How e-commerce businesses can provide an ‘in-store’ experience

Businesses and customers alike are beginning to shop online more often, but it still accounts for only 10 percent of total sales, according to research from Deloitte. However, while 10 percent may sound small, e-commerce accounts for roughly 36 cents for every dollar a customer spends on an order — totaling about $1.1 trillion in 2013.

While this method of consumerism continues to rise, it also has its limitations, just like its brick-and-mortar counterpart. Because visiting a physical store still makes up 90 percent of transactions, e-tailers are looking for ways to provide an in-store experience, without needing to lease a physical space.

"Retailers that narrowly focus on digital commerce – rather than the full journey that leads to a purchase – often fail to recognize how their customers shop and make decisions in the store," Deloitte Digital's chief retail innovation officer Kasey Lobaugh said in the news release on the study. "The result is a digital divide between what consumers do and what retailers deliver.  This gap not only threatens overall revenue, but requires retailers to reset the way they measure and invest in digital efforts."

E-tailers may have generated a significant number of sales in recent years, but eventually, customers are going to ask for more. Despite limited resources, online businesses have to find ways to highlight the website's top sellers and new products outside of the website. This is why some web-based organizations are beginning to leverage the use of custom print displays. If done correctly, e-commerce has the potential to increase total e-commerce sales to $1.5 trillion.

Websites are beginning to leverage the use of POP signs and vinyl banners near popular intersections, hoping that their display with catch a potential customer's attention. The main goal is to use marketing strategies that have worked on the internet, in person. Whether that be through These can include humor and use of specific colors or promotions.

Mashable contributor T.L Stanley explained that if a business is able to use the brand to blur the lines between the virtual and real worlds, it will be able to attract customers who haven't even visited their site yet. 

"Retailers will have a leg up if they can blend their online and retail experiences, making it simpler for consumers to find what they want and easier for sellers to close their deals," Stanley wrote.

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