Merrick, NY--In the 2016 holiday season, both shoppers and sellers seemed to have turned an online corner, whether we wanted to or not.
Perhaps you read this article last year, The E-Commerce Tsunami is Coming, Are You Ready?, by Shane O’Neill at Fruchtman Marketing. He ends the article by saying that the water is receding but the tsunami hasn’t hit yet.
Are you sure that’s still true?
2017 saw many advances in e-commerce education throughout the industry. Some were in small doses, a seminar here, an article there. One big dose was the 25 IN 5 E-Commerce Conference, sponsored by Centurion Jewelry and INSTORE magazine. It was a full-day conference exploring all facets of e-commerce for jewelers. Yes, e-commerce just for jewelers.
Fast forward through the 2016 holiday season and take a look at the numbers:
E-Commerce Spending On Black Friday Tops $1B For The First Time. “Online sales were up 26% from last year” (TechCrunch)
E-Commerce Gains Leave Retail Store in the Cold. "However, store sales continued to be impacted by changing customer behavior." (RapNet)
Online Shopping Grows Robustly During The Holiday Season. "The strong growth in online spending reflects a long-term shift in which shoppers are choosing the convenience of swiping, tapping and clicking over a trip to the mall.” (Washington Post)
Holiday E-Commerce Sales Slight Beat Expectations. "We saw strong mobile commerce spending in November, with mobile’s share of total e-commerce coming in well ahead of the 20% mark it reached in Q3." (InternetRetailer)
Not Having E-Commerce Hurts Jewelers' Brick And Mortar Sales And Helps Gray Marketers (L2 ThinkTank as reported in The Centurion Newsletter)
US Shoppers Spent A Record $1B Via Mobile On Black Friday. “More U.S. shoppers are rushing to their phones and tablets rather than to physical stores on Black Friday than ever before.” (Forbes)
The important part of that last story is “Via Mobile.” Yes, shoppers are taking to their phone and tablets; devices they have with them all the time.
Scary, isn’t it? Think about how your personal (or corporate) shopping has changed. Many of us order things online that we thought we would only buy in person. What’s the biggest amount you spent online last year? The smallest? Our buying patterns are changing, and so must our selling patterns.
For many jewelers, the rapid pace of change has left many with basic websites and not much in online sales due to lack of e-commerce infrastructure. Read more about that here.
So, what’s the first step in becoming competitive online for 2017? First updating your website, then a commerce presence with plenty of choices under $500 to start. Your website builder can likely help and there are many qualified companies in the industry as well. If you are a ‘do-it-yourselfer’ there’s plenty of no cost online education out there.
We’ll be exploring some expert views on this subject over the coming weeks to help get you jump started. Also consider checking out the ongoing 25 IN 5 Newsletter and watching the speaker videos to learn more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Make 2017 the year your business succeeds online.