According to David Meany, vice president of e-commerce at Orgill, Inc., there are three major trends that you should embrace when it comes to e-commerce:
The most important is the mobility. Consumers expect to find your business on the web, then they expect to see what you have, and they expect to know if it is in stock. They will drive by your store if they know your competitor has the item they want. Mobility is also driving in-store solutions for consumers and store personnel. This includes self-checkout for consumers, in-yard ordering and checkout solutions for store workers, field sales applications, product information finders, how-to and solution finders, etc.
Second is what the industry calls omnichannel. This is the transparency for consumers of services, offers, price and product regardless of the “channel” with which the customer chooses to engage the retailer. The easiest to understand is order online, pick up in store. The consumer expects to order the item online and see an option to pick it up locally. When they pick it up, if it is a normally stocked item they expect to see it in the store at the same price with any available savings that in-store shoppers get. Conversely, more in-store shoppers expect to have access to items not normally stocked and to have the option to have the item delivered anywhere they choose.
The third is the digitally connected consumer. A very simple example of this is QR codes. Consumers will see more and more scan-to-purchase options and scan-to-video options in stores using QR codes and self-checkout. Longer term, the horizon is full of opportunities enabled by what is called near-field communications. These technologies allow consumers to be notified of things, services or people that we want to know about when they are in certain proximity.