For the last 10 years the eCommerce landscape really hasn’t changed much. There has been quite a bit of improvement in the business of eCommerce, especially in technology and processes. However, anyone who has been around eCommerce for the last decade will agree that only in the last 2 years have we actually seen dramatic, disruptive change.
So far, it’s been two major trends emerging as the big disruptors. The are also both underpinned by one driving force…
Private Sales / Shopping Clubs
Ventee-Privee started it, and hordes of other sites like Gilt and Ideeli.com have followed to become extremely fast growing online retailers. The concept is simple. They provide highly discounted product to an exclusive membership only crowd. With memberships tallying in the millions for each of these sites, things are hardly that exclusive, but the deals being enjoyed by customers can’t be denied.
Everybody in the eCommerce or tech world has heard of the massive success that is Groupon. They’ve gone from zero to monster in an incredibly short period of time and their business model is actually pretty simple as well. They find local businesses willing to offer Groupon members a great deal every day. If enough Groupon members sign up for the deal, it’s on. If Groupon can’t get enough people to commit, the deal is void.
Common Thread – The Social Web!
Most of the disruptive technologies appearing in the eCommerce world are all based on the underlying power of the social web. It’s no secret that eCommerce companies are pretty slow to adopt new, trendy technology, so it’s also no surprise that the social web is finally making it’s way into the world of selling stuff.
For those of you with a Facebook account (who doesn’t?), it’s pretty obvious that retailers are slowly making some moves here. We see major brands establishing themselves on Facebook and in many cases are even setting up virtual storefronts on social networking giant.
E-tailers everywhere are trying to figure this social web thing out. They are looking at pushing their content, which is largely product based, out to these various social platforms. They are trying to find which social networks best fit their particular business in an effort to achieve maximum ROI on their spend. They are even trying to figure out how to even START in this big social web thing.
So our question to clients and prospects; what are you doing about evolving your retail / eCommerce business?