Don't Believe The Hype: 5 Trends to Watch (and 5 to Ignore) for On-line Retail in 2012

 

Every year at Forrester we take a look ahead at the driving forces behind online retail and make some predictions about how we think things will evolve and we try and identify the key trends to watch or even act upon. This year we’ve done things a little differently.

Sucharita Mulpuru has taken a look at the “Key Trends in US Retail eBusiness” while I’ve concentrated on “European Retail: Key Trends to Watch in 2012”.

Broadly we find similar themes – multichannel, mobile and changing consumer behavior in light of the continually depressing economic condition. But there are some notable differences in Europe. I’ve said this before, but I will continue repeating it – the national, cultural, language and regulatory differences that persist across Europe make European eBusiness a complex beast. 2012 will bring us more in the way of EU strategy papers and directives as the European Commission begins to formulate what their “Single Digital Market” looks like in reality. While we are unlikely to see many changes immediately, the EC’s vision for the future will begin to crystallize. Add to that changes to the e-privacy and distance selling directives that must be acted upon, European eBusiness executives are going to have a busy time in 2012 just keeping abreast of legislation.

So to try and help we’ve also taken a look at some innovations that won’t make an impact this year. It’s deceptively easy to believe the hype around a lot of new technologies, but in reality while some innovations like NFC may have a very positive future, there are just still too many inhibitors right now for them to revolutionize the world of eBusiness in 2012. So we’ve split this report into “ones to act on” and “ones to watch”.

After all, you can’t do everything.