By Erin Harris, Integrated Solutions For Retailers magazine
The e-commerce market in the United States is a mature segment of the retail industry. Indeed, industry analysts state that in the United States alone, e-commerce sales are predicted to reach $229.5B by 2013. The exponential growth of e-commerce has changed the way retailers approach their online platforms — and the future shows no sign of slowing down. To that end, social networks, smartphones, and tablets have forever changed the way consumers connect with the online channel. Leveraging technology to operate e-commerce platforms allows retailers to handle search and browse, order management, customer acquisition, online assortment, overall website performance, emerging channels (i.e. social networks and mobile), online merchandising, search engine optimization (SEO), and more. Further, online retailers rely on technology to handle domestic and international requirements, including extensive international taxation capabilities, multicurrency, multilingual, and international order and shipment management as well as international credit card payment processors. As consumers go online to research, compare, and purchase, your e-commerce platform must accommodate their preferences so you can land the sale.