According to Google, online sales currently represent 9% of all retail sales, and are expected to represent 11% of all retail sales in the US by 2014. Sales are up from 8% in 2009 and predicted to grow even larger in the upcoming holiday season.
“The role of the internet will continue to grow for consumers and retailers, as consumers continue to understand the value of finding information about their purchases online,” says Google retail.
The internet success of the likes of net-a-porter, mywardrobe and notonthehighstreet suggests that even areas of the retail industry – notably high fashion – that were hitherto seen as less vulnerable to the internet revolution, are attracting increasingly significant numbers of buyers who have access to a computer but perhaps lack the time to tramp the streets in search of the perfect outfit. Consumers make purchase decisions based on brands and experiences. For consumers, a website is the portal to the brand. How (device) and where (location) the brand is accessed is a matter of specific need for information at a unique stage in the purchase cycle. The challenge for all retailers is that expectations for a seamless transition throughout the funnel are high and rising. Persistence of experience delights the customer.