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Trends Shaping E-commerce in 2014: Internet Everywhere

Internet everywhere: Trends shaping e-commerce in 2014I’ve been talking about the fact that “it’s all e-commerce” (and what you can do about it) for some time now. And, if anything, that reality will continue to accelerate in the coming months and years.


A number of reasons. We’re beginning to see several trends converging to make e-commerce a constant component of your customers’ lives.

For those of you new to the topic, it’s important to note that when I say “It’s all e-commerce,” I’m not just talking about online sales channels. Yes, those channels play an increasingly large role in driving your overall revenues.

But not everyone buys “online.” And despite loads of innovations helping customers buy “online” more effectively and efficiently, it’s likely customers will continue to buy “offline” too for some time to come.

So, why the quotes around “offline” and “online.” Because the growth of “Internet, Everywhere” makes the distinction between offline and online irrelevant.

As I’ve said before, your customers don’t “go online” any longer; they are online, everywhere, all day long. There simply is no longer such a thing as an “offline” customer.

Disagree? That’s OK. Consider the following headlines though:

Sure, some limits continue to exist. For one thing, the cost of data plans occasionally makes it too expensive for your customers to consume data everywhere. But that’s starting to change. AT&T has announced it’s letting companies buy out data charges for specific videos and apps to encourage use among target customers (and I’d expect the other carriers to get on-board, too).

Your customers are online, all the time. For all practical purposes, they have access to the Internet, everywhere.

As a result, thinking about your marketing in terms of “offline” or “online” misses the point. It’s more a question of how to reach your customers at specific touchpoints when they’re most ready to listen to what you have to say. And it’s about aligning your messages across channels to ensure your customers hear a consistent message at each touchpoint.

Once upon a time, we all worried about online customers and offline customers as different segments. But with the rise of Internet, Everywhere, that’s no longer the case. Your customers will continue to adapt their behavior to this new reality. And its time your marketing and e-commerce activities did the same.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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