What an interesting thought – It made me wonder just how big “a store” the Internet is. A great place to get a sense of it is of course Amazon – This is what I found out from a recent article: Amazon’s own offerings number 12,231,203 products, excluding books, media, wine and service. When one adds third-party Marketplace listings, the count goes up to a grand total of 353,710,754 items!
The breadth of offerings matters more and more each year as Internet sales continue to surge. In fact, we have reached a tipping point. The 5th annual UPS “Pulse of the Online Shopper survey conducted by comScore – and reported by Home & Textiles Today – found that consumers who make two or more online purchases over a three-month period now turn to e-commerce for 51% of their shopping – up from 48% in last year’s study. Demand has shifted to a majority of on line vs. Brick and Mortar.
To meander a little bit, the other findings might be of interest:
- Smartphone shopping is up 10 points to 77%, and satisfaction with the mobile shopping experience has risen 8 points to 73% since last year.
- Store-only searches and purchases slipped two points to 20%.
- 17% of consumers said they plan to do less shopping in physical stores.
- 34% said social media influenced their purchasing decision.
- 23% reported making purchases through social media sites.
- 58% expect to have online access to store inventory.
- 50% have picked up online purchases at a physical store. Among those, 46% made additional purchases when they picked up their orders.
- 60% want to return items directly to the store, at which time 70% of them make additional purchases.
Getting back to breadth of offerings: As we help vendors track their Amazon business, we are noticing the numbers inverse: While there are not thousands (or even several) locations to track, the number of items available for sale mushroom. And there are other granular details that could be tracked, such as ad/marketing spends vs. resulting sales and profit.
We would be most interested to learn how you want to approach the study of Amazon and other on-line business – That is to say: What would you like to track?