E-Commerce, An Engine of Economic Growth
Even with the country’s economic malaise dominating the headlines, certain industries are bucking the trend and finding ways to grow their businesses through online commerce. All Things D reports new data from comScore showing a 17 percent increase in U.S. e-commerce sales, now up to $44 billion a year, with the last three quarters indicating acceleration in this growth. An evolution of the web’s interface is a driving force behind this shifting retail landscape, specifically the increased personalization through data-analytics and an improved user-interface afforded by mobile applications and devices such as tablet computers.
Today’s Internet is primarily a visual experience made possible through touchscreens and other new front-end technologies. Online retailers, “e-tailers,” can create life-like virtual renderings of personalized products that are then made to order. Further personalization is made through social curation: social technologies enable e-tailers to identify and target consumer tastes with increasing accuracy. Tablet computers and similar devices are also steering consumers towards online purchases. According to a study sponsored by RichRelevance, mobile device’s share of e-commerce grew nearly 250 percent in the year ended March 31, 2012, with Apple, Inc.’s iPad accounting for two-thirds of the shopping, browsing and purchasing. The role of broadband Internet as a platform for entrepreneurship is clear, and is further solidified by generating economic growth in these challenging times.
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