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As e-commerce marketers set or adjust their strategies for 2011, there are some important trends and developments to pay attention to that can help capture new revenue streams and strengthen brand awareness this year and beyond.
For many retailers, selling online is a critical component of their business, but they also have other channels to manage. For those businesses, the coming year will bring an increasing focus on the internet and mobile technologies, not only to influence online sales, but also to affect sales that happen through other channels.
In 2009, Forrester found that 42 percent of all retail purchases, worth $917bn, were influenced by the Web in some way. By 2014, that figure is likely to jump to 53 percent. Even catalogs, long thought to have gone the way of dinosaurs, are proving to influence online sales. People like to flip through catalog pages and then purchase the item they are interested in online.
The key to effectively combining the online and offline shopping experience is to ensure consistence of brand across all channels and to offer an intuitive method of "discovery" that allows consumers to quickly find the products they are looking to buy. Site search obviously plays a critical role here.
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