Employee packaging a productTraditional retailers need to consider including digital channels to improve their business, as in-store and online retail continues to merge, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Whether your business is in New York or Utah, online marketing will be more necessary now that Americans use all available modes of buying consumer items. NRF based its statement from its annual State of Retail Online survey.

Retail Convergence

The 2018 survey showed that 57% of respondents used different channels for retail business. Otherwise called multichannel retailers, these companies include physical stores that also sell their products online. On the other hand, 32% of retailers are considered to be “pureplay” businesses.

Despite some concerns over e-commerce taking over traditional retail, 43% of surveyed companies expect to expand their in-store portfolios by the end of this year. Still, choosing a strategic location for new stores will be important due to the importance of faster deliveries for online orders.

Mode of Sales

While incorporating online channels is important, retailers also need to look at what shoppers use to buy items online. The NRF survey revealed that online transactions mostly originate from desktop computers, but sales from mobile phones have risen 36% this year compared to 8% for desktop computers.

Retail sales from mobile applications are also increasing at 16% year over year. Therefore, almost every respondent from the survey intends to invest more in improving their mobile platforms to capitalize on the trend. Another reason to do so involves a higher online conversion rate in 2017, which meant that more people bought items after just casually browsing online for products.

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Retail companies should find ways to take advantage of online marketing to promote their business. This not only gives your brand a competitive edge, but also capture the biggest possible market share within your target market.