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Florida Retailers to Merge Offline and Online Shopping

The USA retail sales are expected to jump 15.5% in 2014. Forecasters are expecting sales to increase to 304.1 billion with online shopping sales accounting for almost half, 6.4% of the $4.73 trillion in retail sales.

These numbers do not tell the full story of online sales, according to stats from US Digital Shoppers and Buyers, 2012 – 2018. A large number of ‘brick and mortar’ sales will start with online research.

Webrooming

This trend refers to the 72% of shoppers who buy online after viewing a product in the showroom, whether in your store, or viewed it at another store.

There are 219.4 million internet users. There are people who use cell phones that do not have internet. eMarketer expects 196.6 million (89.6%) to shop online this year. This means that many stores will experience brick-and-mortar sales without realizing the sale was started online.

Blended Shopping – Multi Channel Shopping

Retailers are lagging behind the trend of combining online shopping with ‘browsing’ the store.

Scott Falzone, industry director of retail specialty at Google, states, “their interest in digital is increasingly focused on driving customers and shoppers into their store locations as well as continuing to have a growing ecommerce and mobile commerce presence.” http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Retailers-Look-Merge-Offline-Online-Shopping-Experiences-2014/

Retailers need to stop worrying about where the consumer engages, whether it is on the phone, email, filling a form, or walking into the store.  They need to stop focusing on ‘how to get traffic’ and start focusing on ‘how to make the sale.’

How Consumers Pay Online

The #1 rule of payment gateways – the shorter the payment process the less abandoned shopping carts. Speed is everything.

The second way to increase sales is to offer free shopping. Consumers are starting to expect free shipping as part of the buying process.

Consumers Are Spending More

Cyper Monday has increased in shopping steadily since 2006. The overall numbers continue to increase along with mobile use. People want their shopping to be convenient and to be entertaining. They want the retailer to cater to them.

Who Gets That Money?

When we compare the giants who claim most of the online shopping revenue we see some similarities:

Amazon, Toys “R”Us, West Elm, OfficeMax, Eddie Baur, Dollar Tree, JC Penney, Home Depot, Barns & Noble, Foot Locker, Victoria’s Secret, Office Depot, and J. Crew are just a few of the stores who have figured out how to sell online. Here are some of the tools they have found work to help them sell online.

Speed – their websites load fast

Visual – the images are good quality and load fast

Location – they have a store location tool

Search Box – they include easy to use and well designed search boxes.

Mobile – they have a website that is easy to use on a cell phone

It may surprise some online retailers to learn what tools they do not all share:

Social Media Presence

A SmartPhone Ap

Click to Call

Free shipping

The important thing to remember before dismissing these statistics:

Brick and mortar sales were up 3% in 2013

Online sales were up 15%

Mobile phone Sales were up 16^

47.1% of dollars spend on US websites came from work computers.

AUTHOR - Elizabeth Varian

Elizabeth Varian has been working on the internet in some capacity since 1995. Working for such companies as a small chemical lab contractor to digital media sports mogul CBS SportsLine. When starting Webmaster For Hire, she wanted to focus on the personalized experience and customer services for clients. Though the internet has been around for decades now, it is still a mystical place for many business owners.