Do you know someone who still has never made a purchase over the internet? If you do, their numbers are steadily dwindling – it’s now estimated that more than 60% of all American shoppers have made at least one online purchase in their lifetime. You have, haven’t you?
According to recent U.S. Census Bureau data, online consumer shopping continues its relentless growth, posting a 14% increase in the first quarter of 2010 over the same quarter in 2009. More and more internet-savvy consumers flood the online marketplace every year. Looking at another related statistic, e-commerce sales – today accounting for only 4% ($37.8 billion) of the total adjusted retail sales here in the U.S. – also continue to increase proportionately. Although the typical “brick and mortar” establishments continue their retail dominance, as you can see, the sky is truly the limit for e-commerce’s growth potential.
Why is online shopping growing so quickly? There are many advantages that shopping online has over the more traditional “brick and mortar” sales channel:
- It’s easier (and safer) to purchase online and have it shipped than it is to get on the road yourself
- You have a larger selection of products to choose from
- Since it’s cheaper to run a virtual store than it is a small shop in a strip center, prices can be lower
- Unless the company you’re buying from has a business presence (“nexus”) in your state, you don’t have to pay sales tax
- It’s very easy to quickly compare features, prices, availability, etc. between retailers
- You don’t have a salesperson distracting you
The smart “big box” retailers and other merchants of today fully understand that they need to make it as easy as possible for all of their customers to reach them. By offering a variety of sales channels (e.g., the traditional strip mall storefront, a “virtual” online store presence, a 1-800 phone order system, etc.), they’re making it easier to connect with their clientele and continue to try to grow their market shares. Sometimes the approaches blur – purchasing something online and then going to a local store to pick it up – when designing new solutions. The bottom line is that it’s the relationship with their customers that matters the most to business owners, and that offering an online sales option only makes it that much easier to strengthen that relationship.
Small business owners themselves continue to see the wisdom of establishing a widely available online presence. If you consider a typical small business – say, a dentist – their clientele may come mostly from a Yellow Pages ad or word-of-mouth referrals. What do you think will happen to that business as that demographic shift mentioned before – now over half of all purchases are made online – becomes even more pronounced? What happens when telephone directories are no longer printed and dropped on your doorstep, due to increased production and distribution costs? All of these trends point to the importance of establishing an online presence for your business as soon as possible.
Just as the assembly line changed manufacturing forever, so has the internet forever changed the manner in which business is conducted. We need to recognize, though, that the internet is essentially just another tool that’s been developed and leveraged for use within the retail sales arena. What really matters the most is the relationship between a business and its customers, and this new ability to buy online from your own home can do exactly that.
Author Pieter Grundolf writes extensively about strategic sales and marketing trends, including the best shopping sites online and other useful consumer information. Follow Pieter’s upcoming new article series on what makes the best shopping sites the best.
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MLA Style Citation:
Grundolf, Pieter "Better Get Used To It – Online Shopping Is Here To Stay!." Better Get Used To It – Online Shopping Is Here To Stay!. 23 Jun. 2010. uberarticles.com. 24 Aug 2015 <http://uberarticles.com/business/better-get-used-to-it-online-shopping-is-here-to-stay/>.
APA Style Citation:
Grundolf, P (2010, June 23). Better Get Used To It – Online Shopping Is Here To Stay!. Retrieved August 24, 2015, from http://uberarticles.com/business/better-get-used-to-it-online-shopping-is-here-to-stay/
Chicago Style Citation:
Grundolf, Pieter "Better Get Used To It – Online Shopping Is Here To Stay!" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/business/better-get-used-to-it-online-shopping-is-here-to-stay/
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