Business to consumer E-Commerce worldwide broke the $1 trillion dollar mark in 2012. That was a stunning 21% increase from 2011. This is the fulfillment of the paradigm shift in retail commerce, which has been expected for over a decade. The projections for 2013 are for another 18%-plus increase to $1.3 trillion. This is the realization of over 20 years of a subtle yet steady change in consumer habits; since CompuServe (remember them) first opened an electronic mall back in the 1980s.
A Closer Look at e-Commerce and Consumer Retail Habits Today
Retail consumers are now foregoing car trips and burning fuel to comparison shop for retail purchases. More and more retail buyers are comparison-shopping online. There was a time in the past decade when those buyers would research a product online, then go out and buy from a retail outlet. Now retail e-commerce has achieved the tipping point where consumers are completely accomplishing the whole purchase process online. As expected, the United States leads the global trend in e-commerce sales, the projected numbers in U.S. dollars are as follows –
• United States — E-commerce in the U.S. is expected to grow another 62% by 2016 to $327 billion dollars total.
• Europe — European e-commerce is projected to grow 78% to $230 billion.
• Brazil — Brazilians are expecting an e-commerce spike of 21.9% to $18.7 billion U.S. dollars.
• China — The Chinese saw $124 billion in online retail commerce in 2011, which was a 66% increase from 2010. China is expecting e-commerce to rise from 3% to 7% of total sales by 2015.
• India — Expects online buying to increase to $70 billion by 2020 from just $600 million in 2011.
Besides the road weariness of shoppers, market experts are attributing the “e-commerce” explosion to the smartphone. The smartphone permits shopping and buying to be done virtually anywhere. Businesses that do not boast a convenient mobile app simply will not survive in the coming decade.
Companies that offer e-commerce fulfillment like Promofill are fueling the expansion in online marketing and selling. Companies like Promofill service all e-commerce market demands, such as; order fulfillment, web design, integration of the shopping cart, ordering and shipping system design, payment, and accounting.
In addition to the smartphone and e-commerce support companies, the market video is another online marketing driver. Your product video online is a sales associate in someone’s pocket or purse. Smartly produced and targeted product videos are amazing sales drivers.
With the internet being, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year; with no closings on holidays. Businesses have consumer access continually. Women are able to buy those must have pair of shoes on their phone, while they are in bed at 1am. Men can buy that slick watch, while they are walking the dog at 5am. The time of rushing to the mall or the shop downtown while having five other errands to time manage are over.
There are few stores if any that can compare to the internet for the variety of goods available. Who cares if the only place that has the color you desire is 1000 miles away, it can still be delivered to your door in 2 days. It does not matter that no store in your area has the great prices of the store across state. You can now enjoy great pricing from the comfort of your sofa. It does not matter what gas prices are; you can order that awesome laptop online at the great price while your car is in the driveway.
Major Retail Chains Are Adjusting to E-Commerce
Retail stores with the overhead costs of building maintenance, parking lot maintenance and liability insurances among other things, are realizing that online marketing and sales are survival techniques. The ‘brick and mortar’ shops are adapting to the emerging realities of e-commerce by transitioning to increased online access for its customers. Stores like Macys, which is 154 years old saw its online sales soar 40% in 2011 as its in store sales increased only 5%. Macys is transitioning 300 of its stores into distribution centers to enhance its e-commerce delivery.
Nordstrom, which is 111 years old, has even been more aggressive than Macys is pursuit of the e-commerce market. Nordstrom has seen a 35% increase in online sales for three straight quarters. Nordstrom has included mobile technology for its in store customers with modified iPod touches to eliminate long lines, those iPod touches also allow customers to buy Nordstrom items that may be out stock in the store. Nordstrom has plans to invest $1 billion, which is a third of its capital outlay in e-commerce investment over the next 5 years.