While many companies have openly embraced the idea of online marketing, much of it is still geared towards driving customers to a physical location to purchase goods or arrange services. Maybe this is just another example of old habits dying hard, as the thought of getting to look in a merchant’s eye and closing a deal with a firm handshake is the only way to do business. Well, if recent statistics are to be believed, the day of customers accepting the potential of long lines checkout counters may soon be over.

The Rise of Online Retailers

Data recently complied by Business Insider shows that for America’s major retailers, offline sales have been in steady decline since 2010. Among this group of retailers are:

  • EcommerceWal-Mart
  • JCPenney
  • Best Buy
  • GAP
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Staples
  • GameStop
  • Abercrombie and Fitch
  • Aeropostale

This dip in in-store sales has led many of these chains to announce mass store closings, with over 1200 location rumored to be being shut down between now and 2021.
Conversely, online retail sales in the U.S. continue to experience growth, with overall numbers up close to 18% in 2013 compared to the prior year. A closer examination of the items whose purchases are increasing evermore online may shed some light on why we’re seeing this kind of growth.

Online Customers Value Variety

According to information from Walker Sands, electronics, books, and apparel saw dramatic increases in online sales in 2013, with 69%, 67%, and 63% of their sales occurring online, respectively. Compare that to only 28% of consumer packaged goods, 20% of pet supplies, and 20% of food and groceries being bought online during the same time frame, and you can begin to see what sort of values drive customers to shopping online.
While customers tend to be more loyal to brands when it comes to necessities such as groceries or packaged goods, they value variety when purchasing high-end items. Ecommerce sites allow for quick and easy comparison shopping, with consumers simply jumping from one site to another when researching their purchases. Add to that the convenience of in-home delivery of these items, and it’s clear to see why so many are making the move to online stores for their new books, shoes, and stereos. If your business operates in any one of these spheres, you may want to consider the potential customer base that you’re neglecting by not bolstering your ecommerce site.
Ecommerce is slowly taking over the high-end retail world. Those companies that choose to deny the market trends that support this risk being left behind in a barren wasteland of empty retail locations. Yet the rise of ecommerce needn’t signal an end to your days in business. On the contrary, with the help of the team here at Webstract Marketing, you can have your own ecommerce site up and running in no time at all. For information on how you and your company can catch the growing ecommerce wave, call us at 855-201-5800 to speak with one of our web developers today.