No doubt about it, e-commerce continues to grow and while it represents a burgeoning share of total retail sales, there are still significant hurdles to overcome.
“We’re in the midst of a profound structural shift from physical to digital retail,” noted Jeff Jordan of venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz.
eMarketer reported, for instance, that e-commerce growth by quarter was about five times that of store locations in 2013 and 2014.
Yet there are headwinds.
Market research firm Market Track said companies that want to succeed in e-commerce must operate successfully amidst these risk areas that could undermine snaring and retaining customers:
• Volatility – Prices changing with increasing frequency and predictability;
• Non-compliance – Pricing and promoting brands and products outside established guidelines;
• Illegal/illicit activity – Counterfeiting and unauthorized resale;
• Size/scope – More retailers, resellers and products available online than ever before.
JDA Software Group also conducted a survey of more than a thousand online U.S. - based shoppers last year. Of the approximately 35% who bought online and elected to pick up their purchases at a store, about 50% experienced problems in initially getting their purchases. Wayne Usie, a JDA senior VP, said it may suggest that retailers might find it challenging expanding their e-commerce... Read more
In your average e-commerce scenario, an enterprising entrepreneur will pick a small niche of in-demand products that they understand, pop a website out of the ground, and hope that somebody shows up. Now, all the SEO and web development issues aside, successful entry into a market like that isn't easy.
Even if you can find the people who already want your product, put up a few testimonials and reviews, and start making sales, that's really not taking things to the next level, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we are here to do!
Think about the wider application of your product. Not specifically in terms of who is buying your product, but the deeper sense of your product's purpose.
One of my e-commerce shops is a cuckoo clock retailer. We have a lot of useful content on the website, all about antique clock maintenance, horology, and clock design, both modern and antique. Our most popular post, by far, has not been on any of those topics however, it was an infographic about rustic living room decor. Why do you think that was? Marketing can't just be about one aspect of your product. There are a thousand different ways to think about... Read more
Yet again, drones took center stage at CES. The focus this year was to make drones easier to handle for amateurs; Parrot created an automated drone that launches, steers, and lands on its own.
Another interesting invention by Parrot – albeit less glamorous than a drone – is a self-watering pot. An app helps determine what kind of plant is in the pot, and waters accordingly. The app also lets the user know how much light the plant requires, or if it needs to be placed in a warmer spot in the house.
Indeed, home tech seemed to be a major focus. The show featured refrigerators with internal cameras that allow you to access the contents of your fridge remotely, refrigerators that turn transparent with the touch of a button, smart showers that tell you how much water you’re using, a smart-phone controlled nine volt battery for smoke detectors, connected ceiling fans that hook into HomeKit -- the list goes on and on.
Health devices were also a repeating trend from years past. Many improvements were made to existing wearables – they're more sensitive, offer additional features such blood pressure monitoring, and, in one case, offer medical relief: ReliefBand, worn on the wrist,... Read more