Let The Sidewalk's End Web Design help You get Your Slice of the Pie
U.S. consumers will spend $327 billion online in 2016, up from $202 billion last year. I think it’s so significant I’m going to say it again: U.S. consumers will spend $327 billion online in 2016. Driving online retail growth will be increased spending online by consumers; dramatic increase in mobile technology usage; innovative online sales; and loyalty and free shipping programs, the report says [Forrester Research]. So how can you get yourself in the game?
1. “Ubiquitous mobile web capabilities”. As smartphones become increasingly popular with consumers, the ability for consumers to access instantaneous information about prices or products while they are on the go or in stores is unprecedented. Furthermore, our estimates are that only 9% of web buyers currently have tablets, these shoppers convert at much higher rates than smartphone shoppers.
2. Innovative new business models, like flash sales and subscription models that divert spend away from physical stores. An earlier study that Forrester conducted with online shoppers showed that the majority of consumers said they spend less at traditional retailers after shopping at daily deals sites.
3. Online loyalty programs, and aggressive promotional offers from web retailers. While over the years physical stores and brands have managed to capture greater shopper data with loyalty programs and private label credit card programs, online retailers such as Amazon.com have essentially created loyalty programs of their own with shipping clubs. This where members pay a flat annual fee and receive all their shipping for the year for this price.
4. Aggressive deals, particularly during the fourth quarter. During key time periods in the last holiday season (e.g., Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday), more than 70% of online holiday buyers (in a joint survey with Bizrate Insights) say that they purchased online instead of in stores because deals online were better.
The numbers are coming -- big time. If you want to be competitive in the online retail world, build on the clues above: Be mindful of the ubiquitous and growing mobile web capabilities. Look for new shopping models that are unique to online retail. Develop more and more loyalty programs to keep that shopper coming back to you again and again. Offer more deals in timely and judicious fashion. Remember, you’re not functioning in a vacuum. Be ever-aware of what your competitors have and what they’re charging; and certainly be aware what they’re doing in the online competitive market. Plan and function accordingly, continuing this marathon if you want to be the best prepared, best trained, best-informed, and most competitive online retailer.