Saturday, January 31, 2009

Impact of the internet on Retail

Robert Howard has offered some interesting statistics in an article concerning purchasing on the internet. It appears the source of his statistics is the Pew Internet Project, Forrester Research, Jupiter Research and a Sterling Commerce survey.

Some of the key points in his article are:
1. More customers are going to the internet.
1a. 73% of adult Americans and 87% of teenagers are online today.
1b. 47% of adult Americans have a broadband internet connection at home.

2. More Americans are using the internet to research and shop.
2a. 70% of all online consumers use the internet to research products which translates into 16% of total retail sales.
2b. The trend is forecast to grow at a compounded annual rate of 17% through 2012.
2c. By the end of 2009 41% of all US retail transactions will be influenced by online experiences.

3. Customers' expectations for shopping across multiple channels is increasing.
3a. 85% of adults expect their online service levels to be the same as offline.
3b. 43% Americans identified online information a s the most powerful influencer of their purchase decision.
3c. 80% feel it is important to have a choice of shopping across multiple channels when choosing a retailer.
3d. 90% said it was important to be able to return an item purchased online in a physical store.

The bottom line is the impact of the internet in retail is continuing to grow and retailers must start to see the internet site the same way they see their brick and mortar site. It must be attractive to get the customer inside the site and then it must provide a great customer experience.


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