The “Not-So-Great-Recession” was a bad time for everybody, right? As we all know, business and markets were down across the board. Unemployment rose, profits shrunk and the global economy turned sour. That’s all common knowledge. But the thing about common knowledge is that it is not always so knowledgeable. What if I were to tell you that there was one segment of the economy that not only survived the recession, but thrived in spite of it. This segment that I’m referring to is ecommerce.
Check it out – the last quarter of 2013 was the 17th quarter in a row in which ecommerce saw positive year-over-year growth. And it was the 13th quarter in a row that witnessed double-digit growth. That is, of course, great news for folks involved in ecommerce business.
So, with the recession clearly in the rearview mirror, 2014 is looking like a banner year for ecommerce. In fact, according to Forrester Research, ecommerce spending will be up more than 13 percent this year over last, coming in at more than $230 billion. And this number should almost double by 2017.
Of course, this is seriously good news in and of its own right. And, taking into account one additional trend that’s hitting its stride this year, the outlook for ecommerce in 2014 could not be much rosier.
That trend? The boom in mobile use and technology.
Question: What screen do you look at most often? If you are like most people these days, the answer is either your smartphone or tablet screen. Mobile is where the eyeballs are.
The mobile groundswell is a fast approaching tidal wave. Indeed, let me suggest that the need to get a handle on mobility and mobile ecommerce solutions is likely going to be as important to entrepreneurs in the next few years as the need to get a website was circa the year 2000.
This is not hyperbole. It is fact. 40 percent of all online shopping during Black Friday last November took place via mobile devices.
According to an article written by Alibaba, a global leader in e-commerce, “This trend will continue in 2014 as more consumers are empowered to use their phones and tablets to shop anytime, anywhere. Small businesses need to make sure their sites are optimized so that customers can view them on any type of handheld mobile device. Seamless browsing, saving and shopping across platforms will be crucial for any business that wants to grow in 2014.”
The good news is that it is getting ever easier to market your business and ecommerce store on mobile devices. Not only are there tools that allow you to optimize your site for mobility, but online search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. now allow you to target mobile shoppers with your ads specifically.
The upshot is that when you combine an economy moving in the right direction with a growing acceptance of online shopping and an escalating penchant for mobile use, what you end up with is a huge opportunity that should not be ignored.
Clearly, the time to hop on the ecommerce business bandwagon is now.
For more insight, check out our ecommerce tips and trends page.