Ecommerce has been expected to double between 2010 and 2015, but it's not because people are spending more -- it's because people want to use technology to spend less.
That's the point of a recent study by Steelhouse which estimates that 82 percent of consumers questioned will spend less this year and will look to online solutions to stretch that smaller pot of money farther.
According to the study, 62 percent will pare back Christmas budgets and 50 percent will focus on comparison shopping, meaning that they'll be pulling out their IPhones, scanning barcodes and buying where it's cheapest.
That doesn't bode well for retailers who are still offline with ecommerce sales. Without pushing product both in-store and in their wider market, retailers will continue to see their marketshare eaten away by national companies who have an established internet presence.
Thinking of competing?
Then the study also gives some helpful suggestions:
- Offer free shipping. 31 percent say they won't buy online without it.
- Do discounts. More consumers want incentives, either via email coupons or through social services like Groupon and Living Social.
- Be Social. Consumers will be picky so getting networks of friends to talk up your store is vital.
- Participate in Comparison Shopping. In-store price comparisons will continue with the spread of smart phones and tablets, so you need to have products and prices in those comparison lists.
- Market Your Store. Know how to push products into Google Shopping. It's easy and most e-commerce services have this ability built in.