4 E-commerce anti-trends in 2013

Trends and trend-setters always exist. It is very smart to follow them, as it shows that you are modern innovative and it may help you develop. We have already made a list of hot trends in the sphere of e-commerce for the next year. They can help you in you business.

Not all trends although may have the same positive effect. Some innovations may be trendy, still they are proved to be useless over time. They might be appropriate for some businesses, but not for all. So here is a list of other trends - anti-trends of 2013.

1. Gamification.

Playing games is fun and interactive. Gamification is the process of using games in non-gaming sphere, like e-commerce. It becomes more popular to bring game elements such as reward points, badges and levels to attract customers. Surely, people are more likely to act if they will receive some kind of level-up on this service or any reward points, which can be spent on cheap goods.

Gamification may sound great. It might even appear to be a catalyst of your sales, customer engagement and almost anything important for your business. But gamification can be compared to Hawthorne Effect. It can be described by such example: employees start working harder if their manager supervises their work. But soon everything goes back to normal as people get used to everything. So it is going to be harder and harder to impress customers and arouse their interest. Over-gamified strategy might rely on consumer whimsy, which is not what you expect to be an improvement.

2. QR codes

QR codes are widespread. They appear on packages, on advertisements, in stores on the websites. These 2-dimensional barcodes are said to be very convenient and fast. The idea of their usage is that people will take a picture of this code with their smartphone and then decypher it with a special program.

It might appear as an enticing innovation, but statistics disclaims this statement. In 2012 17,4 millions of users (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) scanned QR codes. This figure can be impressive, but it is only 14,1 % of total audience.

So using QR codes as an important tool in your marketing strategy won’t be really successful solution. As you will reach a small part of all the audience. Also, there are much more people who actually don’t know how to use them and can be easily confused as there exist different types of 2-dimensional barcodes.

3. Bring Your Own Device

BYOD means that employees are allowed to use their own computers, smartphones or tablets, so they can be more productive. It also frees companies from hardware provision business.

On the other hand, perspectives can be rather negative. Instead of uncontrolled boost of productivity of your employees, there can be no changes at all. Besides, when their devices are down to some technical reasons, do not expect that repair will be instant. And are you ready to wait while your employees cannot work, because they wait till some unmotivated third party will fix their devices?

So always make research on what resources people require. If it really makes sense, you can allow people use their own device, but a bit at a time.

4. Start-up companies

Plenty of start-ups arose this year. Venture capitals have invested lots of money into the seed-round deals, accounted in 57% in the third quarter of 2012. Some start-ups can achieve success, such as Cheezburger Inc. or Glam Media. Outstanding start-ups can make good money on their merging with the other company.

On the other hand, number of start-ups, born through different accelerators, start-up contests or incubators is very high. Most of start-ups have fallen into oblivion very fast. Now, VCs begin to invest money in more long-term projects.

Sometimes the less - the better. So do not chase all new opportunities to improve your business.

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