No “right answer” on e-commerce penetration

I’ve combined a couple of recent RetailWire comments below. The first touches on whether retailers know when they have hit the “right number” of e-commerce penetration to total sales. The second comments deal with the evolution of e-commerce from traditional (PC and laptop) to mobile devices. Hope it all makes sense:

Here’s an answer to the first question (e-commerce penetration to total retail sales)…”It depends.” Aside from pure-play companies like Amazon, most omnichannel retailers would like a higher percentage than they have right now, especially laggards like Target and JCPenney. But those same companies need to consider how to drive more productivity out of their brick-and-mortar locations using e-commerce as a tool. Just closing stores is not enough.

Briefly, on the second question, there is no question that mobile devices are rapidly overtaking the PC or laptop as the “computer of choice.” This has huge implications for companies’ e-commerce strategies, along with every other way in which consumers buy goods and services. If you extrapolate from current trends, it’s easy to see where this is going.

For the short term, a lot of consumers still have a comfort level with the security and familiarity of a desktop or laptop. As other panelists have pointed out, a lot of e-commerce sites still have work to do to make their m-commerce sites equally easy to use. But there is no doubt that the growth trajectory favors tablets and smartphones over the long run.


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