eCommerce - Insights from device usage on online retail sites

eCommerce - Insights from device usage on online retail sites

Statistic: Retail website visit duration worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2017, by device (in minutes) style=

It is no surprise that people are spending more time online on retail websites. eCommerce is booming and per eMarketer, the global eCommerce industry is poised to grow from $2.2 Trillion in 2017, to $4.4 trillion in 2021.

2x growth in 4 years.

Not bad.

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So what is interesting?

Besides the growth parameter

eCommerce will only grow by 5% in contribution to total global retail sales by 2021. Which means a stunning 85% of retail will still happen offline

  • Food for thought
    • Does every retail innovation thereby, need to be in eCommerce?
    • Is there more opportunity in digitisation of physical retail store experiences or looking at retail opportunities within peer-to-peer services

Time spent by people on online retail sites is distributed evenly among smartphones, tablets and desktops - with desktops sandwiched right between tablets and smartphones

  • Food for thought
    • When it comes to eCommerce; customers experience content on mobile devices and drive purchase on desktops. Size matters and experience differs by screen real estate
    • The commonly held belief that desktop usage is waning, is not quite true 
    • There is a need to constantly evolve and drive a differentiated customer experience across device type

eCommerce browsing is more of a leisure activity (aligned to killing time). Tactics like gamification, personalisation, driving of FOMO and creating perceived value (flash sales) will only help to feed this habit

  • Food for thought
    • Ability to allow customers to horde/save virtual products (which they wish to buy but are not ready to buy yet) in a personal private gallery, can give organisations incredible insights into a buyer (wish-list + habits)
    • Align these wish-lists to customer triggers (birthdays/ occasions/ cultural festivals) + wrap it into an offering/sale -  and you have the perfect window for push marketing (which would feel like permission)

We need marketing automation aided by machine learning aligned to an individual customer. Difficult to conceive right now, but we are heading that way. 

  • Food for thought
    • Bots probably won't take all our jobs, but they can easily make this level of scale possible
    • Right now no organisation can afford to hire the number of  marketing automation and supply chain hires required who can drive segmentation, email marketing and fulfilment at this scale

Whichever retail business you conceive of, sales cycles are seasonal with Q2 and Q3 being the toughest quarters. Quite aligned to how we mentally proceed with our jobs at our workplaces

  • Food for thought
    • Q2 and Q3 are the tough quarters for employees as well. The mundane quarters. The ones where we are all going through the motions. Hunkering down. Delivering to plan
    • Q4 brings the relief of an end while Q1 ushers the promise of new beginnings
    • Aligned to these emotional triggers are aligned our purchase behaviours as well

Want trumps need when it comes to growth and margins

  • Food for thought
    • Customers almost always spend more on items they "want" to buy than on items they "need" to buy (especially in consumer retail)
    •  Consumers "want" to buy things, when they "can". It has very little to do with solving any "actual" problem. More to do with "perceived" benefit
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