Perhaps none other than when we match the kings of ecommerce vs. the kings of brick-and-mortar can we see more clearly the future of retail. Walmart still outpaces Amazon by about $11 billion in sales, but the pace of Amazon’s growth at 28% annually is way ahead of Walmart’s 3%. Does it mean ecommerce will lord it over physical retail soon? Not quite. Alibaba’s buying physical supermarkets and Target’s purchase of an online delivery platform seems to point at two opposing directions in a collision course towards a future center: omnichannel retail, both physical and online. These industry tectonic shifts matter to you, whether you’re a startup or a big-box online business.
Knowing where the industry is heading will help you make the most out of ecommerce. To help you out, we will be discussing some of the recent trends in the industry. Hopefully, this will give you a better grasp about how other companies are using ecommerce software and what kind of experience consumers expect from online shopping so that you can adjust your strategies accordingly.
eCommerce is one of the most profitable industries in the modern age. It requires fewer staff members and has minimal overhead costs as it doesn’t require you to have a physical location. You just need a good website builder and integrate it with top payment gateway solutions and you’re good to go. Plus, even if you already have a brick-and-mortar shop, adding ecommerce as part of your business model will allow you to reach more customers at the fraction of the price that you’ll spend on paid advertisements. This is why it comes as no surprise that this industry has enjoyed rapid growth in the past few years and it seems like it isn’t stopping any time soon.
Another reason why the ecommerce industry is booming is because of consumer demand. With 51% of the world having access to the internet, customers simply feel that online shopping is a more convenient option than going outside to purchase from a store.
The global retail ecommerce sales is projected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021. (Shopify, 2018)
By 2020, B2B ecommerce sales will outgrow B2C ecommerce sales. (HubSpot, 2018)
B2B ecommerce transactions are expected to amount to 7.66 trillion U.S. dollars in terms of gross merchandise volume. (Statista, 2017)
Eight out of ten Americans shop online. (Pew Research Center, 2016)
Of the online shoppers in the US, 15% purchase items weekly and 28% monthly. (Pew Research Center, 2016)
67% of millennials prefer online shopping than in-store shopping due to convenience. (BigCommerce, 2017)
40% of males between the ages of 18 and 34 feel it is more ideal to buy everything online while only 33% of females in the same age bracket believe so. (DDB Worldwide, 2017)
Smartphones are becoming more versatile and it is shaking up industries that go beyond communication device manufacturing—ecommerce is not an exception. The increasing mobile phone usage has had a massive impact on the growth of ecommerce as it allows consumers to instantly make purchases wherever they may be. In addition to that, with plenty of downtime being spent on mobile browsing, businesses are able to reach their target market as effortlessly as possible.
Mobile ecommerce sales comprised 63.5% of the total sales in ecommerce in 2018. (Statista, 2018)
71% of the total digital minutes spent by consumers come from mobile devices. (The Global Mobile Report, 2017)
The monthly average browsing time on mobile devices in the US is 87 hours—that’s 53 hours more than the time users spend on their desktop. (The Global Mobile Report, 2017)
51% of online shoppers purchase products via their smartphone. (Pew Research Center, 2016)
eCommerce may be a surefire way to grow your business but it is best to note that it isn’t a magic bullet. You’ll have to put some effort into creating and designing your ecommerce site as well as finding out how it will best serve your customers. As you can see on from the statistics provided, consumers have certain expectations when it comes to their online shopping experience that you might want to consider to optimize your website:
Among the things US online shoppers expect from ecommerce websites are product images (78%), customer reviews (69%), and side-by-side product comparisons (46%). (BigCommerce, 2019)
75% of consumers prefer buying from sites that are in their native language. (Common Sense Advisory, 2019)
84% of online shoppers will not purchase from an ecommerce site that is not secure. (Blue Corona, 2018)
93% of customers view visual appearance as a key deciding factor in their shopping decisions. (Justuno, 2017)
51.7% of online customers in the US online consumers say that on-model photography is important. (Splashlight Survey, 2017)
50.5 percent% of US online shoppers want to see a minimum of three product photos showing the different angles of the item before making a purchase (Splashlight Survey, 2017)
88% of online shoppers believe that detailed product descriptions are an important factor in their purchasing decision. (CPC Strategy, 2016)
38% of consumers said they will leave a website if they find its layout unattractive. (Adobe State of Content, 2015)
A majority of consumers prefer to get product information through a video than written content. (Animoto, 2015)
55% of shoppers claim that product reviews have an influence on their buying decision. (Visual Website Optimizer eCommerce Survey, 2014)
Online store optimization is only one step of the process when it comes to succeeding in the ecommerce industry. If you really want to reap the benefits that this business model has to offer, you also have to consider the kind of perks you give to your clientele. This may come in the form of free shipping, good return policies, or more convenient payment options.
It is also good to note that your use of display ads and retargeting techniques also play a huge role in improving conversions. One such way you can make the most out of each interaction you have with customers is by using a good ecommerce analytics tool such as the ones we have listed in our compilation of leading ecommerce analytics software.
Improving checkout processes can increase conversion rates by 35.26%. (Baymard, 2018)
60% of shopping cart abandonments are due to extra costs, like taxes and shipping fees. Other issues include having to create an account (37%) and complicated checkout processes (28%). (Baymard, 2017)
Leads are 70% more likely to purchase from you when retargeted with display ads (AdSpark, 2017)
Websites that support PayPal payments can reap a checkout conversion of up to 70% compared to those that offer non-PayPal transactions. (PayPal, 2017)
Among the top incentives of online consumers to shop are free shipping (88%), one-day shipping (69%), and free returns/exchanges (68%). (Walker Sands, 2016)
26% of consumers finish the checkout process after they see a retargeted ad. (Business2Community, 2016)
24% of online shoppers will spend more if they are provided with free shipping. (VWO eCommerce Survey, 2014)
54% of online shoppers are more likely to purchase abandoned items if they were offered at a discounted price later. ( Neil Patel)
eCommerce is enough to kickstart your business’ online presence, but why stop there when you can further improve it using social media? With over 2.77 billion people on social media, it would be much easier for you to get your brand out there as well as interact with your customers. Fortunately, there are plenty of ecommerce software solutions that can integrate with social media platforms to streamline your workflow.
Online stores with a good social media presence reap 32% more sales than stores that don’t utilize social media networks. (BigCommerce, 2019)
30% of online shoppers are more likely to purchase products using a social media network like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, or Twitter. (BigCommerce, 2019)
Social media recommendations influence 23% of consumers. (BigCommerce, 2019)
Over 500,000 businesses utilize Instagram as an advertising platform. (Instagram, 2016)
85% of social media product orders come from Facebook. (Shopify)
While ecommerce has undoubtedly become one of the most popular ways to sell products and services, it is still what we consider to be a growing industry. It still has quite a few kinks to work out before it can reach its full potential. For instance, many consumers are still hesitant about shopping online due to security reasons or because they can’t see the product they are purchasing in person. On the other hand, businesses have yet to perfect how they use their ecommerce software or ecommerce website.
Here, we have compiled a few of the challenges in the industry that you might encounter as you pursue your ecommerce efforts. There are ways to overcome ecommerce challenges especially when it comes to implementation.
Challenges in the eCommerce Market
Brick-and-mortar sales still dominate ecommerce sales by more than $20 trillion. (Shopify, 2019)
The ability to touch a product before purchasing it is the top reason why U.S. consumers still shop at brick-and-mortar stores. (The Global Omni-Channel Consumer Shopping Research Report, 2019)
30% of items purchased through online stores are returned. (Invesp, 2017)
ecommerce sales make up only 8% of the total retail sales in the US. (US Census Bureau, 2016)
Challenges in eCommerce Implementation
95.97% of ecommerce sites have pages with only one internal link and 75.89% with broken internal links, which makes it difficult for search engines to scan. (Semrush, 2018)
72.09% of ecommerce sites still link to the old version of their site and pages with mixed content so search engines tag their sites as insecure. (Semrush, 2018)
80.23% of ecommerce businesses fail to equip their site with HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) support. (Semrush, 2018)
A majority of ecommerce sites find it difficult to perform international SEO. In fact, 53.08% were found to have missing HREFLANG and LANG attributes while 25.25% have HRLANG conflicts within the page source code. (Semrush, 2018)
The statistics speak for themselves: ecommerce is slowly reshaping what it means to have a business in the 21st century. This business model has the capability to position your business for local and international growth. It also allows you to improve the shopping experience for consumers as it provides them with the option to purchase whatever they want, whenever they want with just a few clicks of a button.
Another takeaway from the data that we’ve compiled is that while ecommerce is growing in popularity, it is not meant to replace brick-and-mortar shops. After all, these two selling approaches provide different experiences for shoppers. Instead, businesses should see this as a stepping stone on their journey towards expanding their company and improving the competitiveness of their brand.
But, of course, for you to be able to reap the full benefits of ecommerce, it is best to study the lay of the land and know what kinds of challenges you might encounter as you enter the industry. Moreover, you should have a clear understanding of how you can use ecommerce platforms to optimize your operations. You can take a look at our guide to ecommerce software features for more information on how these programs work.
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