brianwalkerPopular Forrester analyst, Brian Walker was fighting a bit of a cold today, but “being hopped up on the cough medicine” didn’t stop him from doing a winning presentation this morning at eTail West. Stats were the opening slide to the conversation with over 29% of adults owning a tablet or an e-reader, 15% of ecommerce use being on mobile and 10% of their time spent with media.

Mobile is generational

Surprisingly people still call other people with 53% of smartphone owners actually calling someone for advice while in store. Yet alongside these stats, the question becomes “How does the younger less-likely-to-call generation shop?” If you look into a teen brain right now, you will likely find their desire for new devices with 34% of them wanting an iPod touch, while 33% wanted a iPhone. All of this before we mention other devices like video games, kindles, iPads, etc. And when the younger generations have these devices, how do they use them? Brian says “they think of information as hyperlinks, and think of research as search.” Personally, if I think about search, I use search in my outlook for email, in my contacts on my iPhone, and on MOST websites I visit. I’m less likely to depend on categories.  I just search for what I’m looking for. If I can’t find it, I’m likely to “search” somewhere else.

Now comes the creepy part

An attendee of the well-known CES conference, Brian had a few stand-out technology mentions. For instance, a thermostat you can control from your iphone, or even a printable 3-D lamp. Consider having a physical product in a digital format. I want to buy a new lamp so I can just download the 3D version and put in on my printed table. Fortunately, the truth that stands is consumers will still say stores are where they LIKE to shop, and online is about convenience. I don’t know about you, but the need for a printed lamp is probably not in my near future.

Excuse me, can I have your attention?

We used to control the conversations but now its interruption driven. Everything from friends to businesses are competing for one thing: your attention. “It’s not just about the checkout page anymore,” Brian says. To be successful in ecommerce experience, “you need to be the easiest and the fastest” and “it has to be personalized, it has to be relevant, it has to be contextual.” In other words, you have less than 3 seconds to grab my attention – it had better be good.

The Amazon forecast and what to do about it

It’s been forecasted that by 2016, Amazon will have 26% of the global ecommerce market. They are running more than 15 trucks a DAY and warehouses are popping up everywhere. In order to compete with a monster like Amazon, you must use technology as an enabler and as your toolkit instead of reinventing the wheel. Take retail vs Amazon.  “Retail stores are a tremendous asset” Brian says, the face to face time a retail store offers is something an online store simply can’t offer, but be willing to “disrupt your entire business” in order to get it where it needs to be before your competition does.

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