A recent study from SLI Systems and reported by eMarketer revealed new and not so new information regarding online retailers.
Before we go there though the following chart shows just how robust online retail commerce was this holiday season as reported by comScore.
Impressive to say the least. Online retail commerce for the holidays is looking very strong with double digit growth year over year. It’s not likely that this is new spending but rather people getting more and more comfortable with the online shopping experience and simply doing more shopping with their computers and less with their cars and feet.
With this shift being more and more prevalent, online retailers are not resting on their laurels but rather looking for ways to improve moving forward. Not surprisingly they are most interested in more conversions and more traffic. That makes sense and the SLI study showed this.
Perhaps the most telling part of this data comes from this chart which shows areas where online retailers want to concentrate on in 2013. If they are looking to improve traffic and get more conversions it looks like retailer are getting the content marketing message. Non-product content is something you wouldn’t necessarily expect from product focused retailers but they are seeing that the more people know the more likely they are to buy. Give them the ‘why’ of owing a product rather the ‘how’ of simply buying it and you get, waa-laa!, conversions.
Even more striking is that these retailers who traditionally (at least as traditionally as an Internet retailer can get in a few short years) have focused on product with photos and sales and whatever else was more ‘shiny object’ selling are looking to helping customers with deeper content. That includes “How-to’s” and video in increasing numbers.
No matter what you are selling in the world the best way to sell it is to show how it impacts someone’s life. Just blathering on about features doesn’t serve much. Talking about the application of the product is where the true value lies.
As online retailers get this more and more there will be even more growth in the online space for retail. Look, if I don’t have to go out and fight the crowds, can avoid the ugliness of shopping this time of year AND feel like I am making a good buying decision online then what’s not to like?