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E-commerce sales in the United States - Assignment Example

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The U.S. hit an all time high in 2011 with e-commerce sales of $161.5 billion. The trend in digital sales is extremely positive. It seems as if U.S. customers have become more accustomed to using the internet for their shopping needs. Shopping online has many benefits including flexibility, zero commuting costs, and lower prices. One of the factors that the author of the article identified as being critical to the rise of e-commerce sales is the uncertainty of the economy. During harsh times consumers are looking for low prices and convenience. The proliferation of websites that offer goods for sale in many categories provides internet shoppers with the ability to compare prices in order to find the best bargains. Another benefit of online shopping is that it saves people valuable time. During 2011 some of the top online product categories were digital content & subscriptions, jewelry & watches, consumer electronics, toys & hobbies, and computer software (DeMarco). Each of these categories grew by over 18% in comparison with the previous year. During the calendar year ten days surpassed the $1 billion sales mark. The table below illustrates the top selling days during 2011. Date Sales Total November 28 – Cyber Monday $1.25 billion December 5 $1.17 billion December 12 – Green Monday $1.13 billion A hot trend among online vendors is to offer free shipping with the purchase of products. In 2011 52% of e-commerce transactions included free shipping. This figure breaks the all time record of 49% set in 2010. Other product categories that have benefited from the internet boom are smartphones and tablets. Not only are these products selling well, but their internet capability is contributing to the growing number of e-commerce transactions. “We can expect to see more channel-shifting to online in 2012 and perhaps even acceleration in the current growth trend” (DeMarco). E-commerce has become one of the hottest trends in the retail industry. Many online vendors are using similar marketing strategies as traditional commerce. The use of branding is very important for online vendors because this marketing strategy can be used to grow the firm’s sales. Brand loyalty can help increase the customer retention rate of a website. The use of online marketing is critical to the success of a website that sells goods or services. One of the most important rules of online selling is to attract traffic to the website. Higher traffic typically leads to more sales. The supply chain management of online merchants is very important because these websites need to make alliances with freight companies such as UPS, DHL, or the USPS. Due to the new tendency of customers expecting free shipping online vendors have to negotiate terms with the shipping companies that provide the lowest price. Websites that have higher brand equity are able to outperform the competition. Examples of websites that have very strong brand equity are EBay, Amazon, and Facebook. Facebook has over 840 million users. This company makes money from advertising revenues. Integrating marketing channels is a great way to save money in marketing expenses while at the same time optimizing exposure of a website. The tendency towards more people shopping online is a trend that should continue to proliferate itself in the future. Currently there are over 2 billion internet users worldwide (Plunkett Research). Once these internet penetration numbers continue to rise ...Show more
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Summary

Retail E-commerce Spending Totals $161.5 Billion in 2011 Forbes - http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonydemarco/2012/02/06/retail-e-commerce-spending-totals-161-5-billion-in-2011/ Anthony DeMarco – February 6, 2012 E-commerce sales in the United States have been growing steadily during the last couple of years…
E-commerce sales in the United States
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