Online Sales Will Dominate
Statistic Brain's compilation of data from the U.S. Commerce Department, Internet Retail, ComScore, Inc. and Forrester Research revealed that 87 percent of online users have made purchases online, which could explain projected figures that have U.S. online purchases moving from nearly $350 billion in 2015 to $440 billion by 2017.
Of these figures, estimates also include figures for online purchases made through mobile devices, projecting $76 billion in 2015 up to $114.5 billion by 2017. Internet Retailer reported that Web sales will garner 7.3 percent of all global retail sales this year and will rise to 12.4 percent by 2019, according to eMarketer.
Cutting a Slice of the Online Retail Pie
It makes sense for physical retailers to start seriously considering their options for quickly setting up an efficient online presence to get a piece of this massive retail pie. But managing multiple sales channels has been a daunting task for merchants ever since entrepreneur Pryce Pryce-Jones introduced mail order back in 1861.
Most commerce small businesses use multiple sales channels, taking advantage of the built in distribution systems provided by Ebay, Amazon and Etsy. They're combining that with the strengths afforded by having a personal online store hosted on Shopify, Bigcommerce, Square, etc. And on top of that, they're utilizing B2B sales channels and selling wholesale, explains one ecommerce expert.
Maximizing Holiday Sales and Filling in Slow Season Revenues
The challenge is managing it all, and that's what technology providers are offering up solutions for.
Going into holiday season where every retailer wants to be able to know where their sales and inventory stands to make decisions about ordering more products to ensure constant availability for maximum sales during this all-important time of the year. Plus, since 20 percent of all retail seasons occur at the holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation, this is when sales become critical.
Retailers will certainly celebrate the recent partnership of Ecwid and Square, two respective market leaders in their niche. Those brick-and-more retailers, including those with stalls or pop-up shops, who have been using Square can now increase their online presence to reach more consumers thanks to Ecwid's widget that gives websites "ecommerce in 5 minutes."
Multichannel solution provider Sellbrite, now integrates with the most popular ecommerce platform on the web, WooCommerce. With Sellbrite and WooCommerce, retailers can now list WooCommerce products onto the major marketplaces.
Bigcommerce and UberRush have announced a partnership to offer local delivery for merchants in the San Francisco area. Bigcommerce merchants are using a special dashboard for hailing UberRush drivers and "shipping" their product.
And even Amazon has opened one of the very things it spent decades crushing: a brick and mortar store. The company is experimenting with cutting-edge personalization at the point of purchase. Indeed, multi-channel commerce is what's hot.