Online sales are booming; most of the growth is online. In 2014 40% of all sales in the Netherlands for NeXtime Benelux came from online retailers.
According to the BBC News: online sales will continue to rise annually in double digits. China’s online retail giant Alibaba says it has pulled in US$9.3bn in sales from its annual ‘Singles’ Day’ shopping event this year. In 2000 China, yet to develop any e-commerce applications, only had 2.1 million total internet users. By the end of 2013 Chinese internet users numbered nearly 600 million and e-commerce revenue growth (from 2009-2012) topped 70 percent compounded annually. China is on track to soon pass the US to become the largest e-commerce market in the world. At end of November 2014, BBC News reported sales had reached 57.1 billion ¥, and that it had shipped 278 million orders. In 2013, Alibaba recorded sales of US$5.75bn, and shipped 150 million packages.
We can see the rapid growing in the online market not only in China, but also in the rest of the world.
How to sell online
It is important to make the online experience as ‘real life’ as possible. Customers want to see, touch, smell and hear the product. We therefore took photos from different angles for most of our clocks and added some interior pictures. We also made videos to show the unique features of a clock, like the movement or sound. Our Download Center is constantly updated with the latest photos; make sure you and your online customer use our latest photos, interior shoots, videos and logos.
Tips to increase internet sales
- Show (new) pictures from different angles and in an interior
- Add an elaborate description of the product
- Show a short movie of the product
Check out our blog for more tips
One of the bigger online retailers in the Netherlands is bol.com. They sell all our 236 clocks which are currently available at our ESC (European Service Center). Bol.com keeps little stock at their warehouse, and if needed the ESC can drop-ship directly to the customer. To make this easier for the online retailer NeXtime Benelux supplies a csv-feed with all the current information: not only stock and prices, but also all the important features, like size and colours. This feed can be accessed at an ftp-server and is updated daily. This is a huge help for all online retailers and makes it really easy to sell NeXtime clocks online.
Online presence can also help to increase offline sales. Some consumers, when they find a product online, like to see it in a brick-and-mortar store before they buy it (on- or offline). Nowadays retailers shouldn’t choose for either online or offline; the key word is omni-channel. Customers want both. They often opt for online because of the large choice, low prices, and to compare products and read reviews. But they also frequently choose off line because of the experience and personal service.
Many traditional retailers have already gone online. Now more and more web stores are starting their own brick-and-mortar stores. This way they can reach their target group, where-ever they are.
We have also created our own online consumer store (www.nextimestore.com). The main reason why we created the nextimestore.com is to be present in all channels and to create a buzz about NeXtime. It also helps our main retailers, so-called ‘brand-centres’. Since these ‘brand centres’ appear in the store locator on nextimestore.com, consumers can find the (nearest) ‘brand centre’ of their choice, and can decide to see and buy the clock either online or offline. In the end it is how the customer perceives the full shopping experience: from browsing the web store to picking up the NeXtime clock in a ‘brand centre’. Retailers can become a ‘brand centre’ when they display NeXtime designs in a brand-like presentation. Clearly a strong NeXtime in-store presentation that showcases and promotes a wide selection of our designs drives both sales and foot fall.
One of the fun and cool features the NeXtime store has to offer is the Happy Wall; you can see how the clock of your choice looks on a wall in your house. For us it is all about combining the offline and online experience.
M-commerce (shopping on a mobile phone or tablet) is growing rapidly. Trend-watchers even predict that mobile will become the leading online channel in 2015.
The number of channels used by shops will also expand. There will be more and more online retailers who will harness a combination of different affiliate programs, comparison websites, social media channels, email marketing services and online marketplaces.
To support online activities we are present on many different social media sites, and we recently started the “Time & Design Blog” where we happily share our knowledge with you.