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With electronic payments up, focus turns to ecommerce strategies

Feb 18, 2013 Dave King

By every tangible measure, electronic payments met or exceeded expectations in 2012.

A recent eMarketer report, for instance, found that worldwide ecommerce sales surged pass $1 trillion faster than expected, projecting that the market will grow another 18.3 percent in 2013 to reach $1.3 trillion. Meanwhile, a separate study by ComScore found that in the United States, online sales totaled $186.2 billion in 2012, a 15 percent year-over-year increase.

"With ecommerce growth rates consistently in the mid-teens throughout the year, it is clear that the online channel has won over the American consumer and will increasingly be relied upon to deliver on the dimensions of lower price, convenience and selection," said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of ComScore.

Fulgoni added that he believes that "2013 will build on the momentum of the past year." Including the fourth quarter's 14 percent year-over-year increase, ecommerce sales have achieved 13 straight quarters of growth, including nine in a row that jumped double figures. 

With the success of electronic payments now well established and mobile ecommerce growing rapidly, the focus of the sector has shifted toward developing the most effective strategies. In a recent blog for Business Computing World, Matt Clarke, chief technology officer at Amaze, suggested that retailers implement all-inclusive omnichannel approaches. This should include integrated online and mobile sales, customer service and fraud prevention capabilities, rather than deploying each of those functions separately. 

Clarke made several suggestions on how companies can restructure their ecommerce strategies, including:

- Deploying solutions that use customer information, from sales information to feedback. Online data provides retailers with an unprecedented opportunity to keep track of consumer history, which ultimately can be used to make accurate predictions.

- Taking different markets and regions into consideration.

- Looking for suites that can accommodate the entire multichannel platforms for organizations that are just breaking out their ecommerce plans.