E-Commerce Growth Projected at 50% by 2018

What does that mean to IncomeShops Subscribers?

Online consumers will grow to 1.623 billion in 2018 from 1.079 billion in 2013”, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.”  That is a massive increase in overall numbers that is hard to ignore.  Over the next 3 years, online ecommerce consumer growth will grow by 600,000,000 people!  That’s approximately double the size of the entire US population, 5 times the size of the entire UK population and over 20 times the size of the Canadian population.  If the number were “a country”, it would be the third largest behind China and India.

Needless to say, that kind of growth will provide anyone in the e-commerce space a great deal of opportunity.  There are unquestionably however, a number of opportunities that everyone wishing to capitalise on this trend should be prepared to exploit.

  • Not every country is ready to exploit e-commerce growth.  Countries like India and China still lag behind European heavyweights and the US.  Expanding into those countries will require clear market segmentation and understanding.  For example Central and South American regions have some constraints that other parts of the world don’t, particularly, the relatively constrained offline delivery services like the postal service or private couriers.  However, ignoring the growth in these emerging markets would be a mistake.  IncomeShops store owners should use google analytics to track visitor locations.  This is especially true for international IncomeShops subscribers (i.e. those outside the USA and UK).  Tailoring your store and message to the expectations of your customers is important.  
  • Growth will come from developing countries.  Over 40% of global business to consumer e-commerce is expected to come from developing countries, an increase of 10% over 2013.  This means the savvy e-commerce operator will take the time to figure out how to market their product on a global basis, creating social connections, links and know-how to major markets that can be nurtured over the long term. 
  • With increased growth, comes the need to serve customers differently.  IncomeShops storeowners should start to think heavily about exploiting all the features of the system more aggressively.  For example, the system supports embedded video.  In a world with more choices, and more information, consumers are looking for a personal connection to the organizations they buy from.  Video is a great way to accomplish this.  By having your own online reviews, opinions, video blog or useful information, the more of a service you’ll be providing your customers.  And the videos don’t even have to be your own.  Any video source can be linked to an IncomeShops store.  For example, suppose you have an online soccer store, you can link to youtube for “goals of the week”…then reference the footwear being used by some of the goal scorers with links to that product in your store.  Or, have a “fails of the week” section, where you pick your favourite video “fail” from the prior week.  Whatever you do, do it consistently, do it well, and stay within your overall store theme. 
  • Storytelling becomes more important. Consumers love stories.  They like to know the story behind you, your store, your products and the things they buy.  And while we understand that it would be tough to come up with a story about a $3.00 hairbrush, consumers might relate to a story about how your enterprising partner used a similar hairbrush to fend off a rabid squirrel while you were out camping.  Okay, that may be a lame example, but get creative.  Put some personality into your stores and do so with an eye to a capturing a global audience (but mostly to your own target audience).  
  • Continually evaluate and revalidate your niche.  With the world’s ecommerce consumer base rising, trends are bound to come and go.  Your ability to stay atop these trends will play a large part in your ability to attract, engage and sustain customer relationships.  There are several ways to do this, including online surveys, contacting customers who subscribe to your newsletter or even looking for offline trends.  Regardless of whether you’re selling perfumes, sports equipment, apparel, or specialty items, having a keen pulse on your customers is important.  Use your knowledge to find unique products that show you know what they’re interested in.  Continually review your store and make sure you’re adjusting it to the items that your customers show the most interest in. 

With over 600,000,000 people coming into the e-commerce world over the next few years, IncomeShops store owners are well positioned to exploit this growth, but remember, like any other business, IncomeShops stores require the right strategy, tactics and appropriate effort.