As many years as I’ve been out of school, September still feels like a time of renewal. An opportunity to start anew, to reinvent some aspect of your life or your business, to refocus on tasks that got forgotten in the heat and lazy days of summer.
This year has been tough for most of the country, with so many of us trying to live and work under safer-at-home policies. It’s been a rough year for retailers, in particular, with so many stores closed for months due to the coronavirus. In fact, eMarketer has adjusted its 2020 retail sales forecast from its original projection of a 2.8% sales increase to $5.6 trillion in total retail sales to a 10.5% sales decline to $4.9 trillion in sales.
But there is a brighter side to that forecast, and it’s e-commerce. Online sales are, according to eMarketer, expected to rise 18% this year to $710 billion. This represents 14.5% of total retail sales, which eMarketer says is “both an all-time high and the biggest share increase in a single year.”
8 Steps to Starting a Business on Etsy
Since its launch date in 2005, Etsy has become a well-known, respected, and hugely popular platform for creatives to share their handmade or vintage items with the world. Accommodating products that range from clothing, accessories, and jewelry to craft supplies and tools, Etsy enables freelance crafters to pursue their dreams and also make a living. If you want to start an Etsy shop that stands out from the crowd follow these tips:
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Retail used to be about shelf space. Own those precious inches, and you controlled the consumer relationships. But the multitude of new buying channels enabled by e-commerce platforms has exponentially widened the shelf. Small brands now have far more control over who sees and has access to their products, as well as where and how.
The decision between two products no longer comes down to how they look side by side in-store, but how well the mission and vision of the companies producing them are communicated through a screen. Consumers are hungry for information on which to base their choices, so it’s imperative that small businesses tell their stories. That’s creating a new class of “craft” brands, which thrive on their uniqueness and connection to their customers.
The e-commerce behemoth is coming, but that’s no longer news. Amazon is nearly 20 years old now, eBay just a year younger.
What is news? The behemoth is arming itself. New tactics, new friends and a hefty war chest mean that the old defenses insulating traditional retailers are no longer enough. Venture funds dished out $242 million to online retail startups in the last quarter alone, more than any other period since 2000. E-commerce, meanwhile, is now a $200 billion-plus industry in the U.S., set to ratchet up 15% a year as consumers realize there’s no reason to trek out to the local strip mall anymore.
In the retail arms race, e-commerce is winning. Here are five trends driving traditional retail towards the grave:
Read the Trends.