Will this Holiday Season Be the Biggest Ever for Ecommerce?
The holidays are a time when business owners are often at their most busy, as commerce picks up and many Americans spend the most that they will spend all year. While this trend hasn’t changed for years, the ways that people are shopping for goods and services have been, to the point that this year might very well be the biggest year for E-commerce to date. Last year, holiday spending via desktop e-commerce clocked in at a record $46.5 billion dollars, representing a 10% growth over 2012, with the biggest percentage growth being a 21% increase in the amount spent on Thanksgiving day from 2012 to 2013. Additionally, last year had a few extra challenges that made it less of a number posting year, for one thing because of a smaller number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, for another because of the icy polar vortex and reduced discretionary income among many consumers. In the face of these challenges, the growth numbers posted for online retail seem to indicate that this year things will continue to follow suit, making a strong e-commerce site into a tool that small business owners can’t afford to ignore.
Prepare your business to take part in the season by optimizing your site and creating strategies to maximize sales volume. In an article from Entrepreneur.com on how businesses can compete with power-player amazon.com in the digital retail space, Matt Winn suggests playing up a business’s small size and culture in order to win more loyalty and repeated spending from customers, but warns in turn of the dangers of slicing profit margins too thin in a bid to compete with the low prices of online retail giants. The secret to small business competitiveness is offering a part of your personality along with your brand in order to deliver a personal experience to your clients that they wouldn’t be able to find from a corporate retailer. When you are offering something more than just goods, that is what will keep your customers coming back despite the siren call of lower prices coming from major corporate retailers.
Photo Credit to Jorge Franganillo on Flickr