06 May Digital Retail Trends for 2016
Online shopping has been around for some time but moving through 2016 we’ll see more of a shift towards new technologies, particularly with retailers branching out across multiple sales channels.
eCommerce has turned into a buzz word of old. Short for ‘electronic commerce’, our digital world has grown from just website stores, to mobile stores; eBay; Amazon; apps; PayWave; wearables – with many more new and emerging technologies joining the list every year!
Multichannel / Omnichannel
These buzz words are quickly moving from the uncommon to the norm! Multichannel or Omnichannel just means retailers are selling products through many sales channels, be it a brick and mortar store, web store, mobile store, eBay, apps… the list goes on!
According to Commonwealth Bank’s recent report, retailers forecast a growth of 20% in online sales next year alone! By 2020 it will be an average of 40% of sales. That’s only 4 years away!
An increase in online spending isn’t a surprise. Customers are more comfortable spending digitally.
One of the largest growing group of consumers are the under 30s, accounting for 29% of spend and 21% of growth. This generation are growing up within a digital environment, many don’t know a world without the internet! They are more than comfortable to spend their income online and as with generations before them, this market will grow over time – meaning online sales becoming the norm.
Retailers have to change their habits to move with the times by offering things such as:
- Quick and simple ordering (I’m busy, I just want to order NOW)
- Transparency on pricing (I’ve researched online)
- Peer influence (I’ll share this on facebook!)
- Instant gratification (click and collect)
71% of the retailers sell online with 14% purely digital with no physical store.
– Data from CommBank
mCommerce for retail has been slow to take a hold of the Australian consumer market, compared to some other countries. This leaves room for smart retailers to position themselves in the right place for growth! CommBank reports that currently 18% of online sales were made on a mobile device. Almost one third of retail business expect that half of their online sales will purely be from mobiles.
Mobile and portable devices are the way forward for retail! Less customers are buying large desktop computers and opting for laptops, tablets and mobiles. To survive the future of retail, Australian businesses must to move their shops to where their customers are – online!
“Increasingly, online transactions happen on a mobile device, something many retailers recognise as the shape of things to come. Yet while the majority of retailers transact over mobile, only around one in 10 are investing in their mobile presence — an interesting contradiction”
Channel Integration and Real-time Data
The biggest challenge with selling via multiple sales channels is keeping track of everything from sales and stock levels to customer data. Good inventory management software with eCommerce integration will keep track of your business across your sales channels.
From CommBank’s research, 74% of retail businesses said that critical to their success is an integrated customer view, but few are putting investment behind it. Why? We expect that most business owners believe that implementation of new technology is a challenge, difficult and time consuming. As a result, there are many businesses selling as multichannel retailers but due to lack of the correct technology, more spending more time managing their different channels!
The only way to truly benefit from multichannel retailing is to have all channels integrated into the same system. True integrated eCommerce solutions allow you to quickly and easily update, change and move stock across all channels with real time access to sales data.
Those retailers who do will be poised for growth in 2016 and beyond.
“Only 36% believe their business is effective at actioning insights from data analytics”
One of the most important aspects of online selling is Trust. Are you a trust worthy seller? Are you going to deliver? What if the product isn’t the right size? etc
Even with the perceived risks of buying online, spending data from CommBank shows that the average transaction online rose from $37 to $42 in the past year.
Online retailers, such as eBay stores, are subjected to a ratings system where user reviews build trust while customers share stores they love through social media. Your online reputation and communication is so important to build customer trust!
Growing trust with your customers online means catering to their needs and fears. ‘Easy Returns’ and ‘Money Back Guarantees’ are the best way to increase customer trust. Being a local Australia or New Zealand business gives you a massive advantage on overseas online retailers. Ensure your digital channel displays these facts clearly.
“With two-thirds of retailers now offering delivery and collection options, it’s likely that consumers feel more comfortable buying bigger ticket items, knowing they have the option to return them if they’re not fully satisfied.” – Jerry Macey National Manager, Retail Industry Business and Private Banking
Intelligent Retail® are a true multichannel company, specializing in POS solutions which are fully integrated into websites, eBay and more. Don’t be left behind in 2016 and contact our team to see how easy it is to be truly multichannel.