As we plunge into 2015, shopping online will continue to outpace traditional retail growth — NZ annual online spending is now equivalent to around 9.5% of traditional retail sales (excluding grocery and liquor).
Good news for online traders, right? Yes, but there’s an elephant in the ether, in the form of international eCommerce.
Take a look at the latest stats, from BNZ/Marketview (October 2014):
As the charts above clearly indicate, more and more Kiwis are choosing to shop online at international merchants, and it’s a trend that seems to be accelerating.
Domestic online sales are still in the majority, but that’s unlikely to remain the case for much longer. As the graph below shows, international purchases now account for 43% of online sales.
If the current international growth rates continue, we can expect international online purchases to be greater than domestic online within two years.
So where’s the money going? BNZ/Marketview helpfully provides a breakdown by industry sector:
Of even greater interest: how spending patterns have changed over the last 12 months. Most notable: the dramatic decline in expenditure on daily deals, as consumers grow weary of being bombarded with constant email exhortations to save money by spending.
Another trend which has become evident in 2014 and which will simply swell in importance in 2015: shopping by smartphone. A pre-Christmas survey commissioned by new Kiwi shopping site and app SellShed found that one in three Kiwis (35%) were planning to use their smartphone to find presents for friends and family, avoiding Christmas queues in favour of convenience.
Other eCommerce trends of note, from a bevvy of industry experts (as reported by Ometria):
- Pia Stanchina – Industry Manager, Fashion at Google: “We forecast that 50% of UK retail-related queries will come from smartphones this Christmas, which is testament to the transition from the desktop era to the mobile era.”
- Drew Sanocki – Ecommerce consultant, drewsanocki.com: “I think the biggest thing is segmentation and targeting. I’m consistently surprised at the number (and size) of retailers that I work with that aren’t implementing even a basic level of segmentation and target to 1) identify their best customers and 2) treat them well.”
- Alicia Navarro – CEO, Skimlinks: “I’m excited about Apple Pay and the future of payments on mobile devices. The easier it will be to transact on mobile (and to track sales accurately) the more the advertising and affiliate markets will expand, which benefits publishers, advertisers and ultimately users.”
- Ashleigh Tennent – Marketing and Customer Experience Director, Wool and the Gang: “Opportunity lies in storytelling, not by the brand, but by its community. Smart brands will get their customers to create incredible content – that’s far more believable and real. Over time you’ll find that the content that converts at the highest rate will be created from within your own community.”
- Michel Koch – Ecommerce Director UK and International, Maplin Electronics: “Here are the three top opportunities for ecommerce marketers, in order of importance:
– embracing multi-touchpoint analytics and attribution modeling to improve campaign efficiency, by identifying the best performing journeys across channels and devices and the right timing to push the right message to the right customer.
– leveraging mobile in a multichannel environment, providing customers with timely information and services wherever they are (home, stores, on the go).
– leveraging the power of video (product and how to videos) and user generated content (photo and video curations) to differentiate the brand and increase visibility across channels and devices as well as improve conversion.”
If eCommerce is going to be important to you in 2015, we really have no choice except to recommend that you check out our Mastering eCommerce course (especially because you can enjoy a $200 discount if you sign up by December 21).