The Future of Retail is Online!

Consumers worldwide spent nearly $4.29 trillion online in a pandemic-fueled 2020, up from almost $3.46 trillion the prior year, according to Digital Commerce 360 estimates.

Digital Commerce 360

Let us first pause a little bit and marinate on this  information! What a mind blowing number. I bet this makes online retail something no one can ignore that is if you want to make some serious profits and capitalize on building a flourishing business.

2020, the year the corona pandemic hit everyone and forced governments to implement measures that limited the movement of people changed the how we do business. To balance the obvious supply and demand, business people and the like took solace online. Now for those who were toying with the idea of online commerce, shit just got real and found ways to remain relevant, maintain profit and serve their customers through online tools. The same applied also to consumers of product and service, they preferred to have access to service in the comfort of their homes including access of physical commodities delivered to their doorstep.

While the move to selling and shopping online was accelerated by the pandemic, it’s now changed consumer behavior and there’s no going back.

The 24.1% year-over-year jump in global web sales was an increase from 17.9% growth in 2019. The acceleration after years of slowdowns was driven by unprecedented online growth in the United States ecommerce market, but tempered by a less robust performance in China.

Global retail sales through all channels hit $21.21 trillion last year, just a 1.0% uptick from $21.00 trillion in 2019, Digital Commerce 360 estimates. That means online’s share of total retail sales crossed 20.0%, with ecommerce accounting for all retail growth and gains in the online sector more than offsetting declines in store sales.

Source: Digital Commerce 360 estimates; April 2021

Online shopping is especially popular among parents and people living in urban areas, who say they now make about half of their purchases online. And retailers are meeting their needs. While nearly three out of four retailers say that converting or expanding their business online was the biggest challenge of the pandemic, it’s a challenge they dominated.

Historically, digital penetration rises each year as consumers get increasingly comfortable shopping online and retailers fine-tune ecommerce operations to deliver orders more quickly and efficiently. But COVID-19 magnified trend lines in a big way in 2020.

So, as i continue with this article, why are you yet not online? and if you are, are you using the best optimization techniques to reach your market and increase your sales/ revenue?

let me give you something, some sort of a light bulb switch so you see if you can explore about having an online shop:

Local retailers have advantages over big players like Amazon and locally Jumia (you can mention a few, the Giants in ecommerce) in that they’re physically close to their customers, and they offer a more curated and higher-quality selection of products. That creates opportunities to shine

David Rusenko, Head of eCommerce at Square

I am sure this is not new information, basically if your are reading this you may be considering an online business. a unique super power of online retail is that it allows retailers and restaurants to better serve existing customers by making shopping and browsing menus easier for them, an online stores make businesses find totally new audiences — ones that may never enter their physical location. Independent retailers, small businesses, and large corporations can all benefit from incorporating eCommerce into their business strategy.

Like any digital technology, eCommerce has continued to advance rapidly. Starting in the 1990s, eCommerce began to target a consumer market and online retailers started popping up. Now, almost any business owner or entrepreneur can use an eCommerce platform to open an online store in minutes.

Benefits of Selling online

The advancements we saw in 2020 are only going to continue post-pandemic,the changes aren’t a way to simply make it through, they’re permanent and redefining what a meaningful retail experience can look like.

Many retailers are experimenting with different ways of running their businesses, whether it’s trying out wholesale or a new product line, or dabbling in another industry entirely. And going online is making those bets more successful. Among retailers who are selling online, an average of 58% of their revenue now comes from online sales. Of retailers surveyed, one in six say all of their revenue comes from online sales, and 36% say it’s very likely that they will be an online-only store in 2021 and beyond.

Here are a few benefits of running an eCommerce store:

  • 24/7 shopping: Most eCommerce websites allow shoppers to peruse products and make buying decisions at any time, day or night. This makes shopping easier for customers, and that kind of accessibility is a huge competitive advantage. As a business owner, this also allows you to bring in sales while you’re off doing something else (even while you’re sleeping).
  • Meet customers where they are: Having an online store gives you more channels to engage with customers. Integrate with social media and let people shop from their feed, help customers find you in Google searches and make purchases as as soon as they are ready, and send out newsletters to customers with products that they need based on their purchase history.
  • Widened scope: A physical store is limited to selling to customers who are in the area. Many eCommerce websites extend businesses to people all over the country or around the world, vastly expanding their customer base and potential revenue. Selling online also offers the ability to broaden or increase inventory — the number of items a business can sell online doesn’t need to be limited in the same way as a physical store, which might be a consideration to increase cash flow.
  • Purchase-funnel clarity: Currently, it’s nearly impossible to track how often a single customer comes to a physical store to browse before making a purchasing decision. However, an online store can track a customer’s every click, providing valuable insights into the purchasing process and paving the way for marketing opportunities (such as abandoned cart emails) to nudge customers who may be on the fence about purchasing. 

With these pointers, the decision to start and online store should be lighter. I can guide in ecommerce, data analytics and design/ develop a successful ecommerce website for you or your business.

We build incredible ecommerce

kivuti kamau

Data Modelling, Design & Development

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