As we compose this we have just experienced the New Zealand general election and are in the throes of coalition talks between all major New Zealand political parties for the race to, and right to form our next government. The next few weeks are going to be interesting for all of us whilst we wait to see the outcome of the talks and how our record immigration, foreign investment and trade are going to be effected in the short to medium term. The New Zealand dollar has been falling a little over the past few weeks against major currencies which points to the current political uncertainty perhaps having an effect on the falling dollar.
We’ve heard a bit about online shopping in the media lately. You cannot deny that online shopping is trending to become commonplace for consumers, both in New Zealand and overseas. It’s easier than ever for businesses to have a digital presence across a variety of channels. A recent point-of-sale solutions survey of 1,164 U.S. business owners conducted by Square and Mercury Analytics found that:

  • 56% have a physical store
  • 21% have a pop-up store, or pop-up at events
  • 34% sell through their own website (using a website building platform)
  • 25% sell through Facebook (40% on social media as a whole)
  • 16% sell through Amazon (more should, considering almost half of purchases begin here)
  • 22% sell through other marketplaces (including Amazon, Etsy, eBay, etc.)

Launching a webstore is relatively simple, scaling an online business remains extremely difficult – even for the most seasoned e-commerce expert. Ecommerce sales are growing, but many retailers are struggling to capitalise on their digital sales channels. The secret to success in 2017 is no longer just a case of “get it out there and see how it performs”. The most successful retailers are strategic and targeted in their efforts, both offline and on. However, it’s not just about broadcasting on all channels. Effectively targeting a ready-to-buy audience requires solid data and statistics about your customers. That points to who your business should be targeting, on the various online channels, in order to optimise for return on investment and then market to those customers accordingly.
Data gives you a window into what consumers look for in an online shopping experience, showcasing the potential to adapt your e-commerce business to fit the modern shopper. These findings can percolate through every aspect of your business: product pages, emails, content marketing and much more. The Square and Mercury survey also revealed that 51% of Americans prefer to shop online, 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone! E-commerce is growing 23% year-over-year, yet 46% of American small businesses do not have a website and as New Zealand tends to follow US trends, New Zealand companies need to be mindful of offering their products online and marketing effectively to both new and existing customers. With the rumours of Amazon potentially launching in New Zealand after they launch in Australia, online shopping seems set across the globe and business will need to adapt to their customers changing purchasing habits.