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The Online Retail Business in 2012

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This New Year has brought many hopeful and dire business predictions for all industries. One of the businesses that many have given perspectives for is the online retail business. All sorts of folks have weighed in on what they expect for online retailers in 2012. If you listen to the various analysts, economists, business people, journalists and other experts as well as everyday people, you will know that there are many viewpoints on what can be expected for this area of online business this year.

The following are just a few perspectives for the online retail business for 2012. This is just a sampling of what some are anticipating this calendar year. By no means an exhaustive list of the various opinions and theories floating about, these perspectives should help to give you an idea of what to expect in the world of internet commerce for this year and even into the future.

More online retail shops are expected to open.

2012 is expected to be a year of harsh economic conditions for many worldwide. This means that there will be massive unemployment numbers. On the upside, however, many will choose to go with entrepreneurial ambitions in order create their own jobs. For many this will mean online retail as it means less overhead and expenses than one would have with a traditional brick and mortar store front.

Online retail shops will become more sophisticated.

While one reason for this is better technology, another reason is competition. Retailers will want to make their shops more appealing than other online or physical businesses. To do this, they will need to not only offer good, competitive prices, but they will have to make it easy to buy. Additionally, they will need to look even more trustworthy than ever. As new shops open, they have to gain the trust of users, and this will lead to online retailers being easier to reach than ever. Customer service and checkout processes will become better this year and continue to evolve for the good.

Final consumer prices will become more competitive.

More shops will mean greater competition. Online retailers often are competing to give good prices, and they are competing against other online shops and physical retail locations in a variety of different markets. Merchants will be doing what they can to get their slice of the pie, and this will most likely mean low prices, special offers and maybe even free shipping.

Many new online shops will fail.

New online shops that cannot stay competitive will shutter fairly quickly. The ease in which one of these can get up and running is appealing to many new business owners. The speed of startup also means that many new businesses aren’t really financially equipped to make a go of their new endeavor. Shops that also don’t have much to offer may not last long. Cookie cutter turnkey shops will probably close as quickly as they open. Quality, price, service as well as individuality may be the recipe for success that many lack.

Virginia Wong is freelance writer interested in business, online marketing, recovery software and new technologies.