As this year comes to a close – it’s time to take a look back at 2014 and see how retailers faired. While many retailers had disappointing sales over Black Friday and Cyber Monday/Tuesday, there are three main takeaways from the year:
- There’s been a definite switch to eCommerce: According to a recent study by Business Insider, 52% of retail sales in 2014 were web-influenced (this includes online sales and offline sales where the sale was encouraged by web media i.e. email marketing, researching a product, and more). What’s more, over half of all US consumers purchased consumer electronics, media, and clothing online in 2013, and this trend has only continued.
- Mobile is the new way to shop: Based on data provided by InternetRetailer.com, the number of consumers using tablets and smartphones to shop has increased 24% from July 2013 to July 2014. As more eCommerce stores work to create mobile responsive websites, customers are doing more and more shopping via their mobile devices. As technology advances and tablets and smartphones continue their march towards being a necessity for everyday life, this trend will continue to increase. Currently ¼ of all eCommerce traffic comes from tablets and smartphones. It is imperative that eCommerce retailers and brick & mortar stores, alike, recognize this shift and change their marketing strategy accordingly.
- Personalization is key: Business Insider also reported that 60% of consumers want a personalized customer experience. This is a big deal. Consumers don’t want to feel like another cog in the wheel – they want to shop at stores that know them and make them feel welcome. Granted, personalizing your messaging can be time consuming; however, if you have the ability to create automated data-driven emails that trigger based on your individual customer’s purchasing behavior you’ve just created an opportunity to build brand awareness and relationships. Embracing an automated email marketing strategy also uncovers time you didn’t have before to explore new acquisition engines or maybe even design that mobile friendly site I was just going on about.
- Smith, Cooper. "ECommerce and the Future of Retail: 2014." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 20 Oct. 2014. Web. 31 Dec. 2014.
- "Mobile Commerce." Charts & Data. InternetRetailer.com, n.d. Web. 31 Dec. 2014.