Here are the sound bites: Online retailing only set to grow. Free shipping is here to stay. Privacy is on consumer's minds. Commentary from other shopper are influencing spending.
Global Summit Update | Shop.org BlogScott Silverman, executive director of co-organiser Shop.org and chairman of the first day, also showed staggering figures and predictions for the US market: 117 billion USD in 2007, 334 billion USD in 2012. But what are some of the US trends that are shaping US online retail?
Growth of the market
Scott talked about 5 trends that are shaping US online retail. He talked about the growth of the US market and pointed out to a 21% growth in 2007, 17% in 2008, 15.2% in 2009 and ultimately a 11.2% growth in 2012. By now the online penetration is significant in many categories: 8 retail categories like computers, books, dvd’s, consumer electronics, baby products show an online penetration of 20% or higher!
Impact of financial crises
On the impact of the financial crises on online retail, Scott’s comment was: the online market is not immune for the financial crises, but it is resilient.
Scott also talked about on old American tradition: free shipping to consumers! Amazon started this tradition back in 2004. Nowadays free shipping is offered to consumers by 8 out of 10 retailers and obviously, consumers love it. Research shows that consumers value free shipping as an unique selling point and three of the top 8 favorite online retail promotions involve ‘paying less for shipping’.
Social media is going to change the online landscape, Scott pointed out. Monica Luechtefeld, vice president of 5 billion corporation Office Depot, first key note speaker, talked about the upcoming challenges of social media. Back in 1994 we said: ‘The internet will change everything’. Social media is now about to change the online market, even though nobody nows for sure who and with what technology will ultimately will become the dominant players and the new Google. Social media is about social networking, where ages 17-25 are the target for now. . the past was about pull, the future will be about push. Social media will start at consumers, then small business and finally to corporate business.
Luechtefeld also talked about privacy as one of the 6 US online retail trends. While 7 out of 10 consumers express concern about privacy, only 4 out of 10 bother to read the privacy statements, according to Luechtefeld… It is a privacy dilemma: on the one hand there are privacy concerns, on the other hand consumers are willing to provide various forms of information in exchange for something as modest a $50 - $100 sweepstake entry.