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Category Archives: future of ecommerce

The Death of Brick-and-Mortar Retail: Ecommerce Numbers Continue to Grow

Major changes are taking place in the retail industry – Brick and mortar retail stores are “crumbling” while ecommerce sales are booming for online retailers!

By: Catherine Perry

So far this year we have seen many big retailers close stores and even file for bankruptcy. One might call this the “death of brick-and-mortar retail”. In the July 14, 2017 “RIP Retail,” article on foxbusiness.com “19 retailers are cited to close hundreds of stores in 2017.” Such stores as JC Penney, Gymboree, Macy’s, Payless, Radio Shack, BeBe, BCBG, Rue 21, American Apparel, Sears and Kmart are hitting tough times and doing everything in their power to stay in business. Some of these retailers have been operating 50+ years. And, one analyst, Burt Flickinger, goes so far as to name this as a “retail ice age.”
So, it seems to be a time of shifting sands in the retail industry. Are we witnessing the beginning stages of the death of brick-and-mortar (BAM) retail?
Periodically, we like to revisit the statistics for the ecommerce industry and see how it is comparing to traditional BAM retail. Last year we published actual growth numbers in the following blog posts:
Let’s see what has happened this year for ecommerce. Has it continued to grow? Is it still outpacing BAM retail?

Latest Statistics

One of the most thorough reports containing quarterly ecommerce sales estimates is created by the U.S. Census Bureau News. The report dated May 16, 2017 contains the numbers for 1st quarter, 2017 and is the latest report available. Based on the information in this report, 1st quarter 2017 saw a 4.7% increase over 4th quarter 2016 in ecommerce sales with a total of $98.06 billion in sales for online retail. That, my friends, is just in one quarter, and a holiday season to boot! And, year over year, from 1st quarter 2016 to 1st quarter 2017, ecommerce gained 14.8% in sales! Compare this with a total retail sales growth of only 5.1% from 1st quarter 2016 to 1st quarter 2017. “E-commerce sales in the first quarter of 2017 accounted for 8.5 percent of total sales.”
We think these numbers are proof that ecommerce continues to grow as a consumer preference over purchasing from BAM retailers.
In the article “Why Consumers Prefer to Shop for Nearly All Products Online” on retaildive.com, the author states “Consumers have spoken, and they say they’re more likely to shop for almost all types of products online instead of in stores.” This assertion is based on Retail Dive’s Consumer Survey of  1,425 consumers regarding the types of product categories they prefer to shop for in stores rather than online; only household essentials like groceries took the lead for BAM.
This echoes the findings in a recent study by Deloitte Consulting that shows “digital devices influencing 56 cents of every dollar spent in physical stores,” meaning that research and comparison shopping are also involved in the shopping experience, not only the actual purchase.

Reasons for Growth

The reasons people are shopping online haven’t changed, they are only gaining momentum. The use of mobile devices, the convenience factor, customer service and social media continue to be primary reasons why people are shopping online. As this article states on techcrunch.com, “79% of American consumers say that cost is now a larger reason for shopping online than the convenience factor.” The ability to shop with online coupons and discount codes is a huge benefit for ecommerce purchasers.
But, note that ecommerce consumers say the convenience of using their mobile devices is still a huge reason for shopping online. Being able to shop anytime and anywhere, compare prices, see consumer reviews, return merchandise easily, and avoid crowds are paramount in the increasing numbers for ecommerce. This data from Invespcro.com you can see the increase in the use of mobile devices to shop at online stores:

And, let’s not forget that social media continues to be a major influencer in ecommerce. As users of social media grow, so does the power of advertising on that social media. Nielson has “reported that nearly 70% of adults who partake in social media buy products or services digitally.” That is a very big number!
This growth is across all demographics and genders. Yes, the millennials seem to be leading the charge, but even the baby boomers are jumping on the ecommerce bandwagon. We don’t know for sure if we’re seeing the beginning stages of the death of brick-and-mortar retail. But, one thing is certain, ecommerce is growing and there isn’t any slowing in the foreseeable future!

It’s an Exciting Time in Ecommerce

From the statistics and data we’ve discussed with you above you can see it’s an exciting time to be in the ecommerce industry. That’s why we encourage you to find out more about the ecommerce industry. If you’ve ever considered starting your own online business, it’s a great time to explore your options. At Pure-Ecommerce we offer our clients two ways to get started in the ecommerce industry through our ready-made internet business or by going the custom website design route. Want to learn more about our company and what we have to offer you, submit your inquiry today by going here – https://pure-ecommerce.com/internet-business-information. We’ll send you our complete information package to help you get started!

Ecommerce is Outpacing Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

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The proof is in the numbers – Consumers prefer to shop with ecommerce retailers versus in brick and mortar stores!

By: Catherine Perry

Here’s a question for you—who likes to go to a mall? We don’t mean just during the holiday season—we know you probably hate that, with the parking issues and crowds. No, we mean anytime. You’re very busy taking care of your family and your life, right? Especially if your children are of the age to still be at home. And, even if you’re retired, you may go to the mall to walk, but do you go to the mall to shop? The majority of us just don’t have the time to stroll through the mall and shop. Gone are the days where the mall was a source of entertainment, as it was in the first few decades of its existence.
Yes, folks, today more and more of us are shopping online from either our computers or mobile devices. In fact, ecommerce retail spending growth is outpacing traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. And, this is not a trend that is going to go away. Shopping online is quick and it’s accessible wherever we are, so it’s convenient. OK, maybe we’ll go to a brick-and-mortar (BAM) location after doing our research online. Sometimes we just want to see and touch and try on before we make the purchase. But, often now we’ll go back to our computer or mobile device to actually make the purchase, especially if there are special deals and discounts online.

The Facts of Ecommerce Strong Growth

Statistics back us up that ecommerce retail is outpacing brick-and-mortar retailers in growth. InternetRetailer.com cites the U.S. Department of Commerce in comparing year-over-year growth from the first quarter, 2015 through first quarter, 2016. They looked at the the following…..
  1. Total retail
  2. Web-only (also known as “non-store”)
  3. Ecommerce sales
They concluded by saying, “Total retail sales increased a relatively healthy 2.5% in May compared with May 2015, and non-store sales increased 12.2%.” They go further to say that non-store growth in May, 2016 was the fastest of any month so far in 2016. Just in the first quarter of 2016 e-commerce grew 15.2%!
In a U.S. Census Bureau News data report for May, 2016 we find that total retail sales for the first quarter of 2016 saw a decrease of 0.2% from the 4th quarter of 2015. However, “the first quarter 2016 e-commerce estimate increased 15.2 percent (±1.8%) from the first quarter of 2015 while total retail sales increased 2.2 percent (±0.4%) in the same period. E-commerce sales in the first quarter of 2016 accounted for 7.8 percent of total sales.”
OK, we know this is dry reading, but we want to give you the statistical facts to back us up when we tell you that ecommerce growth is outpacing brick-and-mortar retail. The growth in ecommerce is happening NOW! Ecommerce has been growing for the last decade and, based on these statistics, it isn’t slowing down.

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Mobile Devices are Prevalent

We think this year will be even stronger. Why? Because more and more people are shopping online using both their computers and also their mobile devices. The mobile device, as a way to shop and purchase online, is growing exponentially.
InternetRetailer.com has this to say about people using mobile devices to shop:
“In the new mobile economy, many U.S. consumers’ home desktop PCs are fossils gathering dust as these consumers rely almost entirely on smartphones and tablets to access the Internet. In fact, 10% of U.S. Internet users only access the Internet on mobile devices, according to new January 2015 data from comScore Inc., an Internet and mobile measurement firm. And there are more mobile-only shoppers than mobile-only Internet users: 13% of Internet users accessing retail destinations (sites and apps) only use mobile devices to do so, comScore finds.”
We think these are compelling numbers. If you want to pursue a business that is part of one of the strongest trends since the Industrial Revolution, ecommerce is it!

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Get Ready for the Holiday Shopping Season
Now, let’s talk about the holiday season. We’re halfway through the year (we know, it’s hard to believe).If you are a retailer, this is the time to think about the holidays. Statistics from the holiday season of 2015 showed huge increases in ecommerce sales. If you’re an ecommerce owner or are considering becoming one, now is the time to get ready for the holiday season. Get your inventory and products ready. Get your marketing campaigns ready. Get your social media posts ready.

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So, if you’re considering becoming an ecommerce business owner to be a part of this huge growth in our retail economy, now is the time to start! You have several months to prepare your website for the holiday shopping season. Look at these statistics and do your research. Let Pure-Ecommerce help you to get started!

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