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Ecommerce technology investment to approach £700m in 2011

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Online retailers will spend almost £700m on ecommerce technology in 2011 as they invest to keep pace with rising consumer expectations of cross channel online shopping.

Researchers at digital marketing consultants Econsultancy predict the technology market will be worth £690m this year, 14% more than last year. The findings came as the company published its Ecommerce Platform Buyer’s Guide 2011 and include the combined revenues of ecommerce platform vendors as well as technology, maintenance and services such as consulting. On-site search, analytics, testing and optimisation costs are also included.

Jake Hird, senior research analyst at Econsultancy, said: “The ecommerce platforms market is constantly evolving, in order to keep up with consumer behaviour and increased opportunities afforded by technology. It is simultaneously an exciting and challenging time for ecommerce professionals, as the platforms underpinning the industry are in an unprecedented state of flux.

“The need to integrate technology and marketing tools such as CMS, CRM platforms, analytics, email and social media is increasingly forcing existing vendors to develop their capabilities.

“At the same time, consumer expectations are much greater, with users expecting a rich and seamless experience of online shopping across a range of devices.”

Researchers foresee a fast maturing of the ecommerce market in 2011, and spending on technology to meet it. Developments they this year include the maturing of mobile commerce, the joining up of offline and onine channels and the increasing importance of social commerce with developments including the evolution of Facebook into its own ecommerce platform.

All of this comes at a time when the ecommerce market is growing fast, bucking the trends of shrinking UK retail. Figures from IMRG last week showed that £5.3bn was spent online in May, an 18% increase from May 2010.

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