Magazine article CRM Magazine

Our New E-Commerce Reality

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Our New E-Commerce Reality

Article excerpt

THREE fast-moving developments are threatening to disrupt e-commerce as we know it. Improvements in first-generation recommendation engines (used by sites such as Amazon.com), the maturity of mobile commerce, and the emergence of group buying services are creating the new normal.

Amazon.com, the perennial e-commerce disrupter and leader of the past decade, has helped to close the doors of many traditional retailers by focusing on one critical element: creating a personalized buying experience. It's an approach that many industry analysts and consultants have been touting for years, giving Amazon.com high praise for making product recommendations based on purchase history (e.g., Customers who purchased X also purchased Y.).

But a new crop of e-commerce vendors argues that their technologies can make the buying experience even more personalized. They posit that by incorporating a variety of customer data--such as purchase history, page-view history, location, and Internet speed--their technologies do a better job of understanding a shopper's intent. As a result, they can make more relevant product recommendations, which increases conversion rates. For a look at some of the leading e-commerce technologies and to see which vendors offer them, read the feature, "eSurvivor: Commerce Challenge" (page 20). In it you also will see recent e-commerce strategies from companies such as Cabela's, Dell, and Lands' End. And you'll find a collection of some of the leading e-commerce vendors in the article, "The Shifting e-Commerce Marketplace" (page 23).

Continuing our 16-page coverage of new e-commerce challenges and opportunities, the feature, "Mobile Commerce: The New Retail Therapy" (page 26), by Associate Editor Brittany Farb, explains how mobile devices are drastically changing the way consumers shop. In fact, Brittany gives one example of how consumers, using their mobile devices, have scanned product barcodes in Best Buy to check Amazon. …

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