This week’s Shop.org Annual Summit in Denver was an exciting event with a mix of e-commerce merchants, marketing solutions, and everything in between. From small up-and-coming companies to industry titans, the showroom floor was full of different vendors spread across a few key themes. The focus on mobile and social is no surprise, but it seems like retailers are now geared toward providing a better experience for their customers.
One common theme that caught my eye was the increased accessibility for e-commerce retailers to “showroom” with their physical stores. Many vendors are providing HTML sites in addition to mobile app services to give consumers the chance to locate a product of interest at the nearest retailer’s store. Traditional brick-and-mortar stores are realizing that online shopping is not going away and are adjusting to survive in this new form of commerce.
The ability to quickly provide up-to-date product information, such as prices and stock amount, to their affiliate and advertising channels has always been a challenge. Advertising channels will not be able to update the product information as quickly as the merchant may update their site, resulting in an ROI opportunity cost for the merchant. More people have become aware of this issue and solutions are being created to provide real-time product spec changes to merchant affiliate and advertising partners. It will be exciting to see how such future products will be able to increase and improve merchant sales and relations with their partners.
Is Brazil the next hot e-commerce market?
Throughout the show, there were many Brazil-based merchants looking for affiliates and advertising partners. Fliers were even passed out for tradeshows that will be in Brazil within the next few months. Based on this, it seems that an up and coming e-commerce market is Brazil. It will be interesting to see how that develops and to see how many advertisement and support companies will take advantage of the opportunity to break into that market.
Products arriving to support online strategies
Overall, Shop.org 2012 provided valuable insight into how merchants are tackling some of the challenges of online shopping, in addition to finding new growth opportunities. While social and mobile have been the high-level strategy for many retailers, it was very interesting to see all the new products and services to support the strategy. Commerce is definitely changing and it will be interesting to see which products and services prove themselves useful and which will falter in the upcoming years.
Yuli Chen is an account manager at Become.com.
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