How will Internet regulations affect eCommerce trends?

Industry News

One of the leading eCommerce trends has been the usage of multiple sales avenues to engage customers. People shop across a broad range of channels, so retailers feel compelled to engage them in as many ways as possible. However, in order to do that, they need to collect data to track customers across multiple channels. If they can’t identify the person who made a purchase at their Amazon store as the same one who researched that item on their website, they may not be able to serve them in an optimal manner.

This is why recently proposed Internet regulations may be a chief concern to retailers following the latest eCommerce trends. Pew Research Internet project recently polled several Internet specialists, 35 percent of whom said they fear regulations may hinder the way people use the Web. Even those who were more optimistic said they were hoping rather than predicting.

Internet Regulations and eCommerce Trends

Internet Retailer contacted some online retail experts to gain their perspective of the study and determine how changing Internet regulations could affect eCommerce trends. Although in many ways, some of the potential threats (such as commercial pressures to erode the open structure of the Web) aren’t particularly relevant to eCommerce operations, there are some that may impact omni channel efforts.

“What protects us is that governments are revenue-motivated. They know they should not kill the golden goose.”

The big issue, however, are internet regulations that may restrict the free flow of information across the Web. Information is critical to omni channel retail strategies. By collecting data about customers across multiple channels, merchants are able to offer pertinent item suggestions and develop detailed shopper profiles. Restricting the flow of intelligence may cause retailers to make significant changes to their eCommerce operations if they want to maintain that level of relevance.

“There is a high likelihood governments are going to intervene because the Internet represents a bigger slice of their tax base,” says Chicago-based eCommerce consultant Jim Okamura. “What protects us is that governments are revenue-motivated. They know they should not kill the golden goose.”

As the government continues to look at the role of the Internet and how it’s used by consumers, it will be paramount that merchants keep one eye on future developments pertaining to this concern. Any radical changes could have an immense impact on eCommerce trends and would necessitate proactive initiatives from online sellers.

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