Topline ‘Local Marketplace’ Predictions for 2012

The idea of an online marketplace has continued to evolve dramatically in 2011. With the emergence of deals, we now have full-fledged interactive local commerce in place, in addition to advertising.

It seems that everyone has jumped into the pool. Where Marketplaces had previously been dominated by players such as AutoTrader, eBay and OpenTable, everyone from Facebook to Foursquare to Visa has developed non-advertising (or advertising +) Marketplaces strategies. As we approach our year-end ILM West conference, what can we expect for 2012?

Here are some of our topline “predictions”:

1. Amex, MasterCard and Visa along with banks will seek to differentiate themselves from others by making key acquisitions in the vertical and mobile space during 2012.

2. Smartphones will increasingly be seen as transactional tools for food ordering and other services. In many cases, transactions will prove to be the real road to mobile adoption, more than apps and content.

3. Point and rewards/membership programs will evolve for local shopping, with more companies trying to rope-in frequent, high-value buyers as members that have minimum purchasing requirements. The prototype, followed by LivingSocial and others, are credit card promotions and Amazon Prime.

4. EBay will continue building its international classifieds business, and will extend into local retail via Milo. But inventory (or eBay) won’t reach deep into the SMB space in 2012. They’ll mostly focus on larger retail sites.

5. Review sites such as Yelp are currently one size fits all. But they’ll be increasingly differentiated by targeting and social technologies that better personalize reviews and other content, and move into transactions/reservations as well.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Electrician

    I would have thought that it would be fair to predict 2012 a the “Tipping Point” year where traditional media concedes to the digital future.

    The very rapid adoption iPads is giving consumers the Print experience that they love in the digital format. The most important aspect of this is that it is the consumers with the best demographics that are buying and using the iPads and other tablets on the market. This has the effect of dramatically reducing the quality of the demographics of the people using traditional print media (i.e. leaving just the old and the poor).

    As advertisers realise that the demographics that they wish to target have left print forever, they too will quickly follow their targets to the new digital platforms.

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