Over the past 15 years, retail in general has increased 2.5 percent per year while e-commerce has grown at 20 percent on average each year, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data. Despite the major growth of e-sales, however, online retail remains just below 6 percent of total commerce!
So why does it feel like a lot more when we consider the droves of shoppers who are always on their computers and smartphones? According to Dr. Venkatesh Bala, chief economist for The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen, consumers’ expectations have evolved. Dr. Bala recently discussed shoppers’ transforming ideas toward online purchases at The Next Billion: A Forum about the Connected World presented by Quartz.
Shoppers now expect retailers to be available 24/7 in different formats. So while e-commerce remains a small part of total sales, retailers need to tap into this “omni channel” that spreads from in-store to online to keep shoppers engaged. Retailers can’t assume that their customers will seek them out with their e-commerce needs. Instead, stores must search for new formats and opportunities that meet shoppers’ digital desires.
But why are different formats important for consumers’ online experiences? How shoppers interact with retailers in the digital sphere often depends on what activity they’re engaging in and, with the advance of various mobile devices, where they are when they log on.
Figuring out what consumers need in advance, can help you provide the genuine experience they want and boost your business.