Did eCommerce Revolutionize Retail??
Well eCommerce websites has made a difference in how we buy, definitely.. but is the industry revolutionized? Why is eCom growing at multiples of the CARG of offline retail.. where will it stop and what difference did it make ultimately.. We try to address these questions here in our current blog.
Aim of every revolution is freedom! That’s fundamental. Lets look at it this way then.. Today you can buy almost anything from the seat of your commode! Right? While you are on road (ok. ok. public transport.. no drink and drive Ya :D) eCom has freed you from locational constraints! As long as you are online you can buy from anywhere.. that’s a he freedom! And that’s a revolution.. that s fundamental.
Choices are virtually unlimited.. you can buy from multiple stores compare, read.. take an more educated decision on your purchases.. no more at the mercy of retail sales man (that has another take though, at the cost of personalization.. but that out of the context here)
In this fast paced life, everyone wants convenience, speed and selections along with the ability to shop anytime and anywhere. With the swiftness in mobile growth, people have started to opt for mobile shopping. It was found that about 20.2% of the online shopping was made using Smartphones during the first quarter of 2013 and is yet to grow rapidly.The search activity via mobile devices leaped up by 30% on eBay during Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving).
Now, one can gather lots of information about any product, compare the specifications and price, and even understand the user experience through reviews. What else does one want to know before buying a product? You can’t imagine getting all these from a simple traditional store.People go for eCommerce as they are convenient, often cheaper and majorly time saving.
Show-rooming approach is common now a days, where either people go into a retail store or any online store, but compare the prices to those of other online stores using their mobiles, many times making the purchase from another vendor based on the online information.
Mobile phones have helped consumers even more. They can buy products whenever they want.. While traveling, watching TV, or sitting and relaxing at their couch. People buying from brick-and-mortar store are also analyzing product details on their mobile. 80% of them sought for price information online. A third of them check whether the information offered by the store employee is correct or not while inside a store.
Now that was from consumer’s POV.. lets see how Online business has affected the retailers:
Marketers are now focusing on offering personalized services to their potential buyers, by analyzing customer trends. It has become important for almost all online shopping cart owners to identify visitors across different devices. This will help to improve profit which is the prime need of every marketer.
Retailers are also making efforts to engage with maximum online customers and are focusing to get into a deeper level in customer engagement. Some have also started to integrate their web-store with social media for active involvement in customer engagement and to encourage peer-to-peer recommendations or suggestion. They have also started to feel the importance of relevant content.
Retailers are focusing on developing single organization (read omnichannel retail) that will respond to multiple channels demands. This requires a lot more effort to be made along with integrating processes and improving collaboration between marketers and suppliers. Marketers will have to give importance to their store layout, improve pricing and bundling.
The Intel has recently come up with a high-tech mirror that shows how clothes look on a consumer, who just has to stand in front of the LCD monitor. Parametric technology will simulate the body type and how fabrics fit based height and other features. In the coming years we can find such technologies being utilized by everyone to give an in-store experience to the customers.
In future we will see a lot more on location based marketing like in-car Web navigation, eCommerce using home appliances connected to Web. We will also have eCommerce-enabled tablet apps focusing on targeted marketing that will offer highly targeted personalized coupons, discounts, and pricing.
There is a lot more happening with every marketer working hard to offer in-store experience.. You will witness a lot more competition in the days to come.
With the internet penetration increasing at breakneck speed..more and more consumers will be joining the bandwagon (especially from the emerging markets.. check out our blog here to see why APAC is at a tipping point and will surpass US eCom sales soon) this is only going to snowball!
Retailers who don’t adapt with the changes quickly are at a risk of losing out on the big game unfolding globally in next few years!
This is a revolution! Join the Bandwagon
[We are Connecting Dots, a full service eCommerce solutions company. At Connecting Dots, we help companies build great online businesses, we are Magento implementation partners and build great eCommerce portals]