How does the crisis affect the development of online commerce?
The statistics is inexorable: the volume of online retail sales in 2008 grew by 35%. Offline retail – only 13%. In 2009, the volume of outdoor advertising has already decreased by 42%. The volume of Internet audience is approaching television. For example, Yandex almost caught up with Ren-TV. And together with Mail.ru they overtook the TV center. Young people spend on social networks an average of 33 hours per month. In short, the crisis has added points to the online environment.
Large chains have long opened their online stores – by 2008, the ten largest RuNet projects included Euroset, Svyaznoy, M.Video and Technosila. Recently engaged in online trading “Alphabet of taste” and “Book-eater”. In the near future, the X5 Retail Group is also going to take this path, its head Lev Khasis says that it will be a universal online store, similar to Amazon.
The direction of online commerce is actively developing. This is due to the active presence in the “virtual” buyers and with a reduction in the cost of maintaining the store. In addition, advertising campaigns on the Internet are cheaper and their effectiveness is quite transparent. And low costs, as you know, entail low prices. Which attracts customers to the network.
For example, on the Internet, electronics can be 15% cheaper. This is because the goods are not stored on the shelf and inventory turnover is higher.
In a crisis, when the income of an ordinary citizen sharply decreased, but desires and requests remained, the only way to satisfy his need is to find the same, but cheaper. In this sense, the Internet provides practical unlimited possibilities. The buyer can get tangible discounts using the sites of companies. This applies to many areas of life – from entertainment to serious shopping.
For example, many cafes and clubs place discount coupons on their virtual pages that need to be printed. There is a PPC system (Pay Per Click), when for each visit to the site a certain amount is credited to the user in a personal account in a specific project. This method was used by Green Mama several years ago. In many household appliances stores, for example, M. Video and Bely Veter. Digitally, there are discounts on items ordered online. All these programs increase loyalty to the company and increase their sales.
In Russia, the Internet is bad. In the sense that it is worse than in America and Europe. However, according to recent data, more than 30% of the population regularly enters the Network. And every year this percentage is growing. Not bad things are with virtual not only in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Now the Internet is developing in the Urals, the Far East, the North-West Federal District and the Volga region, so there are prospects for business.
Until recently, the age of the Runet audience was from 12 to 40 years. It is gradually increasing. Again, in the future, today, 40 years from now, it will be 50, and this is a completely different segment of the market. By occupation, Web visitors are managers, students, and specialists, mostly with average incomes and above.
The main companies operating on the Internet sell computers, telephones and household appliances. Other services and goods – automobiles, construction, pharmacies, clothing and products – are represented to a much lesser extent. The market in the Internet environment is not saturated.
For online advertising campaigns, many technical features are used. These are all kinds of banners similar to billboards offline, as well as contextual advertising, viral marketing, promotion on social networks, website optimization for search engines. All of these and other methods have the most important advantage: the ability to evaluate effectiveness. Everything is known about everything on the Internet: who clicked on the ad, how many pages of the site he studied.
If before, companies paid for the impressions of their advertisements, then for the number of clicks on them, now a favorable transition is planned to pay for the call, and even better to calculate the ROI (return on investment). This financial term is now used in advertising. Companies consider how much money this or that promotion brings to them on the Internet, and make decisions on optimizing their advertising campaigns.
Online stores can be divided into two groups – working only online and online representations of existing real stores. The trading network of an online store can bring from 2% of the total turnover, and this is comparable with the branch of the unit.
Now there is a noticeable increase in online sales of large companies. For example, in “Euroset” online sales increased by 50% compared to the previous year, and in “M. Video” – by 80%.
The fact is that many buyers use offline stores as a kind of “storefront” where you can see and touch the goods, but they will already buy them at a discount on the Web. In order not to lose your customers, you must take into account this market trend.