Steering the up-and-coming next wave of eCommerce development are 5 major trends that you’ll want to keep on your radar. Let’s explore.

1. Portable POS

While you’ll likely still see a few traditional systems here and there, the real push is toward tablet and smartphone based POS systems. More and more technology is set to be released so that businesses can not only offer the alternative channel, but they can also sculpt their entire checkout line process around the portable and flexible devices. Expect to see a real transition. For more reasons why you should go mobile with payments, let us dispel some myths that might have you reluctant here.

2. Big data

Big data is becoming an integral part of every business model. As POS systems, apps and promotions are being created with big data collection tools built right in, retailers will be able to easily store, track and analyze their customers. Crunching numbers is no longer just for accounting. Looking at trends and responses as they develop in your own store can help you discover what works and what doesn’t, so you can redesign structures and sculpt effective campaigns, including the physical layout of a bricks-and-mortar store, your website, email campaigns, giveaways, coupons, and customer service.

3. Social shopping sites

The effects of social media can’t be ignored, and smart retailers are starting to take advantage of their pervasiveness. Some, like Nordstrom, are designing entire showrooms based on hot items from Pinterest. Others simply make sure that customers can share, tweet, and buy all from a single place. And then there those seated right in the midst of the intersection, like Lookbook, Polyvore, and ShopStyle. Sites like these intermingle features from social media platforms and traditional digital commerce, creating a cohesive shopping experience that feels is social by nature. Prepare to see more lines cross and blur here; shopping is getting social. For more on this topic, be sure to check out my blog post on Bad Rhino Rumblings.

4. Mobile commerce boom

More and more US shoppers are opting to make purchases via their mobile devices. While eCommerce is still a titan, 64% of all smartphone owners use their mobile devices to shop. There’s been a 62% growth from 2012 to 2013 in mobile transactions, too. We’re now up to over $171.5 billion (see more fun facts here, compiled by digby). Expect to see continued growth in this area, as more consumers take to their phones to browse, hold, and purchase merchandise from their favorite retailers.

5. Customer experience and omni-channel

It’s no secret that omni-channel is the buzzword around these parts (just check out our previous blog posts on the subject: 1, 2, and 3). Omni-channel is based on a redefining of the customer experience. More and more consideration is going into how a customer receives their retail experience, how it flows overall, how it attaches itself to other pieces of a brand, how it tells the company story. An omni-channel strategy is also a perspective, concerned primarily with the creation and maintenance of a continually present, responsive, and thoughtful narrative via every campaign, design, and piece of the payment channel. Down to the receipt. An integrated customer experience considers every single way the customer engages with a brand and makes smart choices based on these thoughts and revelations. Prepare to see even more technological advancements and ideas centered on this idea.

There you have it. 5 currently bubbling and up-and-coming trends for eCommerce. If you’re looking for more predictions, be sure to stay tuned to the Forte Blog and all of our social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

Photo credit: Trey Ratcliffe 

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