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The Hidden Side of the Digital Marketplace

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The Hidden Side of the Digital MarketplaceOne of the most common problems in the information age is the fact that consumers are not always able to process the masses of data available to them, whether it’s the fine print on a credit agreement or finding the one product they want in an online store of a hundred thousand listings. Online retailers are often unclear about the factors that motivate and govern shopping through such a massive selection, despite having a thorough understanding of how the process works in brick-and-mortar stores. As a result, well over half of all products listed online are barely being noticed. In fact, the disparity is so great, that the most popular 10% of inventory is responsible 75% of all page views the site generates as a whole. Obviously, this issue needs to be corrected as soon as possible.

Research firm Forrester has claimed that by the year 2014, more than half of all sales will be impacted by the power of the internet. Shoppers have begun to wholeheartedly embrace the utility of the internet for researching products they wish to purchase, shopping for the best deals, and discovering entirely new products.  In order to take advantage of this trend, retailers will have to overcome the hidden side of the digital marketplace and start developing new and innovative ways to show off the full extent of their product lines.

One of the most valuable aspects of the ecommerce boom is the amount of customer data that comes along with it, detailing everything from demographics to browsing habits. Personalizing the shopping experience in ways that would simply be impractical in a brick-and-mortar store can be accomplished with relative technical ease, provided retailers have the foresight to expand their horizons. By building profiles of customers, retailers can connect the right customers with the right products, instead of simply aiming in the dark.

The general demographics of online shoppers as a segment are also shifting quickly over recent years, with a dramatic upsurge in female consumers, who now spend over $12 trillion yearly around the world. In fact, the adoption levels are growing so high that 22% of all female consumers now shop online on a daily basis. As the purchasing power of women around the world continues to grow, retailers would do well to adapt their user experiences to take into account shopping habits that women traditionally employ. As always, personalization is the key to bringing the hidden side of the digital marketplace into the light, and retailers will have to adapt in order to benefit.
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