10 Online Trends To Watch For 2013

This post was written by Internet Marketing John on November 25, 2012
Posted Under: Internet Marketing Information

Here are 10 online trends to watch for 2013 if you currently make money online or plan to in the near future.

10 online trends to watch for 2013

Historically, with the absence of regulations that online retailers currently enjoy, some traditional store front retailers have had difficulty competing with online sites like Amazon.

However, savvy store front retailers have been keeping up by implementing some of the same online benefits such as more liberal return policies, more varied product selections, free shipping, etc.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s push for the implementation of a national law, similar to what 12 states have already enacted requiring Internet retailers to collect sales tax, will eventually come to pass and online shoppers will sooner or later be required to pay sales taxes on their purchases.

Even though this proposed legislation has not yet been passed by congress, the seed has been planted and it will eventually happen some time down the road.

The net effect for retailers is that the line between online and offline retail sales is slowly blurring and with the advent of a so called “even playing field”, will eventually cease to exist.

For now it should be a good year for online retailers, so here are 10 online trends to watch for 2013.

  • Good deal sites like FatWallet, ConsumerSearch, Dealnews, etc. that cut through the maze of websites that clutter the Internet, are steadily gaining favor with consumers who are interested in targeted information about good deals and who do not want to spend unnecessary time “surfing”.

These deal aggregators collect and categorize legitimate offers for consumers and save tons of shopping time.

  • Recently Walmart implemented in store pickups for orders that were placed online.

Some of the larger retailers like Kmart, Sears, etc. and even many smaller food service providers have gone a step or two farther by delivering online purchases/orders to your car and in some areas even to your home.

This trend extends to Farm Stores in Florida that now allow shoppers to order their groceries online and pick their orders up at a drive through.

  • The trend for “pick up depots” is gaining in popularity with many smaller retailers who don’t have expanded store networks like Sears or Walmart.

These smaller retailers have been opening designated pick up locations for consumers who make their purchase online.

  • The trend for smartphone mobile apps has been growing by leaps and bounds, especially those that provide coupons and those that offer pricing comparisons to consumers.

In addition, more consumers will be using their smartphones to pay for their purchases. More of these type apps targeted towards shoppers can be expected in 2013.

  • Since smartphones now account for more than half of new mobile devices purchased worldwide, and for 2013 the growth is expected to skyrocket, some of the top mobile wallet payment platforms like Google Wallet, Passbook, Square, etc. are expected to continue to trend upwards.

For small businesses, offering a mobile payment solution to their customers enables them the flexibility to pay for purchases online and the potential to generate more sales.

For example, if you decide to use Google Wallet to handle your company’s mobile payments, you could design a special online offer that highlights the option to pay for purchases online and promote it on your website.

  • Online retail sites have been successfully using customer generated videos as a marketing strategy to bolster their product sales for some time.

Videos made by customers reviewing new purchases, modeling clothing, detailing the success of a new strategy, the odor of a new fragrance, etc. are an online trend that will continue to pick up during 2013.

  • Along with video marketing, online user reviews will continue to gain favor with retailers during the upcoming year.

Historically, consumers have not responded as well to the so called “virtual” dressing rooms and other flashy smart phone apps that are intended to describe retail products and services as they do to online user reviews. The trend continues towards online customer reviews.

  • Facebook and Twitter continues to play a gigantic role with online retailers.

Even though Facebook in particular has not yet been adequately “tested” in the social shopping arena and since “social shopping” is still in it’s infancy, (many online retailers haven’t done anything with it yet) evidence suggests that Facebook offers a good return on investment.

A few retailers like Victoria’s Secret and J.C.Penny have been using Facebook and other social media to successfully sell their products online, and if Facebook “likes” are any indication for success, Victoria’s Secret currently has over 12 million consumers “likes” to their credit.

The trend appears solid for consumers to continue to “like” and follow their favorite retailers on Facebook for “specials”, deals, tips for getting discounts and for requesting information from retailers.

For the time being, even though there are some sites online with smaller communities of like minded users in their networks, Facebook literally owns the retail based social network market.

  • Another online trend to watch for 2013 is the use of flash sales and daily deals.

Sales and deals have always been popular with online consumers, as can be attested by how quickly many items are sold out after the initial notifications of a sale has been made, and you can expect more online retailers to take advantage of this trend.

  • Global e commerce is also trending upwards.

There is a small but growing niche of online retailers who are conducting a progressively larger percentage of their gross sales outside of their own country’s boarders.

Although many are specialized in nature, more and more e commerce retailers are targeting their online business to reach shoppers in other countries, particularly the U.S.

As online shopping continues to grow, the benefits to consumers on and off line will continue to increase.

They will continue to have more choices and more things to buy; it will become easier for them to compare prices, evaluate and compare products, find hard to get items, etc.

In addition, brick and mortar stores will be inclined to provide more knowledgeable sales personnel equipped to deal with tech savvy online shoppers.

The 10 online trends to watch for 2013 that are outlined above will likely improve the brick and mortar shopping experience for consumers and if you are currently making money online or plan to in the near future, should help you in your marketing.

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