The IRCE (Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition) 10th annual event, held in Chicago is the biggest of its kind. Hosting hundreds of presenters who showcased all aspects of online retail, Ecommerce and merchant solutions, IRCE 2014 has provided the visitors with a glance of state of the art products in just about every field in the industry. There were a number of threads and themes during the convention, especially the whirlwinds of change that mobile commerce has brought into play.
The best example for this can be found in the presentation which kicked off the event, by keynote speaker John Donahoe, CEO of eBay, on the future of Ecommerce. Donahoe’s coined “Commerce Revolution” strongly shows integration of mobile devices and multiscreen shopping. Donahoe continued on multiple screen usage in the mobile age showing that consumers are using all their connected devices to browse, research and buy their products.
Richard Cohene really captured the spirit of the event and the enormous opportunities in mobile commerce today with his presentation called Mobile from 360 Degrees: Putting Mobile at the Center of Everything. Cohene heads up Marketing at Beyond the Rack, a flash-sale e-retailer that offers deep discounts to its nine million members. The company started with an m-commerce site and then discovered the huge opportunity in developing a tablet-optimized site. Beyond the Rack found that customers who use a tablet to make purchases spend an average of $170, while its desktop customers spend an average of $100. Clearly, the company’s data-driven approach to mobile commerce is working, and the audience at IRCE was paying close attention.
The ecommerce landscape is changing faster every year. Staying on top of new trends and innovations in these core areas is vital. As Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, once said: "What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you - what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind - you have to lean into that".
Leaning into the "mobile commerce" wind is most certainly par for the course. When the event’s additional keynote speaker, Jimmy Wales, Founder and CEO of Wikipedia, took the stage, he too emphasized the importance of mobile communication. The presentation included Wales showing off a $40 Android smartphone as an example of the market’s accessibility to the mobile space. The example shows the new entry-level into the mobile connected space, primarily in the under banked and emerging markets to which these kinds of devices are more accessible than traditional PCs.
Whether targeting emerging or established markets, IRCE proved all consumers are making the shift to smartphones and tablets when buying online. The move towards responsive websites is now more important than ever before.