Magazine Article | September 24, 2013

E-Commerce — Much More Than Just A Channel

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

By Bob Johns

October 2013 Integrated Solutions For Retailers

E-commerce has become much more than just a channel. It is an integral part of a complete retail business and the fastest-growing part of the business.

No channel of retail is growing faster than e-commerce. But e-commerce is much more than just a website; it is a global influencer of retail sales across all channels. Nowhere is this more evident than in the increased use of smartphones and mobile shopping by consumers. Consumers are changing how they shop and how they prefer to interact with retail brands, and retailers need to pay attention. Retailers’ e-commerce strategies can either enhance this relationship and increase sales, or it can damage that relationship and destroy a brand.

Online customers seem to be generally satisfied with their online shopping experience, according to a recent comScore/UPS study, “Pulse Of The Online Shopper.” The study found overall satisfaction to be high, at 83 percent. However, when you look at a lot of the flexibility options around picking up items at retail locations, choosing delivery dates, and re-routing packages, the satisfaction drops to around 40 percent (see figure below). This all points to e-commerce growth, but that it also needs to be tied to stores and choices.

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