Shopping online is an industry segment whose growth has exploded faster and at a rate far beyond the scope of what many people thought was possible. Oh, the vision was there in the 1980’s__the vision to be able to sit at home and comparison shop for all your wants and needs, to find the best prices without going from store to store, saving time, gasoline and money— but, alas, technology did not allow it until modems and Internet transfer speeds rocketed over the past 10 years.
Fast forward through 5-6 years of rapid technological advances, and the Internet was fast becoming part of our world. More homes had computers. A new generation was “tech savvy.” People had discovered the ease of shopping for and booking travel online. That segment exploded from 3% in 2001 to 95% in 2010..
Pretty soon a number of retail stores saw what was happening in the travel industry and began opening their own sites with limited, usually higher-priced items. Few people really shopped online unless they were home-bound or lived in remote areas. Some online specialty stores began to pop up, as did a few online-only insurance companies.–Hearken back to the days of the Sears catalog, the Fuller Brush man and some other home-based multi-level soap, potions, cosmetics and vitamin sales people. So, now you know how we all got to this point.
What IS “this point?”
We are witnessing an unprecedented industry growth explosion.
- In 2009, out of the $$$ trillion spent on total retail shopping, only 3% was done online.
- In the first 9 months of 2010 it had grown another percent.
- In 2010, “Black Friday,” the Friday after Thanksgiving in the US, and on “Cyber Monday,” the following Monday, online retail sales were up 20% over the same weekend in 2009.
- “Black Friday” saw over $600,000,000 in ONLINE retail sales
- “Cyber Monday” cracked the $1 Billion mark for the first time in history, and that was during the worst recession and highest unemployment this country has seen in 75 years!
- In January of 2011, one online shopping mall had increased its revenue by over 250% of ALL of 2010
Guess what’s happening?
- The price of gasoline is skyrocketing.
- Busy people don’t have the time or energy to trek through stores.
- Many people’s incomes have shrunk due to layoffs and reduction in their work hours, and so…
- The Recession has created an impetus to save as much money as possible, so…
- More and more people shop online because they have discovered it is a good way to save time, energy, money and gas.
Can you see the correlation between what happened in the travel industry, and what is happening now in the retail shopping sector? People are becoming more and more comfortable with online payment options, and with searching for what they want. And the online retailers are more than happy to provide the “real estate” for them to shop online with much lower overhead than their traditional stores.
Online shopping has truly become a 21st century phenomenon– an unprecedented industry growth explosion an industry segment that barely existed 10 years earlier.