This week, online merchants gathered in Chicago to discuss emerging trends and industry best practices for increasing conversions in their online stores. In other news, online advertising revenue shot up by more than 15% this year, and is poised to continue with this high rate of growth until at least 2014. Apple introduced some new changes to Siri, which may influence how consumers find local businesses, and the UK and Italy have experienced unprecedented growth in online retail over the past few years.
Ecommerce Trends Emerging in 2012
At the annual online retail show held by Internet Retailer in Chicago, merchants provided some insight into the trends that have emerged in 2012. With online sales soaring by approximately 17% across all ecommerce channels, one of the key themes of the year seems to be a growing emphasis on attracting part of the market share for all web-based sales. Merchants are accomplishing this by integrating multiple touch points to optimize for the customer experience. Google has also announced a new program that is aimed at improving the shopping experience through a new paid product-listing program that will allow merchants to bid on the top spot for their products.
Online Advertising Revenue Breaks New Record
Online advertising revenue increased to $8.4 billion in the first three months of 2012, setting a new record for the fast-growing industry. According to statistics released by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), these figures have risen by more than 15% in the first quarter or $1.1 billion. Among the areas driving growth in this industry are the social, mobile, and video advertising sectors. Social networks are positioned to drive more than $10 billion in revenue, while mobile is already a $5 billion market globally. Estimations indicate that these trends will continue in the future, with online advertising posting double-digit growth all the way through 2014.
Apple’s Siri Breaks into Local Search and Adds Restaurants, Reservations, Sports, and More
Apple is introducing a few new features to their revolutionary voice search engine, Siri. At the World Wide Developer Conference on June 11, Apple announced that Siri will have more capabilities than ever and will now include a number of enhancements that will make searching for local businesses or events quick and simple. Siri will be able to perform a sports search, find local restaurants and book reservations, find movies and enable ticket purchases, search for apps directly, etc. Siri will also support a new mapping feature by Apple, and the voice search engine will be using Yelp, Maps, and Yahoo Weather among others to provide answers to common questions.
The Queen of England Gives Ecommerce a Boost
Millions of people from all across the United Kingdom gathered to celebrate the 60-year reign of the Queen of England at the “Diamond Jubilee Celebration.” While other similar ceremonies, namely the Silver Jubilee and Gold Jubilee, marked the Queen’s famed coronation, the Diamond Jubilee gave a budding industry a jolt that wasn’t around when the previous celebrations occurred. According to new reports, the ecommerce industry benefited substantially from the Diamond Jubilee, with several retailers reporting higher-than-average sales in May leading up to the event. Data indicates that a growing segment of the British population is selecting ecommerce channels to make their purchases, citing convenience and quick comparison shopping as two of the driving factors behind their decision to purchase online.
Ecommerce Growth Soaring in Italy Despite Economic Crisis
While Europe has experienced unforeseen economic turmoil over the past few years, there is one sector that has demonstrated uncharacteristic growth. The ecommerce industry has grown significantly over the past few years, with online sales continuing to climb in spite of the economic crisis that has plagued many countries across the globe. Italy, like many other countries, is now posting double-digit growth in online sales, with several different factors contributing to the upsurge in online shopping activity. The highest jumps appeared to be in leisure and entertainment, and many people were also spending time and money on popular online gambling sites.