How Your Peers Are Reaching Today’s Online Consumer
Did you know that by the end of 2018, e-commerce sales are set to reach nearly $2.5 trillion, accounting for 8.8 percent of all retail sales?
But with more marketplaces, more delivery options and more payment methods, how are you supposed to keep up? Trillions of dollars is a whole lot of money, but it’s irrelevant if you can’t connect with your target customers. To help calm the chaos, it’s important to know how and where consumers are shopping.
ChannelAdvisor conducted its 2015 Online Retail Survey to help retailers better understand how their peers are getting discovered. The results yielded five trends that retailers should be aware of, as well as how they can respond to improve sales.
1. Promotions are valued: Modern consumers, especially millennials, appreciate value. And price is top of mind when they shop online. Promotions are a great way to engage with consumers and influence their purchasing decisions. Over 40 percent of the 2015 Online Retail Survey respondents said offering promotions is their top tactic for increasing conversion rates. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of respondents said their top strategy for increasing holiday sales in 2015 is to offer more promotions than last year. Promoting deals and incentives to drive purchases will help you stand out from the competition.
2. Consumers “like” Facebook: Retailers are seeing Facebook users become online shoppers. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents said Facebook creates the most sales conversions for their businesses. Additionally, nearly 90 percent of retailers reported having a presence on Facebook. When deciding which social network to invest your time and resources in, Facebook is a great first option.
3. Quick delivery is necessary: Amazon.com has set the bar high through its Prime network (free, two-day shipping) and Prime Now service (same-day delivery). The 2015 Online Retail Survey indicates retailers are trying to replicate Amazon’s offerings to meet customer expectations. Over a quarter (28 percent) of respondents offer same-day delivery, and next-day delivery is offered by nearly two-thirds (63 percent). More than half (56 percent) of respondents offer two-day shipping to customers. If your customers can’t get your products in two days or less, they may take their business elsewhere.
4. Customers are mobile: A study from Experian Marketing Services found that millennials are on their phones an average of nearly 15 hours a week. This trend is spilling over into the e-commerce world as well, with more and more consumers shopping on their mobile phones and tablets. In fact, more than 40 percent of the Online Retail Survey respondents said mobile traffic accounts for 21 percent or more of their total web traffic. Over a third (34 percent) of U.S. retailers are seeing 21 percent to 30 percent of their web traffic come from mobile devices. To stay competitive, ensure your website is responsive to mobile devices to ensure a seamless and hassle-free shopping experience.
5. PayPal is popular: The age of electronic payments is young, with new options such as Venmo, Stripe and others emerging onto the scene. For now, it’s clear that consumers are most comfortable using PayPal vs. other options that include Amazon Payments, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, Square and Bitcoin. According to 70 percent of the 2015 Online Retail Survey respondents, PayPal is the most commonly used payment method by customers after debit/credit cards. Consider integrating with PayPal to prevent customers from abandoning their shopping carts at checkout.
Understanding these five trends will help you resonate with consumers, capture low-hanging fruit and take a bigger piece of the e-commerce pie.
Suzanne Miglucci is chief marketing officer at ChannelAdvisor, a cloud-based e-commerce solutions provider.