Twenty-twelve is shaping up as a year of digital change for the small business and retail industries, and SMBs must be on top of upcoming trends if they want to stay ahead of the competition.
To keep SMBs one step ahead of the competition, WeAreDigital founder and 18-year veteran of the digital business industry Karson Stinson has put together a list of digital commerce predictions for 2012.
So small businesses, it’s time to pay attention! Here are Stinson’s top 10 digital commerce predictions for the year.
1. Retailers will stop pointing the finger
Retailers will stop blaming international eCommerce sites and the Aussie dollar for weak results. They will start to realise that having decent product and A1 service are the essential components to being a successful brand on and offline.
Brands and business will start looking at using game-like mechanics to create engagement and value around non-game properties. Look out for gamification being used to educate and for the greater good.
3. Digital Marketplaces
We will start to see the emergence of marketplaces or the combination of multiple suppliers into unified shopping experiences. Retailers and media companies will drive this.
This year will finally be the year of mobile, with significant investment being made by business to mobilise their offering. Expect to see large quantities of transactions being made over mobile and also the emergence of the mobile being used in the physical world as a wallet using bump technologies and NFC (near field communication).
5. Digital to Physical
We will start to see many businesses integrating digital into their real world experiences, both for the customer and for the store staff.
6. Wholesale to retail
Wholesale brands will start to retail online in a combination of direct-to-consumer plays, including creating separate retail brands to avoid alienating their existing client base.
7. Cross channel experiences
Emphasis will be put on complete cross channel experiences. The aim will be to be accessible wherever, whatever and however the customer wants.
8. Social, Mobile and local
Real time and relevant offers will hit the big time through mobile social applications that fuse timing, location and relevancy.
9. Aussies go global
Australian retail business will strike back this year by selling internationally via their online stores. Some will even offer free shipping in an attempt to hold off the international market from their turf.
10. Small to mid size retailers will start selling via digital
The next big wave of business coming online to sell their wares will be the small to mid-sized retailers.