Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Shopping: Out with walking, in with clicking

Not only should you have an eCommerce solution, but it needs to be robust…why?

In 2010, online shoppers spent $165.4 billion, up 14.8% from $144.1 billion 2009 (The U.S. Commerce Department).
In 2011, online sales in December were up 30% year-on-year, and the last week before Christmas saw almost double the sales compared with last year (MetaPack).
Online sales are expected to reach to a staggering $317 billion by 2016 in the U.S. (http://on.mash.to/HWaABD)
It is clear, if you are not taking advantage of the mass demand for online commerce, you are losing business.

Want some inspiration? Whose doing it well? What exactly does eCommerce, fCommerce and mCommerce look like? Take a look.

Want some inspiration? Whose doing it well? What exactly does eCommerce, fCommerce and mCommerce look like? Take a look.

Digital shopping can be manifested in many ways, but in a nutshell: it’s putting your product online, adding a cart feature, and allowing the user click, type, and ship without leaving their seat. Digital shopping is easier than going to the store, and it provides great opportunities for the retailer to make that upsell or cross-sell simply by adding additional pictures to the pages on which the user is browsing. For the user this means no interruption from sales associates trying to make commission. They can examine the product in as little or as much detail as they want without screaming children in the stroller. And, no drive necessary, they can simply hop online (or stay there, as people are online more than ever before) and make the purchase. Want a great example? One of the most popular and innovative sites for online commerce is Amazon.com (Amazon is also a leader in mobile commerce).

Already have an eCommerce and mobile shopping? Let’s not forget Facebook shopping. Within the online atmosphere, why not get over 500 million customers where they are spending so much time: Facebook. Facebook isn’t just a social networking site any longer, now it is another platform where retailers can make a sale and give exclusive deals. Check-out the newest technology for Facebook Commerce created by digital agency, Resource Interactive.

Want to take advantage of this boom? If you don’t you are bound to lose sales. However, don’t jump to online commerce without first doing your research. As the growth of eCommerce continues, users are going to be expecting more from their online retailers and since purchasing what they want only takes a click of a button, if your site doesn’t make it easy for them, another site will. Below are three thoughts to keep in mind as you embark on this online shopping boom.

1.) Look: “One thing that could send your ecommerce storefront to an early demise: an ugly layout. It’s plain and simple — no one wants to shop at an unattractive, dated, or unintuitive online storefront. Just as a front window display encourages customers to come into your store and take a peek at your wares, the way that your ecommerce landing and merchandise pages look either will entice users to click the check-out button or drive them to other websites.” (http://on.mash.to/HWaABD)
3.) Find what you want, when you want it: The biggest reason ecommerce websites fail is because shoppers can’t find what they are looking for. “The key to understanding this phenomenon is understanding your users.” (http://on.mash.to/Ib3rIa)
2.) Seamless Checkout Process: “Your job is to get customers through the payment as quickly and painlessly as possible.” This may seem like an easy step, but one many retailers fail to do-read this linked article for great tips. (http://on.mash.to/Ib3rIa)

Annie Kessler is a graduate student in the Northwestern Medill IMC marketing program and has a passion for digital and interactive advertising and marketing. Annie will be graduating in December 2012. Annie can be reached on twitter using the handle @asugark


  1. What a wonderfully informative article!!

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