The U S Department of Commerce tracks online buying as closely as in-store buying. Online grew 18.4% in the second quarter of 2013 over the same period in 2012. Impressive. But in gross volume, online remains pretty minor: $64.8 billion out of $1.126 trillion. In other words, only 5.8% of all US retail sales occurred online.
The growth trajectory of online over the past decade has been steady but it won’t end in-store retailing. In fact, there are 1.1 million retailers in the US today; there were 1.027 million in 2003. Online isn’t killing in-store; online is making in-store better as shoppers have better access to more information so they can make better purchase decisions.
We are seeing the rise of the omnichannel shopper as people use more and better resources to research, find, comparison shop and purchase goods from diapers and detergent to diamonds and Dodges.
The retail environments industry remains strong because (a) people still like shopping in stores and (b) retailers compete more ferociously than ever to win business from savvy customers. The strong get stronger while the weak cease to exist. Just as with online resources, the best retailers make use of all of the tools at their disposal: in-store, online, catalog, advertising, couponing, promotion, sampling, etc. Oh, and products their customers want to buy at prices they’re willing to pay.
Posted on 11/12/2013 at 7:00:00 PM