Is your business prepared for widespread consumer e-commerce comfort?

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E-commerce spending, which eclipsed $176 billion in 2010, will grow to roughly $280 billion in 2015, according to a study released by Forrester Research on February 28. The report, "US Online Retail Forecast, 2010 To 2015," predicts that ubiquitous Web connectivity, increasing consumer familiarity with and preference for online shopping, and new online shopping models, such as flash sales, will be the key factors driving e-commerce revenue growth, among other reasons.

In 2010, 5.5 million customers shopped online for the first time, the report says. Sales amongst this group amounted to approximately 30% of the overall growth in 2010 e-commerce sales. The study also found that 70% of the overall growth in e-commerce sales in 2010 came from existing shoppers making larger purchases and buying more than they had in previous years.

The report's findings should come as no surprise. The convenience of online shopping, not to mention the ability to find better deals online than in stores, will continue to intrigue and lure consumers onto websites. Along with increasing e-commerce sales, consumers will also be drawn to make purchases on mobile phones and tablets (something we've already covered at Direct Marketing News).

For prepared, savvy businesses, increased consumer e-commerce comfort should represent new opportunities to gather personalized shopping data; to communicate one-on-one via personalized messaging and offers; and to present different shopping experiences based on the medium and location analysis.

For tardy, complacent businesses, however, the time has come to optimize not only your e-commerce operation but also your mobile commerce site and mobile apps, each of which should be customized for each and every unique device available.

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