The holiday shopping season is almost at an end. Every year, retailers look back to analyze how the season went for their profits and losses. While the numbers are still being crunched, retailers are noticing some changes to this season versus Christmases past. Let’s analyze how online shopping has changed how people buy for Christmas.
1. More Online Shoppers
Nearly 8% of American consumers are buying online. They are using the Web or their phones, up from just 22% in 2000. More than half purchased something by using a mobile device. Another 15% clicked a link from social media. Some read blogs or news feed before buying something. Therefore, Americans are turning to their computer or phone instead of going to a brick and mortar store. To convince people to come inside the store, many retailers offer to pick up service. You can purchase online and pick up the item in the store, but one flaw in this plan is that the advertisements make it seem to be immediate. However, the item is not usually in the store right away.
2. Shoppers Want to Compare
Although people are using online shopping, they aren’t doing it because they can get a package delivered to their door. They are doing it because they want to compare products from different companies against each other. Therefore, people are going to review an item on one Website and see where is the best place to buy it. They are looking at reviews and prices. They also want the best service. In Christmases past, people would be loyal to one store and purchase everything there. Today, they have no qualms of going from one place to another, especially because these places are all online.
3. Cost Still Counts
Online shopping is popular because sometimes, retailers will price products less online than in the store. About two-thirds (65%) of study participants say they chose online products because of the cost. However, if the price is the same online as in the store, that same 65% will head to a store over online shopping. Most people still prefer to shop at a store. The desire to shop in a store depends on how often people go online to shop. And, older Americans are more likely to shop in a store while younger Americans are more likely to shop over the phone. Retailers that gave the same discounts online or in the store capitalized on both groups. About a quarter of Americans will buy without checking online prices for comparison’s sake, and only 14% would purchase online without checking retail prices.
4. Growth Happens, But Tiny
Although the number of shoppers turning to online to purchase has increased in the last five years, it still represents only 15% of global commerce. And, though it might be $526 billion, it remains a mere 10% of all retail sales. Therefore, the majority of retail sales still happen in brick and mortar places. Those going online via smartphone represent 25% of all online shoppers. Desktop purchases comprise most of online shopping. The difference is that people are using online shopping to decide what to buy when they go to the store.
About the author
Usman Raza is a marketing specialist at PSDtoWPService.com and co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts. He has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 2001, and editing and managing websites since 2006. A generalist, his most covered topics are business and technology. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.