Last week the world’s biggest e-commerce event took place in San Diego. IRCE2011, the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, attracting a record attendance of over 7,000 participants.
Over 500 companies exhibited on the tradeshow flow, including heavyweights eBay, PayPal, Western Union, Amazon, First Data, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Shopping sites and on-line marketplaces were there in force, including Shopzilla, TheFind, Become, Shop.com and Buy.com.
Amongst so many vendors it was great to see a New Zealand software technology firm with a prominent tradeshow presence, website search leaders SLI Systems from Christchurch.
In the e-commerce software platform category there were any number of options on display. Magento is one of the e-commerce platforms used by World Wide Access and its momentum was evident; Magento itself had a prominent tradeshow booth as did specialist Magento integrators and hosting companies and many marketing, payment and fulfilment service providers promoted their ability to connect to Magento-based websites. eBay recently acquired both Magento and GSI Commerce, marking a major move by eBay to become a major e-commerce platform and service provider.
E-commerce is one of the fastest-moving areas of business. There’s huge innovation in selling and marketing, and the software technology that makes it all happen is changing and developing all the time. The IRCE conference brings it all together in one place, and it is remarkable to see how things have moved in just a couple of years.
Major themes at IRCE2011 were the recognition that many customers are accessing on-line services from mobile devices, and expect the same capabilities as from a desktop web browser; a big focus on social networking and how to transact e-commerce in that environment; and the realisation that Groupon deal-based selling has changed the e-commerce world, perhaps in the same way that eBay auctions did years ago, and subsequently Trademe in New Zealand. Is the daily deal site a fad? Is it sustainable? Some say yes, some no, but either way, the big e-commerce players are scrambling to participate.
World Wide Access keeps pace with changes in e-commerce and continually searches for the best ways to get products in front of American consumers and to make it easy for them to buy. You can expect to see New Zealand products in a number of new sales channels over coming months as we take advantage of some of the latest advances in e-commerce in the United States.