According to a recent survey conducted by 1010data, retail ecommerce sales grew by almost one third during 2015, while in-store sales for most categories have remained relatively flat. Interestingly enough, one of the sectors that has seen significant growth is that of consumer packaged goods, or CPG.
CPG sales grew by 42 per cent year on year, with much of that growth being fuelled by an innovative new idea from Amazon; Subscribe and Save. This feature allows users to make regular orders for goods, saving them time and money and getting the products they need delivered automatically. Apparently, 20 per cent of all growth in the CPG area came from Subscribe and Save.
Amazon’s Subscribe and Save revenue grew by 214 per cent for the 50 CPG categories that were included in the survey. The most popular categories were nappies, coffee and pet food.
A Mature Market
We are now reaching the point where the ecommerce market is maturing. If last year was the year of mobilegeddon, this year is the year in which retailers need to do more than just ‘have a functional site’. Essentials such as reward schemes for regular customers; mobile apps that offer added value for users; sites that integrate with the bricks and mortar store to provide a smooth, friction-free shopping experience; and multi-channel marketing efforts are all vital in 2016.
Rich media is probably going to be big this year too. We finally have sophisticated shopping cart software that is accessible to even smaller retailers, and cloud services for hosting that allow retailers to serve high quality video content in an affordable way – so why not take advantage?
Platforms such as Magento offer easy to use content management; product management and suggestions; customer tracking; and even multi-channel management these days since the stock control features can track both mail order and in-store if this is required. These combine to offer a sophisticated online store platform which gives shoppers the functionality they need, at exactly the time when they need it most.
Online shopping is no longer reserved for the more unusual or expensive of planned purchases. Today, it is something we use as a convenience as much as for a treat. The businesses that understand this, and that work to provide users with a smooth and simple experience, will be those that will come to dominate the market in 2016 and beyond.