2012 ECommerce Year In Review

2012 eCommerce Year in Review

It’s time to look back on how the past year has impacted the eCommerce industry. Here are some of the major events which affected the eCommerce industry over the past twelve months:


Record Industry Growth

2012 was one of the most successful years in the history of eCommerce from a growth perspective. According to comScore, eCommerce grew by at least 15% year-over-year per quarter for each of the first three quarters. The holiday season (from November 1st until December 25th) grew at a similar rate with a 14% year-over-year increase.



Tablets and Technology Change Again

Tablets were all the rage in 2012, with releases such as the improved iPad 3, the launch of the Microsoft Surface tablet, and Apple’s debut of the iPad mini. Google also joined the tablet space with its Nexus tablets. Of course there was no shortage of smartphone launches, notably the vertically enhanced iPhone 5 with its taller screen.



Social Media Grows Up

Few topics were more discussed in the eCommerce world in the past year than social media. In 2012 shopping directly on social media sites wasn’t a focal point as many services instead focused on revenue opportunities to support eCommerce sites.

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Cyber Monday 2012: The Results

Cyber Monday 2012: The Results

Cyber Monday 2012 has come and gone. So how did the biggest online shopping day of the year compare to years past? Let’s find out…



  • Big sales increase (again) – According to an IBM report, Cyber Monday sales increased by 30.3% compared to last year. The number of consumers shopping online peaked at approximately 11:25 AM EST with another strong peak later in the evening at approximately 9:10 PM EST. These peaks are likely due to the commuting patterns throughout the U.S. during traditional work hours as people shop once they get to work and when they arrive home.
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5 Things To Know About Cyber Monday 2012

5 Things to Know About Cyber Monday 2012

Cyber Monday 2011 was one of the most successful days in the history of the online retail industry. Sales reached $1.25 billion, a new single day online retail record, and many of the top online retailers set single-day site traffic records. The 22% increase in sales from Cyber Monday 2010 only further illustrated the unprecedented growth of the virtual holiday and the eCommerce industry as a whole.

So what can we expect from Cyber Monday 2012? Here are 5 things to know about this year’s version of the biggest online shopping day of the year…

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Small Tablets and eCommerce – The Next Step in Mobile?

Technology simply never ceases to change. Our gadgets continue to get smaller, faster, lighter, smarter, and better. One of the most innovative changes in recent months has been the debut of the “mini tablet”, in particular the iPad Mini, the Kindle Fire HD, the Nook HD, and the Nexus 7. At lower price points than tablets with larger screens, the speculation around the impact of these smaller tablets has been huge – they are devices which are viewed as less of a luxury item than full-sized tablets and more as a low price alternative to the traditional PC or tablet experience.

So what impact will these small tablets have on the eCommerce industry?

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Understanding Gender And ECommerce

Understanding Gender and eCommerce

Men and Women eCommerce

Men and women have shopped differently for generations, well before the first eCommerce store launched. While it’s easy to translate the differences in retail settings, (low height shelves in women’s stores, hands-on product displays in men’s stores) for some retailers making the transition online has been more difficult when it comes to optimizing their online shopping experience for their targeted gender.

Here are some of the ways the tendencies of the different genders affect eCommerce…

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Keeping Up With Mobile Commerce

Evolution of mobile phones

How mobile phones have evolved over the past two decades.

From grey screens to HD displays, the evolution of mobile devices has come fast and furious. Keeping up with the latest trends in mobile technology is not only difficult for mobile experts but also online retailers. Before technologies such as handheld touch screens can even mature and reach the majority of U.S. consumers, they are slowly becoming yesterday’s news as three-dimensional smartphones are starting to be mass produced. Mobile is one of the few industries which is significantly different one year to the next.

So how can retailers keep up with the ever-changing mobile technology? Here are some suggestions…

  • Drop the “e” from eCommerce and the “m” from mCommerce – Traditional online retail and mobile shopping are becoming one, with almost 30% of consumers using their mobile phone as their primary internet device. When thinking of an online strategy for an eCommerce site it’s no longer typical to view mobile as an extension of the site; for long-term plans given the shift in consumer behavior (94% of smartphone owners ages 18-29 access the internet via mobile devices) having a strong mobile presence is becoming more of a necessity and a core focus of site development.
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The Expectations of the eCommerce Consumer

college students with tablets

Take a moment and think back to just 10 years ago – mobile commerce didn’t even exist. Five years ago a tablet was something most people wrote on with a ball-point pen. Simply put, technology has evolved and so have the expectations of consumers when ordering products online. Here are four areas consumers expect more from their eCommerce experience:

  • Mobile commerce is now commonplace – Launching an eCommerce site is already an exhaustive task which can take months (if not years) of planning and execution. Although mobile still lags behind the personal computer in web sales, the smartphone adoption rate in the United States has soared to almost 50% of the population and the need for mobile support is essential. Just porting over or modifying a version of an eCommerce site for mobile use isn’t good enough anymore, consumers want a site built for mobile devices that’s low on bandwidth, easy to navigate, and makes checkout a breeze. 
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