Is Online Shopping the “New Normal?”

Most economists agree that things are starting to look “more normal” after the years 2020-2021 and COVID-19.  Little by little, stores are re-opening and shoppers are re-emerging to buy goods in person after nearly 18 months of enforced “curbside pickup” and delivery.  However, in-person shopping is not completely back to pre-2020 levels, and may never be.  Here are some statistics about online shopping in this new age and what it means for vendors of all types:

  • E-commerce sales, as online retail purchases are known, are significantly greater than what they were just a few years ago, jumping from $468 million in 2017 to $660 million in 2021 and projected to hit $740 million by 2023. Even more amazing, this rapid growth has taken place during a time in which many people were out of work or suffering severely reduced salaries due to closures.
  • Nearly half of all online shoppers research their purchases before committing. The primary vehicle for researching a vendor or product is social media, with 43 percent of all online shoppers stating that they use social networking to find out about products before purchasing.
  • Three-quarters of all shoppers say they use online shopping part or all of the time for their needs. Additionally, customers report that their experience with an online site has a direct impact on whether they return or not.  If the site is easy to navigate and well-structured, customers are much more likely to favor that business when they make future purchases.

Online Shopping:  Not Just For Retail

While most people think of retail goods when they hear “online shopping,” the fact is that all business models, including service industries, are being pushed to the online platform.  Just as shoppers research products through social networks, they also turn to the web when they want to hire an attorney, a contractor or even find a doctor or dentist.  Ultimately, you must understand how to make your website appealing to visitors in order to capture your share of any market, a reality that is not likely to change in the future and makes investing in website development a necessity.

It is vital that your business have a strong online presence in today’s world.  Having an outdated or second-rate website practically guarantees that you will lose customers or clients.  Not only will you push away new business, but you may find that your current clients also want something new and different.  Having a great website is not an option; however, today’s websites are becoming more and more sophisticated and harder to “do it yourself.”

At Caldiatech, we have decades of experience in helping you create the perfect website.  With our team of dedicated professionals, we can identify your website needs and develop a plan to meet them.  With our help, you can transition your business into the online world easily and successfully, no matter what your area of expertise!  Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you design, maintain and promote your website and your overall online presence to your current and future customers.