Our eCommerce projections 2015 are based on stats that show that online sales have been enjoying a steady increase over the last few years. In fact, eCommerce sales are expected to out-pace bricks and mortar sales over the next 4 years!
- Worldwide total retail will continue to grow between 5-6% through 2018.
- Worldwide eCommerce will grow at a rate between 13-25%.
- U.S. total retail will grow at a rate around 5.5%.
- U.S. eCommerce will grow at a rate between 11-16.5%.
Mobile Devices are a Significant Factor
We are seeing a sharp rise in the use of smart phones (users want ‘immediate’), and tablets (users do ‘research’).
- 68% of people have smartphones
- 45% of people have tablet computers
Mobile devices are easy to use, and online shopping offers certain conveniences that users cannot find in bricks and mortar stores – from low prices (lower overhead), broader selection, and shipping door-to-door. It’s a win-win.
Obviously, you must cater to your mobile users.
If your site has not already been rebuilt as a responsive website, you shouldn’t wait. Google is completely aware of this data, of course, and is making moves to cater to mobile users. It has launched its mobile-friendly label, which, in affect, is lowering the rankings of sites that are not responsive. Is this affecting your site with lost conversions and a negative brand experience?
Mobile Devices by Preference
Here are the mobile technologies by which people are accessing eCommerce sites, in order of preference, per country.
eCommerce by the Numbers
According to Forrester Research, mobile eCommerce continues to grow at a pretty steady rate.
eCommerce by Category
“The lightning-fast pace of change in the digital landscape has ushered in a consumer mindset that is both adventurous and exploratory when it comes to online shopping,” said John Burbank, president of strategic initiatives. “Consumers everywhere want a good product at a good price, and the seemingly limitless options available in a virtual environment provide new opportunities for both merchants and consumers. The market for fast-moving consumer goods is no exception.”
While in 2014, the main categories of online shopping were non-consumables, such as durables and entertainment-related products, by this year, we are seeing the rise of consumables. An example of this is Amazon Prime Pantry.
Buying or Browsing?
Browsing & Buying
For people who are on a mission for these non-consumables, you can expect a one-to-one correlation between online searching and shopping.
- making reservations for events, tours and hotels
Closely following are:
- personal care products
- pet products
- baby supplies
- alcoholic drinks
When you see a close correlation, this is a great opportunity for nurturing customer loyalty.
These avenues have become critically important to grow your online customer base, especially if you also have a bricks and mortar location.
If you are losing market share to online users, be sure you are ready to woo them back with:
- point reward systems
- coupon codes
- social engagement
- email marketing
More Browsing, than Buying
Big ticket items tend to have much higher browse, than buy rates. People like to research these items online, and then buy them in person at a bricks and mortar location.
Products included in this category are:
- electronic equipment
- mobile phones
- computer hardware/software
- sporting goods
eCommerce by the Generation
Retail in 2015 will continue to be driven by the needs and preferences of two prominent generations:
- Baby Boomers
Catering to Boomers
This large group of people with purchasing power are now in their 60s and 70s, and retailers who cater to these consumers will win the monetary rewards, however they will need to adjust some website practices to make shopping easier for them.
Consulting firm PwC noted, “the Baby Boomer generation will age with increased financial resources and with a greater emphasis on youth and vitality than previous generations. As a result, they not only will tax manufacturers to adapt products to their specific post-retirement needs, but also will require retailers to respond to their evolving needs as they approach the age of 70 in 2015.”
Recently, NPR reported that Barbara Beskind, 90, is a designer at IDEO, a Silicone Valley tech company. She works with (younger) engineers on products that improve the quality of life for older people.
eTailers who sell products geared toward this generation would do well do hire a Boomer who can do user testing on their website, and suggest improvements that will garner more conversions from this age group.Merchants who want to reach Millennials need fast-loading, mobile-friendly, eCommerce websites. Click To Tweet
Catering to Millenials
On the flip side, Gen Y, a young, but equally large market segment, is the largest group of smartphone owners.
Merchants who want to reach Millennials will need to invest in fast-loading, mobile-friendly, eCommerce websites. Fast, because this age group grew up in the “instant gratification, everything-is-just-a-button-click-away” generation.
Marketing to this segment must also include live chat: instantly-accessible customer service.
We suggest that if your company is run by mostly Boomers, that you hire Millennials to do user-testing, social media, and other tasks critical to meeting the needs of this face-paced age group.
eCommerce Projections 2015 will help you make better decisions for your business.