Take a moment to consider how much time you spend on the Internet during an average day. When was the last time you purchased a product with the help of an online portal? The chances are high that you now rely upon such portals due to their convenience as well as the sheer variety of products to access with the click of a button. You are certainly not alone. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics have shown that online retail sales now comprise nearly 20 per cent of the total marketplace (1). Why is this the case and what can we expect to witness in the coming years?
Clear, convenient and concise
Humans live within an increasingly mobile world. They spend a great deal of time away from home and as a result, the few free hours they can enjoy are quite precious indeed. The average consumer has therefore become accustomed to browsing the Internet for retail goods as opposed to spending time within a physical outlet. This is not saying that the brick-and-mortar sector is dead, but rather that online sales have become incorporated into their ongoing marketing campaigns.
Another major component is the prevalence of mobile phones and tablets. These wireless devices represent a significant market share and their presence is only set to increase. Retail-oriented websites are therefore adapting their services to be fully compatible with mobile-responsive requirements.
Finally, consumers want to experience an effective way to find what they are looking for without having to spend inordinate amounts of time sifting through the flotsam and jetsam associated with complicated portals. Those retail businesses which enjoy success are associated with clean and easily navigable websites; ideal benefits when time is of the essence.
A host of utilities and tools
Although the online retail sector was dominated by major entities such as Amazon and eBay in the past, a growing number of individual entrepreneurs are leveraging the power of this marketplace. It is now possible to employ a website builder so that a professional platform can take shape within hours as opposed to days or even weeks. Major concerns such as inventory tracking and client engagement have been simplified. E-commerce pages have dramatically streamlined the checkout process. Customised templates are able to reinforce bespoke branding and mission statements. Professional help is only moments away if a question arises or should a problem require additional advice.
No longer will individual retailers be “left out in the dark”. The utilities and tools associated with major e-commerce platforms such as Shopify have dramatically lessened the learning curve. Even first-time website owners can access advanced and dynamic tools in no time at all. Ultimately, this trend is a perfect example of how the retail sector is now migrating towards self-service portals and other methods which allow shoppers to encounter their favourite products in a matter of seconds. The digital future looks bright and anyone who is motivated can take full advantage of such a unique scenario.
Sources: 1. https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/retailindustry/timeseries/j4mc/drsi