eMarketer’s recent webinar gave us a lot to think about for the year ahead.
A group of us recently grabbed our lunches and checked out this webinar from eMarketer called ‘Key Trends In Ecommerce’. Hey, we like both trends and ecommerce so this seemed like 45 minutes worth spending. There were a lot of stats and great insight delivered by Yory Wurmser, who cited a variety of sources in presenting some interesting insight for how to plan for the year ahead.
Here’s a few of the many numbers that made our ears and brains perk up:
U.S. ecommerce rising, but we’re still behind
I mentioned this in another blog post about mobile ecommerce, but buying things online here is big but hasn’t grown as fast as you might expect. Wurmser said eMarketer has forecasted a 14.2% increase in U.S. ecommerce sales but that ecommerce will make up just 7.1% of total retail sales. Despite anecdotal evidence to the contrary, we still like going into stores and buying things.
He added that expected U.S. total ecommerce sales will total $349.1 billion which far surpasses the UK’s $93.9 billion. However, it’s far short of China’s expected $562.7 billion in ecommerce revenue which is a mind blowing number to see in print.
The UK’s click and collect revolution
What is interesting is 14.4% of the UK’s total forecasted retail sales are attributed to ecommerce, double the expected increase in the U.S. The main reason cited? Click and collect — the process of buying something online and picking it up in store.
I’m a heavy Amazon Prime user because I like the convenience of not going to the store, but for retailers, they want more click and collect users. Wurmser cited stats that revealed 40% of in-store pickups led to additional in-store purchases and that Target recently reported 10% of their online orders are of the click and collect variety.
That makes a lot of sense, especially with mega-retailers like Target or WalMart. If you have a shopping list and you’re there already, why wouldn’t you cross a few more things off your to-do list? With anything, however, incentive to motivate lazy people like myself to actually make the drive is the key.
Mobile isn’t the main conduit of ecommerce, but is a massive influence
In the aforementioned blog on mobile sales that I wrote, I discussed a Dyn study that showed Americans were slower to adopt to buying on mobile than those in other countries. Wurmser reported that projections show that a quarter of all U.S. retail sales will be influenced by mobile for a total of $1 trillion+. So, while the smartphone isn’t the main purchasing point, it plays a HUGE role in a purchase actually being made.
Smartphone or tablet? Both!
We learned that eMarketer is projecting 166.3 million total U.S. mobile shoppers in the year ahead which includes people that purchase on both smartphones (145.3 million) and tablets (121 million).
When it comes to conversions, however, they found that 80.9% of those who shop on tablets actually buy while only 52.4% of those who shop on smartphones make a purchase. The average revenue per smartphone is roughly a third of that of a tablet visit.
According to a Nielsen survey, 42% of those surveyed cited mobile as the most important form of media for finding info while shopping, a number equal to the laptop/desktop experience. If your ecommerce site isn’t designed for the mobile or tablet experience, you better get on that. Quickly.
We want what we want and we want it now
Wurmser brought up a great point in that we don’t separate the experience of shopping online vs. brick and mortar. Rather, it’s just shopping to us. We want the best price and increasingly, we want it faster and quicker. (Side note: anyone remember the experience of catalog shopping through Service Merchandise or Montgomery Ward? Anyone?)
Two numbers popped to me:
- More than 80% of U.S. shoppers want the ability to check for nearby product availability and with so many people still wanting to shop in person, this is huge. The key, however: real-time inventory accuracy, something many retailers struggle with. As consumer expectations increase, those that solve this riddle will be at a huge advantage over their competitors.
- Remember that infamous 60 Minutes segment where we saw the Amazon drones for the first time? The idea of same-day, rapid turnaround delivery seemed great, but also a bit freaky. Well, Wurmser revealed that they expect same-day delivery revenue to increase to more than $620 million in 2015, a 6x increase from 2014. With urban areas especially, you can feel the trend going toward, “Why can’t I get it today?” Eventually, we’re going to be so spoiled, that mindset will changed to, “Why can’t I get it in an hour?”
There were some other interesting topics (visual search, personalization, beacons) discussed, so I encourage you to check out the webinar and slides. As always, the difference between projections and realities can be wide but with more and more companies wanting to be smarter about how they sell, those projections could be closer to reality than we think.