In recent years, the buyer’s decision-making process has shifted substantially. Before chatting with a salesperson, buyers conduct extensive research online. Purchasers are progressively making more straightforward buys on the web and through their cell phones instead of visiting customary physical stores. According to eMarketer, eCommerce sales increased 16.4% year over year to 262.3 billion dollars in 2013 and are expected to reach 440 billion dollars by 2017. However, the proportion of internet sales to total retail sales remains tiny. Consider this: internet sales account for just 11% of Macy’s total sales. However, that measly 11 % equates to $3.1 billion every year. Brick-and-mortar shops must change as their consumers do in order to get a piece of the pie. Shoppers are delighted to stay at home and study and finish their purchases online as long as the hurdles to online shopping have been removed, such as security concerns, delivery costs, and so on. Many people do not want to go to a store, roam around looking for what they want, and then deal with a cashier to complete the transaction. In fact, according to an eConsultancy poll, 60% of Americans prefer not to purchase in a crowded mall or store, and 51% prefer to shop from the comfort of their own homes. Consider this: in 2014, Black Friday, perhaps the greatest shopping day of the year, roughly 6 million fewer people visited retail stores than in 2013. In 2015, the downward trend was set to continue. People don’t only shop from their homes; they shop from wherever with internet or phone access. Consider that 62% of smartphone users have completed an online transaction using their mobile device in the previous six months. The good news is that you won’t be up against Amazon or other retail behemoths. Using cloud-based systems like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Amazon Webstore and alternative solutions like Magento, ZenCart, Abante Cart, and WordPress plugins, even small businesses can sell online and compete effectively with the retail giants. Getting started online is far more manageable and economical than opening a physical presence, and many manufacturers and distributors make it even simpler by offering services like drop shipping until sales justify investing in your inventory. Payment processors are also making it easier to accept payments by providing more alternatives and reduced rates.
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