Now is definitely the time for retailers in America to consider their online marketing strategies after came to light that ecommerce in the US has hit a record high.
The details became apparent in the Q4 findings of the comScore report. The report showed that online retail transactions reached £26.96 billion, up 11% on the same period in 2009.
This isn’t just something for American retailers to take note of as the trends will mirror in the UK.
The last 5 quarters have seen a year on year increase in growth rate.
Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman advised: “The 2010 holiday season saw the first billion-dollar day on record and several more surpassing $900 million to help propel Q4 to record spending levels.”
The market research company also revealed that Google top the US search engine rankings with an impressive 66.6% of searched being done on their site.
Since the New Year the number of online checkouts registered users has climbed massively as the shopping trends slide towards purchasing online and not from the high street.
For Amazon, last year’s busiest day was the 8th of December when in a 24-hour window, it received 1.4 million orders. This is approximately 16 orders a second. John Lewis also had a record breaking year online. On the 22nd of November it sold 48% more than the same day in the previous year. Home Retail Group (the owners of Argos) has already seen a huge growth online, with 25% more visits to the site fuelling its boost in revenue.
The e-market has increased mostly because of the very easy way that deals can be verified and compared to get the best offer.
These types of trends have been lead by the App market, where an online retailer offers an app for download that is an instant link to their store from your smartphone or handheld device. There is also the facility on some of these Apps that the barcode of an item that you might be looking at in store can be scanned, recognised and compared including the price within seconds against other retailers, ensuring that you have the most competitive price.
Once the item at the correct price is found, the next stage is the online checkout. From a consumer’s point of view, a secure site that will complete your order effectively by debiting your bank account for the goods chosen is ideal. Google checkout is one of the many payment processing services provided by Google itself. Once an account is established with Google you can store your credit or debit card details with them and preferred shipping details to make the purchase very tidy when purchasing goods from participating stores. It’s an assumptive idea, but ideally for Google they would try and channel you to search for an item from their Google Search engine, click through to the site that offers that item and complete the order with Google Checkout. But, that then promotes a problem.
Let’s say that you have a Google Checkout account, and you are looking to make a purchase from eBay. You have seen the item and you wish to have it, and you have the account with Google to order it – here is the problem. In 2006, eBay added Google Checkout to the list of online checkouts that is not accepted as a payment method, preventing Google Checkout Account holders from using eBay to complete the order. The reason for this is that eBay had its own checkout system called PayPal.
So, from a shopper’s point of view you have to have an account to complete the order that you want. There will be a stage when new users of the online retail market will have to consider which payment service they register with, such as PayPal, Google Checkout or Worldpay. This could very much depend on where you prefer to shop. Registering with all services may not be your cup of tea, so the decision will be based on where you shop, to confirm which service you use.
In a recent article published by the Fontana Herald News, financial analysts claimed that we are coming out of the recession and heading into a new economy that is geared towards online transactions.
Retailers are seeing more online business than ever before, meaning they would be fools not to invest time and money into their digital marketing efforts.
The web and buying online are no longer alien to people as customers of all ages have learnt how to use the internet. Whilst there are still many that prefer to do physical shopping, there is no denying that online purchasing has gone through the roof and changed peoples shopping habits.
Another attraction for entering into the digital marketing arena is the low financial risks. Starting an online business requires a smaller amount of money to get up and running. In fact, many businesses run multiple websites at the same time to generate multiple sources of income. Just because it costs less, it does not mean e-commerce is less effective than traditional means.
The Herald News printed 11 tips to get an online business up and running:
1. Create a business plan
2. Use a flow chart
3. Hire a good webmaster
4. Keep it simple
5. Collect names and email
6. Optimise for the search engines
7. Use domain names with keywords
8. Use videos more than text
9. Blogs and social network
10.Use banner ads on popular websites
With another festive shopping spree behind us, Yahoo! decided carry out research to find out how search played a role for shoppers. The key question for Yahoo! was: How are people who use search as part of their shopping process different from other shoppers?
Yahoo got together with marketing consultancy agency, AddedValue to survey 2000 shoppers. They were quizzed about their shopping habits and whether they used search before making a purchase. Yahoo discovered that those who used search as part of the purchase process represent a group of hyper-engaged shoppers.
The survey revealed that the hyper-engaged shoppers had more knowledge of products and used more online resources than non-searching shoppers.
The survey revealed the following facts:
50% of searchers source customer reviews and ratings online
43% of searchers visit shopping comparison websites to make an informed decision
37% of searchers visit coupon websites to check daily deals
25% of searchers check out a brand’s social media channels like Twitter and Facebook
53% use their mobile devices to help them research a purchase
Following the survey, Yahoo! invited it’s hyper-engaged shoppers to provide them with feedback so they can try to improve the users experience where possible.
Online traders are preparing themselves for a sales drive on Christmas Day.
E-retail organisation IMRG forecast that approximately 4.8 million people will take to the net to buy goods on 25th December with sales figures of about £153 million.
MD of IMRG, David Smith, said that people will be trawling the internet looking for bargains and special offers. He also believes that the bad weather recently endured in the UK should help to increase online sales heading into January.
“With many people not being able to get out to the high street sales due to the wide-ranging impact of the snow, online could see a real boost over the next few weeks,” Mr Smith stated.
In the recent IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, figures showed that UK shoppers spent £6.4 billion in November which is 21.5% up on the same period in 2009.
The online market and online shopping are becoming more of a key channel when we consider our purchases, whether it would be a part of our regular shop or for something a bit special.
We have more devices and technology that supports the internet which assists in fuelling the online shopping activity.
On December 6th 2010 at precisely 13:15, a total £815,000 was spent online during one minute. This amount was 21% higher than the same day on 2009. These figures provide concrete evidence that consumer shopping preferences have altered significantly in the last 12 months, towards online.
Many online retailers will be showing a very good year in terms of sales, despite consumers spreading the cost of their shopping because of the economic climate.
Research does indicate that as much as 6.4 billion pounds could be spent online in December alone, hopefully that amount should improve the economic climate.
Tracy North of price comparison site Kelkoo, believes that online companies can expect a high number of visitors once the Christmas period is over.
North suggested that online shoppers will be keen to grab themselves bargains before the VAT increase commences in the New Year.
She feels that high priced items are expected to be big sellers as customers try to take advantage of the current VAT rate.
“Getting a bargain has become a common talking point down the pub, even if it’s just a few pounds saved consumers really do like to feel they’re getting the best deal,” Ms North stated.
In a recent survey undertaken by EPiServer, 45% of online shoppers will compare prices on more than one site prior to making a purchase.
Relate that back to your own shopping experience. Can you recall viewing an item in a shop but actually making the purchase online? Perhaps you have seen the item on a shelf, making a mental note of the price before checking it online against other suppliers before making the final decision where to do the deal? If so, you are not on your own.
Looking at the figures, 80% of the total active online population have visited an online retailer or an ecommerce website in August. Now, not all of those visits would have resulted in a purchase. It would have been very good if it did and the current economic climate would have benefited from this, but the facts are that it just did not happen. From the 80%, 16% made a purchase.
With the .com and .co.uk is now preceding many high street brands and large supermarket names, consumers can now search, view, compare and purchase items online that are also in store. The facilities online to make these purchases have made an impact on the more traditional high street shopping or retail outlet visit.
So, what sites are we or should we be going to? Well, the most common sites that have contributed to this shift to be ‘in on’ (at home online) are EBay just ahead of Amazon, Apple, Tesco and Argos, but Amazon is catching up EBay very quickly.
The main reasons that consumers use this ‘in on’ concept is because of price (57%), which did drive EBay previously and is also fuelling Amazon currently. The online sites are open all the time (32%), which helps when you are at work or you can’t travel to the right places. If you wanted to ask in store to match the same price online, you would deal with a sales person or store employee, which is also not a liked idea (29%). These three factors, price, opening times, and in store help have converted consumers away from ‘off out’ to a ‘on in’ buyer.
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