Big eCommerce sales growth in Q3 2013
With the economy on the mend and many consumers becoming slightly less budget-conscious, savvy retailers are the benefactors. People are spending more and retailers offering relevant products to their target audience are gaining a significant slice of that pie.
Although retail sales across the board have surged significantly, eCommerce in particular is driving a good chunk of the growth. ComScore recently released the latest sales estimates for the third quarter of 2013 and the measurement firm reported yet another quarter of double-digit growth. People spent more than $47.5 billion at digital store fronts – a 13 percent year-over-year growth that marks the 16th consecutive quarter of growth and the 12th consecutive quarter of expansion.
With approximately four years of quarter-over-quarter increases, the results of the comScore study may not shock many merchants.
However, what may be noteworthy is the fact that mobile commerce has grown so rapidly. Merchants rang up $5.8 billion worth of transactions from people shopping on their smartphones in the third quarter, which is roughly 25 percent higher than the second quarter of this year.
At this point, mobile commerce accounts for only roughly 10 percent of total eCommerce sales, but at the rate of which it’s growing, it could soon rival traditional desktop-based eCommerce. This should highlight the importance of utilizing eCommerce software to help serve both conventional desktop users as well as smartphone and tablet shoppers.
“Third quarter eCommerce spending grew 13 percent from a year ago, and although that marks a pretty healthy growth rate, it also represents a slight deceleration from the prior quarter,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. Overall, eCommerce accounted for nearly 10 percent of consumers’ discretionary spending budgets, which is the highest third quarter share on comScore’s record.
Preparing for an eCommerce boom during the holiday season
For retailers, particularly those who rely on digital storefronts to earn the bulk of their money, the continued growth of eCommerce is a great sign. Although comScore expects digital sales growth to not be quite as massive this holiday season, it will still play a big part in any consumers’ holiday shopping plans. Online shopping is fast and convenient, which makes eCommerce stores the go-to destination for many busy Americans during the holiday.
With customer traffic reaching all-time highs during the holiday season, it’s critical that merchants get their multichannel platforms ready for the rush.
Many businesses are still lagging behind in terms of mobile integration in particular. Recent reports from Radwire and The Search Agency, for example, found that some retailers are using their desktop websites as their default mobile pages, resulting in consumers having to wait more than 10 seconds for the storefront to load.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Mobile can be used for other functions as well, such as in-store price comparisons or ordering online to pick up at the actual store. To maximize the customer shopping experience, merchants should be looking to fully embrace mobile this holiday season.
Here are few tips on how to embrace mobile and improve the omnichannel shopping experience your customer are expecting:
1. Make sure your site has responsive design – this will ensure the most efficient and user-friendly shopping experience regardless of how your customers are shopping (tablet, mobile, desktop)
2. Make sure your inventory is synced in real-time across all of your sales channels and platforms.
3. Consolidate your sales channels to improve customer service, order delivery and give your marketing team data on valuable buying trends.