When online shopping first reared its head, it was an almost instant success. The convenience which is offered to shoppers all over the world simply could not be ignored. This convenience was shared by the retailers themselves, leading to a fall in prices online. Needless to say, this only fanned the fire.
The rise of online shopping is by no means a thing of the past, however. Recent figures estimate that the UK’s online economy is due to grow by another 11% over the course of the next 4 years. This is far more than a case of slow adoption: the e-commerce landscape is evolving, offering consumers higher levels of security and a wider range of benefits. Here, we take a look at a few factors fuelling the industry’s continued success.
It’s not surprising that security was one of the first and most significant threats to online shopping. Opportunities for fraud were increased, at the hands of both fraudulent retailers and third-party cyber criminals. This is a diminishing occurrence, however.
SSL certificates today are a great way for customers to know when they’re safe. Similarly, they offer retailers the opportunity to prove the security of their site. Acquiring a test certificate can show you how well it works.
See Also: Make e-Commerce Site More persuasive
E-commerce gained a new dimension in recent years, with the huge rise in use of mobile online devices. The ability to shop online using your phone or tablet has made shopping even more convenient. Site visits by mobile have been estimated at a whopping 30%.
With mobile visits accounting for such a large chunk of traffic, online retailers simply cannot afford not have a dedicated mobile site set up for these visitors.
One of the most obvious benefits of the internet is its ability to connect people with a larger audience. Both shoppers and retailers have benefited from this immensely when it comes to retail; in fact the well-known clothing retailer ASOS have estimated that more than 65% of their online sales have come from overseas shoppers. Numbers like these are simply unimaginable to high street retailers.
Another factor not to be overlooked when analysing the rise of online shopping is the convenient it offers. The ability to surf for goods from the comfort of your own home – or even while out and about – is a big factor in determining the success of online retail.
Similarly, the varied delivery options now available also help to give customers more value when shopping on the net. While some companies include their delivery price in the cost of the item to give shoppers a clear idea of the final outlay, some charge a small fee for each shipped order. This is generally waived if your order is over a certain amount and cost-effective alternatives include Click and Collect services which allow customers to order items for delivery at their local store with no delivery costs – the perfect options for those who don’t want to hunt for their favourite item but don’t want to pay extra delivery fees for the privilege of having it sent direct to their door.
To summarise, internet shopping has become undoubtedly popular over recent years. As more of us are connected to the net on a more permanent basis (whether through our smartphones or through work), it is clear that the future of how we shop lies in the digital realm.
Here are some key statistics to summarise these findings:
- 32% of shoppers would buy online if faced with an in-store queue; 59% refuse to wait in queues at all.
- 21% of all shoppers are mobile shoppers.
- 84% of shoppers use their smartphones in-store; 90% use them for pre-shopping tasks.
- e-commerce accounted for more than 10% of 2012’s sales figures.