Small business owners are poised to see growth in 2014, and as retail growth rates increase, so too does the influence of online shopping. Although many small business owners are ahead of the curve when it comes to developing an online presence, many have yet to successfully blend online and offline shopping experiences.
According to eMarketer, online and offline shopping are merging this year, making the consumer experience more dynamic than ever. Along with this shifting approach, U.S. retailers can expect to see continued growth throughout the year – sales are projected to rise 15.5 percent to $304.1 billion. While ecommerce sales are expected to compose only 6.4 percent of the $4.73 trillion in total U.S. sales anticipated for the entirety of 2014, a new report predicts its effect will likely be much larger.
According to the “U.S. Retail Ecommerce: 2014 Trends and Forecast” study conducted by eMarketer, despite the fact that consumers do not buy online for every purchase, they consistently review and rank products online, effectively blending the online and offline shopping experiences.
The study found a growing relationship between online browsing and online purchasing – according to the data, although consumers still patron brick and mortar locations, they’re increasingly going online to explore their shopping options. The survey found that, of the 219.4 million Internet users aged 14 and up, 196.6 million, or 89.6 percent, are expected to shop online this year, while 163.2 million will complete a purchase online.
As consumers turn online in increasingly large numbers, it has become even more important for companies to make their websites as user friendly as possible. In order to improve their web presence, company owners often find themselves in need of extra working capital. If a company decision maker is looking to expand their operations to draw in more customers both online and offline, they can contact National Funding to find out more about their financial options.