Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten recently gave us the results for its survey of nearly 80 e-commerce retailers who attended the annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition this year in Chicago.
Rakuten is one of the world’s leading e-commerce platforms, with a massive presence overseas, especially in Europe and Asia. It is looking to expand now in North America.
The survey revealed plenty of insights into what e-commerce retailers are thinking. For one, they’ve recognized the fact that mobile shopping is going to be huge, (and all web experiences need to be engineered around that,) but they also feel physical stores have a part to play. 52% of those surveyed said mobile development would be the single largest investment expected and 49 percent believe
shopping in physical stores will remain steady throughout 2013.
“It’s a pivotal time for retail and e-commerce globally, with the emergence of a more customer-centric, curated, discovery-based model for
shopping, in which the best parts of the physical shopping experience are
reflected online,” said Mark Kirschner, vice CMO of Rakuten. “Mobile, images, videos, social, and
other forms of communication are ushering in the new age of
e-commerce, helping to grow the consumer experience beyond the current vending
The expected increase in mobile commerce also means bigger investments in web design. Companies are looking to have single responsive web sites across all platforms rather or having very specific mobile facing interfaces which require additional development.
Finally, along with mobile, there’s also an increased focus on social. Instagram and Vine were identified as the next social platforms to watch when it comes to e-commerce, showing the potential e-tailers see in utilizing short video for marketing. For current digital marketing, email was still king, surprisingly followed by good old fashioned telephone calls. Facebook ranked the highest among social networks, although Pinterest, in which Rakuten bought a sizeable stake last year, was noted as a growing platform.
Here are some interactive visualizations we have created to represent select data from the Rakuten survey. Hover over the charts to get exact percentages.