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How Big Will E-commerce Be in 2015?

How big will e-commerce be in 2015?Saw some crazy stats from Marketing Charts about how big e-commerce will be in 2015:

  • E-commerce grew to 5.9% of retail sales in 2014
  • E-commerce will grow almost 21% and comprise 6.7% of retail sales in 2015
  • E-commerce will reach almost 9% of retail sales by 2018

To which I say, “Horse crap.”

My issue of course, is not with these numbers; I’m sure they’re fine. It’s with how they’ve defined “e-commerce.”

E-commerce isn’t when a customer pulls out their credit card, types in their information, and clicks “Buy.” Instead, it’s the whole process by which your customers research and discover and browse and buy today.

When your customer uses her mobile phone to search for nearby stores while picking up her daughter from soccer practice, that’s e-commerce. When a potential diner reads reviews about your restaurant (and your competitors) on Yelp while standing on a busy city street, that’s e-commerce. And, yes, when she checks prices while standing in your store aisles, that’s e-commerce too.

I highlighted this research from eMarketer a couple weeks ago:

“In a March 2014 survey conducted by Nielsen for xAd and Telmetrics, between 70% and 80% of US smartphone or tablet users said they had completed or would soon complete a purchase related to their smartphone search. The study also found that more than 40% of consumers considered a smartphone or tablet their most important media resource for a purchase decision.”

“70% to 80% of US smartphone/tablet users said they had completed or would soon complete a purchase related to their smartphone research.” By the way, those numbers are from March of last year. Anyone think they’ve gotten smaller in the last nine months? And it seems they’re slightly larger than the 5% to 9% often reported.

It’s 2015 Big Thinkers. How big will e-commerce be? As this data shows, it’s all e-commerce.

If you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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