To put things into perspective, here's some figures showing the value of US e-commerce retail sales over the last couple of decades:
- 1990: $US0
- 2000: $US29,000,000,000
- 2007: $US127,000,000,000*
Excited now? If you have a business (whether or not you have a business website as well), then you should be.
That's a lot of money – about the same size as the economy of New Zealand** – and you can double those figures if you want to include online payment for services like airline tickets. Put another way, that makes it a little over $US425 for every single person living in the US.
It would be nice to think that this spending was new, but you'd be wrong if you did. Rather, it's a shift in the way money is spent: from one model of shopping (in a store at the local mall or on the high street) to another (from home). In this context, to ignore it would be foolhardy, yet it's not necessarily well suited to all types of sales. Amazon got it right with books and CDs, whereas buying clothes online is still a little difficult for some (like me).
Whatever kind of business you're in, you should seriously consider your online sales strategy; don't discount the web just because you don't think it's right for what you sell. Imagine, just a few years ago, would anyone seriously have considered buying a car online?
While you're thinking about your online strategy, you'll want to pencil in January 2010: doomby's e-commerce solution is just around the corner. In the meantime, you can check out our integrated PayPal sales solution on our doombyPLUS demo website.