You will come across a common question of whether consumers prefer online or offline shopping today. Well, the ecommerce stats and trends indicate that ecommerce is the future of business and it fuels the sales growth of all businesses, whether it is online, offline or both online and in-store.
It is seen that already a couple of months of 2019 has proved to be one of the most inventive, innovative, transformative and interesting ones when it comes to retail business prospects. Several studies show that in the past couple of years, online shopping trend has grown by as much as eight times since 2013 with about 90 million people purchasing products and services online.
Most people think that online shopping will threaten the existence of the brick and mortar stores. This thought is even substantiated with the study report of BCG that shows:
- More than 70% of the online shoppers are highly influenced by ecommerce
- Only 16% make online purchases
- 5% of this 16% online purchase value is made by the customers who follow a mixed pathway using both the touch points of online and offline
- The pathways that purely offline remain dominant as it accounts for 78% purchases and 58% of the value
- Purchases that are made only on a pathway from the start to finish accounts for only 26% of value and
- When the purchases of large appliances and mobiles are considered more than 50% of urban consumers made it online and offline.
However, the report goes to add that when users find that the online platforms are well established for any specific category, they prefer to use only the online pathways. This fact is supported in the report with their further findings such as:
- Only 10% of all transactions made for airline tickets and hotel rooms are made offline now.
- When it comes to apparel32% people wish to buy the accessories online
- Only 22% wants to buy shoes online and
- Only 1 or 2% fresh food purchases are made online in spite of the litany of the online grocery stores.
The report also indicates that all frequent online shoppers are 3.5 times more likely to research for their products and service following a purely online pathway when they want to buy any big ticket item from an online store.
On the other hand, it indicates that urban consumers mostly research online first and then buy a specific item offline. For example, they will visit different review sites to know more about the product and even go through different debt settlement reviews in the neutral third party review sites such as Angie’s List and Better Business Bureau and then decide whether to settle their debt or take out a new debt consolidation loan.
With so many promising and a few controversial facts and statistical figures along with the decrying of the naysayers about the death of retail, you will obviously wonder which way to go to get the desired success. There will be several questions that will come up in your mind such as:
- What will change in 2019 in the retail sector
- If you started a brand new business now then what is it that you should focus on for a more sustainable and long term growth and
- If you were dealing with a large and legacy brand then what should be your specific area of concern in 2019?
These questions, however, should not hold you back as nothing are impossible now in ecommerce given that there are so many useful tools, software, and platforms to use and fall back on.
Now about the trends
You should take cue and encouragement from those business fanatics who still continue to invest and even double down on their Facebook Ads, content, media blurring, selling courses to others to encourage them to do the same and much more.
In fact, there have been a lot of changes in the approach and trends followed by businesses and nothing is left untouched as far as ecommerce is concerned specifically.
A few of these stark trends can be broken down as well to predict what the ecommerce and the entire online business industry is up to categorizing each for specific business type: start-ups, established and the large and legacy brands.
If you follow these trends in 2019 you will be relevant, competitive and sustainable.
- The high-cost factor of using the paid media such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others along with the toil in securing the desired return on ad spend will make the paid media teams of the businesses specialize in their efforts and practice. This is most important for all ecommerce brands because it has been more expensive and allusive to boot.
- Next, commerce and content will take precedence once again due to the high-cost factor of the paid media. More so, consumers will be devouring more top-of-funnel contents. Therefore ecommerce content will be the perfect moneymaker for any business or brand provided investments are made appropriately. SEO will play a bigger role in this effort apart from the Content Distribution Network or CDN.
- It is expected that the best content and commerce experiences provided by the headless commerce will become the mainstream as that will remove the barriers to check out. It will result in more clicks as well as provide the best and most memorable customer experience on the web as well as off it. You can accomplish this using Drupal, WordPress, or any other CMS systems as your presentation layer.
- Experts think that consumer experiences will bleed over to in-store and offline shopping interactions because online experiences will become more seamless. This will force brands to create moats around them with offline experiences of high interactivity and quality.
Lastly, AI and machine learning will be predominant in 2019 and help businesses to maintain margins and headcount, efficiency and personalization, management and execution so that the best-in-class experiences can be provided across all channels.
In short, the retail workforce that dominates the digital marketing and online ecommerce channels will change for the better.
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