Shoppers are spending more of
their discretionary budgets online.
Good news for retailers, particularly those with online stores: eCommerce is still growing, with a recent report from comScore suggesting that Web-based retail expenditures rose 12 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014. In total, online shoppers spent more than $56 billion at digital storefronts, with mobile expenditures bringing that figure up to $63.4 billion
Since the end of the economic recession, eCommerce has continually shown strong gains. ComScore has reported double-digit growth for the past 14 consecutive quarters and that trend doesn't seem to slowing, with first quarter growth up one percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013. Gian Fulgoni, comScore's chairman emeritus, pinned the gains to consumers' optimistic outlook on their financial stability, which led many to increase their discretionary spending.
"As we look ahead to the remainder of 2014, we hope that signs of improved consumer sentiment and a strengthening job market will help further bolster digital commerce," Fulgoni added. "In addition, with several key consumer tech product upgrade cycles and new product introductions expected in the back of the year, there would appear to be continued momentum for the market throughout the year barring any unforeseen economic troubles."
Desktop expenditures accounted for nearly 12 percent of consumers' total retail spending, which set a new milestone for shopping allocation in the first quarter. Of the portion of digital dollars spent through mobile devices, 62 percent came from smartphones while 38 percent was spent through tablets.
Capitalizing on growing eCommerce budgets
While the comScore study results are likely nothing surprising for those in the retail sector, they do illuminate the continual growth of eCommerce spending and also illustrate that people are spending more money at online stores, whether it be from mobile devices or desktop computers.
Merchants need to always be on the lookout for ways to improve their broader eCommerce operations. With more shopping dollars being spent digitally, it's more important than ever that retailers offer a competitive omnichannel retailing
experience that gives people the flexibility to shop how they want and when they want; and have lots of options to acquire their purchases (e.g., pick up in store, ship to home, etc.). Whether that means investing more in the technology powering the shopping journey behind the scenes or improving website optimization, the digital shopper needs to be satisfied.
As the saying goes, there is no second chance at making a good first impression, and a lackluster online shopping experience may end up dissuading a prospective loyal customer.