slow pace by conventional and luxury brands.

But now it’s growing tremendously. The experience of the customers makes them the new media outlets. These drastic changes are due to the influence of mobiles and new technologies in our daily life.
According to a recent report by SynapeIndia on digital habits, it shows that social media is used to engage with brands by 63% of consumers, while 50% of them get information about product from Facebook, blogs and brand videos. Friends’ opinions and websites are also influential in shaping  sentiments. Some of the opportunities and challenges for e-commerce in future are discussed below:
Incorporating New Media
Social Media have strong relationships with their customers through listening and engaging with them. So in addition to the traditional marketing strategies companies must adapt themselves to the communication platform.  Listening to the customers and finding creative ways to engage them are necessary factors influencing the business. Providing access to the entire store and posting the completed looks on Facebook page also influences the business.
Integrated Shopping Experiences  
E-retailers are experimenting with alternative platforms to market and sell their products. They are incorporating Social Media into e-retail sites and are including e-commerce functionality in social networks. Multichannel shopper’s spend 82% more in each transaction than those who shop in store. Retailers are trying to incorporate some innovative like:
Single logins
Providing great customer service
Fast checkout
Customized payment pages

Confidentiality
The changing privacy rules and instant sharing through mobile makes social networking users  concerned over personal data safety. So a well written and comprehensive privacy policy must be included.
Engaging Customers
Brands must use social media platforms to communicate with their customers. Flash sales, limited time offers and pop up stores can be brought forward through social Media.
Mobile Commerce
Mobiles are an important sales platform. Some retailers are providing exclusive promotions for its mobile shoppers. The main challenge here is that the retailers have to focus on functionality of the utility apps.
Crowd-sourcing
In 2011, brands will have to figure out ways to power crowd-sourcing in product design, while maintaining a strong brand identity.
Game Mechanics
Entrepreneurs and marketers use game mechanics to engage consumers. Microsoft’s Kinect, a controller-free gaming device that senses the space, movements, faces and voices in front of it, has influenced market and business.
Conclusion  
The current trends show that the use of social Medias are growing exponentially. Hence, ecommerce is here to stay, and we have to adapt ourselves to become smarter online buyers and sellers and web entrepreneurs.

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