Shoppers are increasingly deciding to buy things online. If you think we have a large amount of Internet shopping at the moment, you ain’t seen nothing yet. According to a new report from eMarketer, online shopping in Europe will triple over the next four years.
This study suggests that there is significant potential for anyone running an online business. Clearly, people are deciding to give up trudging up and down the High Street, instead getting what they want online. If you operate a business and have yet to supply your products and services in some online shop, it’s time to act. Service companies clearly need to “productise” their offerings. People want to shop and merely describing your services online is not going to be enough in the changing marketplace.
For instance if you are a consultancy company, you need to turn your advice into books, CDs, DVDs, online membership clubs and so on. People want to shop for such things online and if you are a service based company you will miss out on the growing marketplace unless you do such things.
However, many businesses are reluctant to enter the world of ecommerce because they are persuaded by the notion that online shopping is not secure. Indeed, a recent report suggests that security concerns are preventing people from buying things online.
The study says that online shopping represents only 3% of all retail and that the figure is so low partly because people are so worried about things like losing their credit card details.
So which study do you believe? The study that says online retail is booming, or the other study that says Internet shopping is restricted because of security fears? Well, probably you can believe neither or both. Several billions are spent each year online – clearly people do shop online. But equally, people are clearly concerned about shopping security. So what do you do?
The best thing to do is make sure you get your stuff online, that you offer ecommerce facilities and that if you are a service firm you convert your services to products that people can buy online. But you do all this while confirming to your visitors that your online shop is secure. You need to do this at every stage of the shopping process. People will buy your products online, but you need to help them feel OK about it.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+