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2012 Ecommerce Trends Small Businesses Need To Know

The world of ecommerce has always been a dynamic place and it has been reported to be on a steady growth rate year after year. While there are several basic rules that you can hang on to, everybody expects it to change in most cases due to the speed by which the Internet changes. Now, with the last quarter of 2012 upon us, it is important to review the current ecommerce trends that are in effect today.

While this will probably change, if you want to be successful until the end of the year, it would be good to pay attention to these ecommerce trends of 2012. May the items listed below help you shape your marketing for better success in the coming holidays until the end of the year.

1. Significance of Third Party ecommerce firms – For small businesses, third party ecommerce firms and platforms (smartphones, tablets) are becoming more common. From postings on Ebay and Amazon, to shops like Shopify and other web catalogs, most small businesses are using those online services instead of creating their home grown (and sometimes expensive) online sale and payment mechanism.

Not only are these services cheaper than producing your own ecommerce system, learning them is typically faster and easier for most small businesses. Beyond this, people usually use a combination of different sales portals and ecommerce platforms to extend their reach and profit potential. So it might be wise for you to also look out and create accounts for other ecommerce firms. It might give you some extra boost in exposure and sales.

2. Rise of Mobile Devices – Since the iPad and the ever increasing popularity of “Smart Phones” that can connect over to the Internet, the statistics of where people access the Internet have changed. Mobile devices are now gaining ground when it comes to the primary tool that people access the Internet.

For ecommerce, this means that a lot of sales opportunities are now shifting to a more smaller and mobile view of your ecommerce site. If you do not have mobile optimized versions of your website, you will be taken over by others who have more effective setups for mobile viewing. That is why this trend is very significant, as people nowadays also need to pay attention to the “mobile” audience.

3. Social Media marketing – Another major trend that is hanging around for ecommerce is the role of social media marketing. Continually, since the popularity of Facebook and other social networks, we have seen many small online companies get big, just because their campaigns are more social and are perfectly creative. No business big or small can deny the huge impact of a social following and viral content plugged into that social network. It gets you real traffic, real customers and real results. For the time being, it would be important for any business to have a social presence.

4. Targeted Marketing – It is also a fact that many ecommerce sites nowadays are doing a more targeted approach to marketing. This is related to social media marketing in some ways, but also other online advertising networks offer more targeted advertising, depending on the demographics of the audience. What this basically means is that businesses are having their online advertisements only delivered to their specific key target demographics that they know will respond to them. This makes advertisements more efficient and of course makes it easier for marketers to make them more Effective. With customized display options for Facebook and Google Adwords for example, most businesses get the market they want as they visit or search for something on the Internet. That is why it is worth investing in targeted marketing.

5. Small business success online – A good trend and positive news for most people is the fact that small businesses are continuing to succeed online. Even small mom and pop stores set for a local market may in fact get a great following with just the right website and local listings. This should bring fresh hope for any entrepreneur still beginning his or her business. The online ecommerce playing field while vast and sometimes complicated, will still give everyone equal footing in terms of reach. All it takes is the right imagination and the right tools and talents to get ahead in ecommerce. So do not lose hope if you are as small startup.

6. Consumer reviews vital – What we have been seeing more and more is that people search for reviews over the Internet before buying. This goes deeper than just the simple testimonials that they read. Other people search for actual blogs that review the products, some even look at Youtube videos and other related media. The more positive reviews they see, the more likely that the product will be bought of course. Hence, reviews from sites like epinions or Yelp does count a lot for a business. That is why it is good to encourage people to write their own positive reviews of your product, and even get some extra affiliates to talk about you. The social proof that comes with these reviews will be a big determining factor from now on in ecommerce.

7. SEO-SEM – Finally, a big mainstay of trends in ecommerce marketing is Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. These two still needs to be practiced by EVERY business website out there.  Some of the rules may have changed due to the PANDA and PENGUIN updates, but we must still always optimize our sites so that they get the best rankings from Google, as well as by other search engines. This is a daily task, and each optimization, from Internal Links, Keywords to outside links via link building will all count for success in ecommerce today.

Those are the trends that you should always keep in mind on as you go about your online business. Ecommerce is a fluid and dynamic thing, but for the next month or so, all these trends are still sure to apply. Good luck!

About Anna Cruz

Anna Cruz is the editor of PrintPlace's Small Business blog. Aside from running her own online business, her other interests include photography, listening to an eclectic range of music, preparing an international assortment of culinary fare, getting absorbed in the appreciation of online talents in design and illustration among others.

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2012 by in Advice, Strategy.

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