By 2015, companies will generate 50 percent of web sales via their social presence and mobile applications, according to Gartner. At Gartner IT Symposium, Gartner analysts discussed the future of e-commerce and said that since the availability of mobile phones is overtaking the numbers of PCs, customers will use mobile browsers and applications as the main points of interaction.
Vendors in the e-commerce market will begin to offer new context-aware, mobile-based application capabilities that can be accessed via a browser or installed as an application on a phone. "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. 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."
Industries such as entertainment, software development/publishing and media are being driven by fast-moving changes in their businesses, such as mobility, and the increasing number of mobile devices available to their buyers. Others are finding that sales of additional services and products can be added to their customer-service-focused websites. Due to consumerization, sites in all industries are being impacted by customer experience delivered in the retail space, as customers continue to use their online experiences as the benchmark by which to evaluate all others.
"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,” said Alvarez.
Gartner report predicts that by 2013, 80 percent 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. By entering these countries via the Internet sales model, organizations can establish a presence in locations without having to create a physical sales location,” said Alvarez.