Here’s some news – in July, 2015, Amazon turned 21; so, online shopping is not quite as ‘new’ as you might believe. However, this does not take anything away from the fact that e-commerce has just started its journey. Today, we’re hearing of deliveries by drones (an incredible idea!), and other fascinating stuff about e-commerce. However, all the fascinations kept aside, here’s the real deal on how online shopping will develop and change across the next decade.
A perspective on growth, market contributions, and market dynamics for online detail
A recent United States Census Bureau released a report detailing that e-commerce sales had doubled since 2008. However, it’s too early to make much of the stats, as till date, online shopping sales comprise less than 10% of retail sales. Despite the exponential growth of e-commerce, it has to be noted that in the last five years, the growth has been pegged at anything between 4% and 7%.
From a business perspective, this implies that existing ecommerce powerhouses still need to slog it out to be in the competition. Also, there is ample scope for new players to enter the business sphere and differentiate on the basis of service delivery, product mix, etc. Also, the long term perspective of business implies that data analytics will continue to be a critical success enabler for most e-businesses.
Content will be the Differentiator for Brands, and a Facilitator of Customer Shopping Experience
Content is the king – that’s the rule all copywriters live by. Chances are, digital retailers will need to align themselves to the idea of golden content to keep the sales registers ringing. Almost 80% CMO level marketers agree that custom content such as buying guides have huge impacts on RO1s. A StateOfInbound report suggests that online retailers that have taken to the content strategy are experiencing $14 savings per new customer acquired. Also, since customer attention life-spans are really short, the content has to be ‘great’ in the true sense, which suggests that marketing investments in content will increase in the coming years.
Here are some more stats to drive home the point. A Demand Metric report outlines several stats that explain why content proves to a major contributor to social following or a brand which is directly linked to customer lifetime value. A Gartner study of online purchase behavior suggests that shopping experience is more important to most shoppers than price points, which reinforces the relevance of content as a differentiator for online retailers.
Advertising will be a Key Growth Enabler for Online Brands
Here’s a fact for all digital retailers to chew over – top rated e-commerce businesses have more than 3 times the rate of customer acquisition of average online ventures. Because of lower barriers of entry to the market, the competition will always be tough, which means that customer acquisition will always be a relevant growth strategy. This has a direct bearing on how digital marketers will look to leverage digital and print media channels to reach out to customers.
Brand switching is convenient for online shoppers, which will be another factor contributing to marketers’ propensity to spend on advertising. Now, consumers react differently to different media, right from advertisings on web, to those on social websites, radio, and print. Increasingly, online retailers that get their advertising mix spot on, in terms of matching the messages with the media’s audience appeal, economics, and attention seeking capability, will acquire more customers.
Businesses like Eastbay, Costco, and Best Buy know all about this.