Experts Speak Out: What Does This Year's Holiday Season Mean for E-Commerce?
Top retailers are struggling while online shopping topped brick-and-mortar sales for the first time ever this Black Friday. What will the rest of the holiday season look like for e-commerce? Here's what six experts said in a discussion on online retail discussion forum RetailWire.
Chris Petersen, PhD, President, Integrated Marketing Solutions
"We are at the proverbial tipping point—consumers have already made shopping online the new normal as part of their shopping journey. Amazon has become the first place consumers go to look for product information...Several surveys indicate that consumers plan to spend 40% of holiday dollars online. If that prediction is anywhere close to being accurate, online will definitely continue to grow, and Target had better work out the issues causing website crashes."
Max Goldberg, President, Max Goldberg & Associates
"The future for e-commerce looks bright, as more and more consumers have access to high-speed Internet connections and are coming to realize that it's easier to buy online. I expect that online sales for this holiday season will exceed all previous years. There will be glitches, like Target, but that won't stop the online juggernaut."
Ben Ball, Senior Vice President, Dechert-Hampe
"The biggest delta versus expectations for me is the speed and enthusiasm the Boomers and older have shown in adopting online tools of all sorts. One of the biggest chuckles for me is when pundits and researchers bemoan the loss of market share for Facebook among teens and younger. What they totally miss is the increased adoption of Facebook by the generations with the money. Give me more Boomers (and more Facebook stock) any day."
Keith Anderson, VP, Strategy & Insight, Profitero
"For the trailing five years, e-commerce has been growing at around 15% year-over-year. And each year, big analyst firms predict slowly tapering growth. At fewer than 10% of all retail sales, e-commerce has a lot of runway. Expanding assortments, improving convenience, intensifying price competition and a generation of digital natives are all accelerants."
Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer, Shepard Presentations
"All you have to do is look at the trend over the years, and if the trend continues, we will see bigger e-commerce transactions. Simple: It's just more convenient. And when companies like Amazon have two-hour delivery (in select cities), well, it doesn't get much more convenient than that."
Ken Lonyai, Digital Innovation Strategist, co-founder, ScreenPlay InterActive
"No surprise to me. E-commerce is still rising on the bell curve. Adoption increases for many reasons, including better e-tail practices and more tech savvy/oriented (younger) shoppers across the buying landscape. Barring some shock to the economy, I expect next year to outdo 2015."