Thursday, June 6, 2013

Throwback Thursday: E-Commerce: Past, Present, and Future.

     We are back for another Throwback Thursday, hope everyone is having a great week so far! 

     From mail order catalogs and brick & mortar to digital commerce, shopping has made its way to technology. This week I found inspiration from an article on TechCrunch, "eBay To Make True Window Shopping a Reality With New NYC Virtual Retail Stores." Coming this summer, eBay is developing a giant touchscreen which will be presented as a window display and pedestrians will be able to literally window shop.
     When I first read this it reminded me instantly of shopping through the paper catalogs that get sent to your home, and it is very similiar, the only difference is this is virtualized. We have certainly come along way from paper catalogs, E-commerce is actually becoming more and more popular as technology continues to advance. In 2012, 8% of total retail sales in the US were online purchases and this number is only expected to continue growing. Online sales is expected to generate 262 billion dollars in 2013, a huge jump from the 231 billion dollars made last year. (source: Experience Advertising infographic)
     With all the online consumers it is important to have  good online customer support for pre- and post sales questions. This eBay virtual store made me think of how great SalesAdvisor would be for it. SalesAdvisor is a noHold product developed to educate, advise, and cross-sell to consumers about their company's products. Not only does this Virtual Assistant improve customer satisfaction, it also up sells which generates more profit from Internet sales in the end. eBay would benefit from implementing this Virtual Assistant to their "shoppable window" for customers to be able to have their questions or concerns answered immediately. Also, the Virtual Assistant can suggest different products based on what you are purchasing.
     The big E-commerce boom has only begun since the advancement of smartphones and tablets. Now everyone is finding it more convenient to purchase things in the palm of their hands. But to be successful in the online marketplace, you still have to maintain a relationship with the customers and make sure their needs are still being met via the web.