We are now at a point where the growth of new consumers online is going to slow and not be the generator of new business that it was in the past. A new study by eMarketer shows that 92% of North American Internet users have purchases online.
What this means, to us, is that the focus needs to be on Share of Wallet and constantly ensuring we are making it as simple as possible to meet their online shopping needs and expectations.
This will change how you look and market to your customer base. They are comfortable with buying online so we will need to work to enhance the overall customer experience. No longer will it be acceptable to only have a sub-set of products available online, a difficult to use website with an inadequate search or marketing programs that are not engaging the consumer when they are looking for information to complete the purchase.
It will still be a difficult challenge as online penetration in many categories is still low, but the focus needs to be on how do you service the consumer and ensure their online shopping expectations are exceeded. As Canadian online retailers we may be a bit behind the curve as consumers demand for online shopping is most likely further ahead than we are positioned in the marketplace. This negative can be turned to a positive through an enhanced understanding of the customer and using the next year to ensure you are building a web business that is positioned for success in the new market reality.