Still a Drop in a (Huge) Bucket
Despite the rapid increase in consumers engaging in online and mobile purchasing, eCommerce will account for only 13 percent of all retail commerce by 2019. Although comparatively small in size, that 13 percent will account for approximately $3.6 trillion in consumer spending.
Depending on a particular business’s product, target customer, and marketing strategy, retail eCommerce sales can constitute a much larger percentage of a company’s revenue and total sales.
Mobile Is Growing
It should come as no surprise that consumers are doing more and more of their shopping on their smartphones. As of April 2016, a comScore consumer survey found that 24 percent of smartphone owners had three to five retail apps downloaded onto their devices, and close to 40 percent of smartphone owners had six or more of these apps installed. Over the course of 2016, mobile retail eCommerce in the United States will increase almost 40 percent as compared to the previous year and will surpass $123 billion in sales. Although mobile platforms still lag behind the use of desktops for eCommerce activities, the use of mobile devices by shoppers will increase exponentially in the coming years.
Create Thousands of Sales Reps
When it comes to getting consumers to purchase your product via eCommerce, the best sales rep for your product could be your customer’s cousin, hairdresser, or golfing buddy. People are more likely to buy a specific product when their friends and family recommend it to them. In order to maximize your efforts, emphasize the social aspects of your eCommerce site as much as possible and encourage happy customers to share their experiences with others.
Help Them Shop
Even when staring at products in a retail store, consumers use their mobile devices to locate coupons, check for sale items, find prices, and check inventory. Allowing your customers to create an account for your brick and mortar or virtual store can help them easily clip coupons, bookmark products, and place specific items on a shopping list for later reference. Grocery stores are on the cutting edge of this trend. Many supermarket chains give their customers access to a site or app that helps them to quickly find their coupons and saved sale items. Some supermarkets, such as Publix, go so far as to provide customers the aisle numbers for items that they’ve added to their shopping lists.
Be a Beacon
Marketing efforts for eTail shouldn’t be limited to getting customers into commercial retailers. Sports venues, concert facilities, and other marketers now use beacons to alert shoppers, visitors, and attendees to information about sales or events once they reach the marketer’s venue. Beacons are devices that can detect a nearby smartphone or tablet either inside or just outside of the marketer’s premises. Beacons can then send a signal or alert that contains information to the located device. In traditional retail settings, the recipient of the alert can then use the information sent by the beacon to take advantage of in-store sales, promotions, or products.
Imagery Is Everything
The more visually engaging you can make your online and mobile sales presentations, the better. To maximize your brand’s visual appeal, provide product images that include blowups, color options, and 360-degree views. Allowing and inviting customers to post their own photos of your product in use or to post selfies with their purchases can serve to increase trust and decrease questions that may linger within potential buyers.