Since its inception, selling online has been continuously evolving. Currently the movement is towards that of an omni-channel eCommerce approach. This is due in part to the increased number of users who shop online using a smartphone or tablet.
According to a report created by ShopVisible titled “Influence & Impact eCommerce Benchmarking Report: 2013 Review,” 15 percent of website traffic in 2013 came from mobile devices, 15 percent from tablets and 70 percent from desktop computers. The report also states that mobile traffic alone caused a 20 percent increase in total traffic during the holiday season. However, even though 15 percent of traffic was driven by a smartphone, only 4 percent of orders were placed using these mobile devices; it seems consumers still prefer to make purchases in a more traditional web environment, which a desktop computer offers. Consumers may also be avoiding ordering from their mobile devices because the checkout process is too difficult.
One of the takeaways from this data is that having a website that displays in an easily digestible, user-friendly way is crucial. With all the options available to consumers online, if your web store fails to deliver what they want, they will leave your site and choose a competitor. Further, the mix of payment options available to offer customers should also be considered. In the past, payments were almost always made using a credit card, however now there is PayPal, bill me later options and Amazon Payments. Providing consumers with as many payment options as possible increases convenience for them. Additionally, according to the report, over 25 percent of all online orders were paid for using a payment option other than a credit card.
The next available resource to consider for businesses that sell online is an online marketplace like Amazon or eBay. These sites, for a transaction fee, allow a business to list and sell their products. The benefit is increased visibility online by being listed on some of the most high traffic eCommerce websites on the Internet. The downfall, in addition to the fees, is that a consumer proceeds through the checkout process on that marketplace, which means little data is provided to you, the retailer.
There are also comparison shopping engines. The top comparison shopping engines, according to the report, are Google Shopping, Nextag, PriceGrabber, Amazon Product Ads and Shopping.com. This outlet for selling online also increases the visibility of a retailers products at a lower cost than online marketplaces. The other added benefit is that when a consumer clicks on the product link, they are sent directly to that business’ web store to make their purchase. The report states that in 2013, 2 to 7 percent of total online revenue came from comparison shopping engines.
In conclusion, looking forward into 2014, eCommerce doesn’t just involve having a web store, it means having a web store that responds to all types of devices, offers consumers the payment options they demand and branching out to sell online using other outlets. Ultimately this is all a movement towards omni-channel eCommerce, which creates a link between selling online and offline.