Influx of Deals, Incentives and Rewards Drive Online Shopping Growth
Holiday shoppers continued the trend of moving away from brick-and-mortar stores and onto e-commerce sites. According to a study conducted by Cartera Commerce, the opportunity to save and shop effortlessly online, consumers say, has both driven them toward e-commerce sites and affected their willingness to pay full price for the items they purchase.
The Consumer Spending and Deal-Seeking Behaviors study found that 74 percent of respondents planned to spend about the same or slightly more money online during the 2014 holiday shopping season as they did last year. In addition, 47 percent of respondents planned to spend less in brick-and-mortar stores in 2014 than they did in 2013. As more shoppers than ever shift from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce, it's clear that online retailers are using every weapon in their arsenal to triumph over competitors.
Survey respondents say there are numerous advantages that make online shopping more appealing that shopping in stores. These include better deals and discounts, a larger selection of items and inventory to choose from, and an easier way to compare prices between brands and merchants. In addition, the internet also provides access to brands that aren't accessible to shoppers in-store, depending on their location.
If online retailers want to capture this potential revenue, they have to leverage deals and promotions to make their products attractive to deal-hungry shoppers. Today, most online and brick-and-mortar retailers have a loyalty rewards program that's presented to customers as an advertising or deal network. These larger reward programs, usually offered through major brands, airlines or financial institutions, provide customers with "more" for their loyalty, meaning they have a wide array of merchants to choose from, offers from each of those merchants and the added incentive of cash back, miles or points for every dollar they spend.
The Cartera study found that these rewards program members are highly engaged; 87 percent of respondents who participate in these programs redeem rewards for points, cash back and miles. With that in mind, layer your deals into broader rewards program platforms. Doing so can help attract new customers and keep loyal ones coming back for more.
Tom Beecher is the president and CEO at Cartera Commerce, a provider of omnichannel marketing solutions and rewards programs that increase revenue and customer loyalty.