The Near-Future Of Shopping
We can’t predict the future, but part of the beauty of actionable data is looking at patterns over time to see trends. A clearly evident pattern that we are all excited about is the rapid rise of eCommerce.
The CEO of E Fundamentals, John Maltman, is speaking on the Retail Week Live panel on the 8th March about “What’s driving shopping habits of today and tomorrow?”
In lead up to this we’re highlighting the 4 key factors driving the growth of eCommerce… and how it will effect your future sales and marketing strategies.
“I want it all, and I want it now”
There is no longer a need for customers to travel to a Brick & Mortar store to search shelves for the closest version of a product they desire. As evidenced by 82% of people in the UK buying at least one product online in 2017, this is already happening and will only increase; with innovations around automation making delivery times shorter and the population becoming increasingly computer literate.
Now customers search online for a specific item that they have seen advertised or was recommended. Anything that is on sale can be found and it can be delivered to their door. If the customer cannot find your product with the ease that they expect, then they will purchase from the competition instead. Brand loyalty is being challenged like never before.
This evolved shopper behaviour revolves around choice and convenience. It has already changed retail around the world. In 2016, 1.66 billion people purchased goods online. This is expected to rise to 2.16 billion people by 2021.
The convenience of eCommerce has already decimated companies in the music industry that were too slow to adapt. It was just too slow and expensive for customers to buy physical records from Brick & Mortar compared to the ease of a few clicks and buying a single or album on iTunes. Established names became irrelevant and new players filled the evolving space.
Without innovation to enable big companies to incorporate eCommerce into their business model, they will have the same fate as Virgin Megastore and disappear. If smaller companies innovate faster to meet the customer’s needs, then they can carve out a market share for themselves and can compete against much larger players.
A constant bane for Brand Managers and National Account Managers in a Brick & Mortar retail environment, is after all their hard work to get a customer to look specifically for their product, the customer cannot find it on the shop shelves and so settles for the competition. The classic example being sales of Coke lost to Pepsi because Coke is not stocked.
With eCommerce this effect is greatly reduced. Brand identity can be highlighted through engagement on social media which can be leveraged into sales and repeat business. This can establish the Holy-grail of brand loyalty. If your brand can provide the exact product the customer searches for at the ease to which they have become accustomed to, then there is no need for them to look elsewhere.
If your brand has a presence online then it can be seen anywhere in the world. You could be doing well locally, selling UK made products to local people, but your Instagram or Pinterest could have a huge following somewhere unexpected. Are you big in Japan? Does your website track a sudden interest from Indonesia?
Global marketplaces have adopted eCommerce to benefit from convenience of deliveries to their doors. In the Asia-Pacific region, online sales accounted for 12.1% of all retail sales of 2016. Comparing this to 8.3% in Western Europe, this shows the prevalence of eCommerce in Asia and the potential of the market. Just like the people in the UK searching online to buy a specific green tea from China, customers from all over the world can come across your product and fall in love with it.
The recent study ‘Pulse of the Online Shopper’ published by UPS claimed that 71% of online shoppers in Europe purchased items from outside of their own country.
“The internet has levelled the playing field, enabling retailers to connect with customers in different geographical locations and, in turn, enticing customers to make the leap of buying from beyond their home market… consumers are globally minded and are willing to make online purchases from anywhere in the world, as long as some key conditions are met.”
If there is a demand somewhere for your brand it would be a waste not to fulfil it.
Quality is more important than ever before. Negative reviews can kill online sales. But positive social reinforcement through great reviews of a product can create successful product launches. 70% of people buying online consult reviews of a product before purchasing.
Of course your product is great, but it is tricky to get potential customers to believe you when you tell them how brilliant it is. Everyone loves to shop and buy things, but no one likes to be sold to. Having great reviews from customers on your product listing can turn your existing customers into brand ambassadors. 71% of online shoppers agree that reading positive reviews makes them feel more comfortable that they are buying the right product. The new potential customers can read the glowing recommendations, which carry more convincing weight.
The 8 Fundamentals of successful online selling
All of this is why E Fundamentals exists. We know that eCommerce is the future of retail. We also know Brick & Mortar isn’t going to fade out but evolve to introduce another dynamic in shopping. The industry is in a period of rapid growth and best practices are still being established even by major companies.
Our mission is to help you to do eCommerce right, to enable you to grow your online presence and sales. By perfecting The 8 Fundamentals of your online channel, your eCommerce sales can flourish and establish your brand in this emerging space before your competition gets there.
Find out more
Get in touch with our team to learn more about how The 8 Fundamentals can help you to take control of your eCommerce strategy and grow your online sales.
More from the blog