For many businesses, expanding into new locations or territories has (traditionally) required a business to establish a new brick and mortar presence that would cater to a new segment of customers, this is a deed that carries a lot of financial and logistical challenges- and must be thought-out fully before implementation. Add to that the myriad rules, regulations, and cultural nuances of international expansion, and the risk quotient increases exponentially.
The emphasis on “location, location, location”is waning. That’s because the Digital Age is redefining what we know about doing business, and what it means to have a business. And while location does still matter, consumers around the world are becoming less concerned about where the businesses that provide them are locatedespecially since they get their products shipped. 81% of consumers research online before making purchases, 93% of people who research online go on to make a purchase, and 62% of them make those purchases directly online via desktops, tablets, or smartphones; and it will only increase from there.
Businesses should be shifting their focus from establishing new locations, to creating a centralized, but far-reaching presence through eCommerce. Here are a few reasons why:
You’re able to view this post right now because you’re connected to the internet—and
you’re not alone. There are currently more than 3.3 billion internet users worldwide,
representing nearly half of the global population. In North America alone, consumers
connected online account for 87.9% of the entire population. Connectivity is the new
standard consequently, these new buying behaviors are reshaping how businesses
effectively and efficiently reach and engage connected consumers. This leads to the
- The new path to purchase
Both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) organizations are
familiar with some form of the sales/purchase funnel.However, connectivity is effectively
flipping this once tried-and-true model on its head. Since more consumers are
connected, and they have an entire world of information, products, and services at their
fingertips; they’re used to accessing much of the data they need to make buying
decisions on their own, and they’re equipped to enter, leave, or reenter the sales cycle
at any stage (hooray for customers having that level power. Although this means that
there’s no longer a linear path to purchase, we do know where these savvy consumers
begin: and that is…..Google research. Even when consumers plan to buy from the
usually brick and mortar location, they begin with some research online. It means a lot
when you understand that people spend on average 15hrs per week on this search.
- The Millennial influence on online shopping
U.S. Millennials are now the largest living generation (more than 25% of the
nation’s population). It’s this generation of digital natives that is driving the rapid
adoption of online shopping behavior. Research shows that Millennials are more likely
to spend their money online than previous generations, and their influence is actively
setting new benchmarks and expectations about buying behavior. For example,
during Thanksgiving weekend 2015, the number of people shopping online surpassed
the number of people shopping in-store for the first time ever. As technology evolves
and the number of digital natives grows, we expect this to become the new norm.
The internet has helped to make the world a smaller place, very small. The global marketplace is online where the habits and preferences of connected consumers are reshaping the landscape of consumerism. As connectivity continues to grow around the world, so too will the number of consumers who look to the global market to find what they want, and that’s a fact. In order to scale, grow, and reach as many customers as possible, today’s businesses need to be where consumers are waiting, and that place… is online.