Last week, we discussed the foundations of the e-commerce wizard Amazon, what it was in the beginning, and all that it has become in its 23 years of existence. Amazon has provided anything but a shortage to change in the way that commerce takes place today. Whether looking at how the company has changed the game in terms of online selling or selling in general, Amazon has made quite an impact on all things buying and selling. While the powerhouse has affected the scope of selling at large, it does it through a digital online selling platform, which could speak deeply to the success of the company. This week, we follow up our talk about Amazon and look at the trends of online selling that correspond with the brand.
History of Online Shopping Use
Shopping in order to obtain our regular necessities has been a notion for sometime now. Introduce the internet, a platform where any place, whether near or far, is close within reach, into the shopping mix, and you have quite the powerful tool. Amazon harnessed this power when it began selling in 1994 and has been attributing it to its great success since. To look back the entirety of time that Amazon has existed would obviously show big changes in online shopping trends, but even to just trace back to a decade ago would still show staggering differences even in that mere stretch of time.
“North American electronics and general merchandise retail sales for the company have grown from a mere 2% of total general merchandise retail sales in 2006 to more than 60% in 2016. Similarly over the past 10 years, this category of Amazon sales has increased from a little over 7% of e-commerce retail sales to more than 66%. And the growth is accelerating. Last year alone, this segment saw a 28% jump in sales compared to 2015.” (Investopedia)
Based on this information, it is safe to say that online sales in general have been making a big jump towards become a primary method of shopping. Furthermore, there is a positive correlation with increase in Amazon sales, meaning that Amazon as well as online sales are on the up-and-up.
While online sales gain momentum, selling is still not limited to only that medium. Brick-and-mortar sales are still a force to be reckoned with, and they are still taking the cake over online sales for the time being. Currently, 94% of sales are still being made by brick-and-mortar establishments (Retail Next). Relative to amount of sales being made, brick-and-mortar also rakes in the majority of value as well. Online sales generate $294 billion annually, but brick-and-mortar generates a whopping $3.9 trillion in sales value (Retail Next). Although the immediate state of selling favors brick-and-mortar, online sales are continuing to work their way into being at level playing ground, as sales are projected to increase by a 17% annual rate (Retail Next).
Future of Online Shopping Use
Think about the things that we buy in our lives, whether it be the big, occasional purchases, or even something along the lines of our typical everyday purchases. More and more, we are currently seeing a shift taking place regarding the mediums through which we buy the things we do. While people may be used to buying things, gadgets, books, etc online, you can buy some pretty out-there stuff now that you may have never considered being possibly available for online purchase. Consider some of your more regular purchases as well as some of your more expensive home purchases, because, either of these fields of necessity can be fulfilled online.
Probably about once a week, maybe even more, you go to the local market, deal with the chaotic parking lot situation, weave in and out of a busy crowd of people, and wait in line to ensure that your home grocery inventory is stocked. But, now online grocery sales are a new route one can take, and it is becoming more and more popular quickly! Since 2012, just a half decade ago, online grocery sales have increased from $6 billion to $14.2 billion, over 100% increase (Statista). Take into account the fact that roughly 12% of income is being put towards groceries(BLS.gov), and you see the magnitude of this shift.
So, as stated, your regular purchases such as groceries are now an online capability, but what about your bigger investments like, say, furniture? Yes, even your big ticket items can be obtained online nowadays. In 2004, 93.4% of furniture sales were conducted in brick-and-mortar stores, with only 3.2% online. A decade and change later, we see 82.9% of furniture sales being conducted in store, with a higher 15.3% being done online (Furniture Core). Online furniture sales have been increasing and will continue to increase from here. Essentially, the takeaway here is that online shopping is becoming, not only more prevalent, but more adaptable to any needs a consumer may have, from big yet less frequent purchases all the way to regular and recurring purchases. Online is finally beginning to cover all the bases that only brick-and-mortar has managed for so long!
Additional Online Incentives
Online shopping is more of standard today, providing the convenience of buying anything from anywhere at anytime. This alone would seem like incentive enough to buy online, but there is still more factored into the mix. One way that the online selling approach has changed is what it ultimately does to the costs associated with buying and selling. Without the need for overhead costs of working within a brick-and-mortar setup, a seller saves a lot on their operation expenses. This translates to what buyers can expect as a means to save money themselves when buying through these online companies. Roughly 71% of shoppers, based on these notions, are compelled to shop online due to the belief that they will find better prices (Selz). Between the convenience of shopping online and its corresponding value for customers, it is becoming ever more prominent.
In conclusion, buying and selling have been necessary processes of our lives for some time. With the growth of popularity for the internet, these old processes are being given a fresh approach through online selling, and with big names like Amazon running the e-commerce game, online selling will only grow to be more of the standard for commerce in general. As a seller, to educate oneself about online selling and apply it in your own business plan is a recipe for success. To learn more about Amazon, online selling, and the synonymy between the two, contact Grey Suit Retail today!