Orlando, FL—By 2015, companies will generate 50% of their web sales via their social presence and mobile applications, according to research firm Gartner, Inc. The growth is attributed to mobile-based application capabilities increasingly being offered by e-commerce vendors that allow consumers to access content via a browser or installed as an application on a phone.
Gartner analysts discussed the future of e-commerce at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, pointing out that as the number of mobile phones overtakes PCs, customers will use mobile browsers and applications as the main points of interaction.
“E-commerce organizations will need to scale up their operations to handle the increased visitation loads resulting from customers not having to wait until they are in front of a PC to obtain answers to questions or place orders,” said Gene Alvarez, research vice president at Gartner. “In time, e-commerce vendors will begin to offer context-aware mobile-shopping solutions as part of their overall web sales offerings.
“Customers are clamoring for new and easy ways to interact with the organizations they deal with, and no company should think itself immune to this new business dynamic,” Alvarez added. “As more people use smartphones, they will expect an extension of their customer experience to be supported by this kind of device while demanding that social aspects of the web be intertwined with this experience. At the same time, organizations are looking toward new countries and regions for growth. As a result, it is time to take a fresh look at your organization’s web sales capabilities to ensure that social software, mobile technology and globalization are part of your organization's online future.”
Gartner predicts that by 2013, 80% of North American and European online sellers will expand into Brazil, Russia, India, Africa, Japan or China. Organizations based in North America and Western Europe are already launching website-based sales operations in new countries, in the hope of expanding to new markets. These organizations believe that untapped countries can spur growth by enabling the enticing of potential customers who have never purchased from the organization, but who have a desire for its products.
“The increasing availability of access to the Internet via PCs, laptops and mobile devices is creating new sales channels in countries, because entry barriers are lowering, thereby increasing the number of online shoppers,” said Alvarez. “By entering these countries via an Internet sales model, organizations can establish a presence in locations without having to create a physical sales location.”
Alvarez also noted that e-commerce managers in type A (leading) organizations and industries, such as consumer electronics, hospitality, retail, media and entertainment, will begin to take advantage of GPS location services enabled by phones to push personalized, location-based content to mobile devices for users who have subscribed to these services. This content will be created via the use of customer patterns and their link to driving sales.
These organizations will also have connected (via web browsers and mobile applications) to many social communities, enabling the organizations to tap into the social networks of customers and leverage the wisdom of the crowd. gartner.com