If you own a business today, of any size, then you need to develop a strategy for the digital world. The marketing and consumer world is rapidly changing and if you don’t want the floor to fall out from underneath you then you need to pay attention. Every year a growing percentage of people’s shopping is occurring online. The internet has allowed people to compare prices of goods from multiple stores all in a matter of minutes and with some quick mouse clicks. Before, people had to drive to multiple stores to compare prices and spend hours of their time.
For example, U.S. e-retail sales are expected to grow at an annual compound rate of 9.5% percent from 2013 to 2018. In 2013 sales were $263 billion, so in 2018 it will be $414 billion. That’s a huge amount of growth. In other markets it may even be faster. One reason we are seeing this rapid growth is because people can now shop on their tablets and smart phones. They can be anywhere they want, as long as they have a connection to the internet, and make purchases with just a few clicks. This means people don’t have to be at home, they can be enjoying a coffee at a local café or anywhere else they want. This is why ecommerce platforms are growing rapidly in importance.
If someone wants to buy something these days, even if they’re going to a store, they will look it up online first and usually via their phone or tablet. Companies that don’t have mobile friendly sites have a good chance of being overlooked because they are difficult to navigate. If your company doesn’t have a website then you will be overlooked unless the customer knows about you already. Online marketing and having a strong ecommerce platform will do a lot for you. It is more than just a storefront.
It will provide you with a place where customers can leave feedback to help you improve. You can have it suggest items to customers based on previous purchases; this may alert a customer to products they didn’t realize you had. It lets you write about new deals or products available at the store and people can easily check regularly see it. As sales online grow so will yours, if you’re online. Many companies either don’t know or don’t realize how important an easy to navigate website is. Customers want to find what they’re looking for quickly, if your website is a mess then people will just leave. With more shopping being done on mobile devices it has also become important that your website be mobile friendly or has a mobile version.