Oy vey! As if small retailers don´t have enough to worry about these days, now you also have to consider adding an online store to complement your bricks and mortar store. Is it worth it? Well, the answer to that question probably is best answered by statistics. Thus, here are a few numbers to chew on:
1. Internet buying is on the increase. E-commerce transactions this year are expected to hit $198 billion. By 2010, that number will rise to $316 billion, according to Forrester Research. To be fair to you retailers, however, I should note that the biggest e-commerce sales driver, Forrester says, is travel.
2. People with money are more likely to shop online. Fifty percent of affluent respondents to a survey and 57 percent of highly affluent respondents said they had made an online purchase during the past year, reports Package Facts. Furthermore, the survey found affluent folks more likely to comparison shop online.
3. Men spend more money shopping online per month than women — $204 vs. $186, reports America Online. The expenditures and the margins grow around the holidays, when men plan — by a 15-percent margin — to shop online
4. Finally, research released in March by Kelsey Group and ConStat show that 70 percent of U.S. adults use the Internet as an information source when shopping for products and services locally. That´s up from 60 percent in October 2003.
It´s enough to make you want to find out how much it would cost to design and launch a Web site. Could be you´re leaving money on the table.
Thanks to shop.org of the National Retail Federation for these statistics.
Coming up in Retail Strategies: Words of wisdom for the ages from one of the finest retailers ever.