The multichannel approach will remain the dominant issue in e-commerce as the boundaries between stationary retail and online retail become increasingly blurred and consumer demand for multichannel transactions continues to increase. E-commerce is evolving into ‘’everywhere commerce’’ as consumers are able to decide when, where and how they do their shopping.
Mobile devices are a significant growth factor as they act as a mediator between on- and offline experiences. They function as product and price research tools and provide preliminary stage to online shopping. QR code scanning is already a means for connecting on- and offline shopping. The mobile e-commerce industry is a growing environment, with the use of mobile devices for online shopping reaching a 2015 peak of 64% - up from 23% in 2011. However, there is still room to grow for this burgeoning industry, as mobile e-commerce revenues still represent only about 27.5% of total e-commerce revenues – signaling a much larger potential income stream for the mobile channel. A growing number of interactive retailers are also offering apps and mobile-optimized websites. Smartphones provide their users with market transparency and the possibility of anytime, anywhere interaction. This brings along new challenges and opportunities for both the retail industry and advertisers as they redefine the ‘’e’’ in ‘’e-commerce’’ from ‘’electronic’’ to ‘’everywhere.’’
In 2014, there were around 33.1 million social network users in Germany, with that number estimated to increase to 38.6 million by 2018 (an almost 17% increase). A 2015 study also showed that almost 51% of Facebook users use the site several times a day, with another 23% reporting at least daily usage. Social media is clearly having an undeniable influence on e-commerce as a whole. Business in social networks can function if the relevant tools, together with the right strategy and the necessary intuition, are deployed.
Social commerce will not function as an autonomous shopping channel in the near future, but will instead be an indispensable part of a multichannel strategy as a marketing and communication channel. Social media comments, reviews and feedback also play an important role for the reputation of many businesses - 37% of German online shoppers report being influenced by posts, reviews and feedback they read on social media. Social commerce will face a strategic change as industry associations see the priority shifting from a presence in all social networks to an improved online presence with a sophisticated strategy and continuous monitoring.You can find this fragment in the following contexts: