What Happens When Sites Don’t Sell?

What Happens When Sites Don’t Sell?

Earlier this morning I came across a thread started by engine on WebmasterWorld that discussed the fact that…

Since the inception of the Web, online commerce has enjoyed hypergrowth, with annual sales increasing more than 25 percent over all, and far more rapidly in many categories. But in the last year, growth has slowed sharply in major sectors like books, tickets and office supplies.

The thread references a New York Times article called Online Sales Are Losing Steam, and it’s certainly worth a read on a number of levels.

The most compelling question that comes as a result of this story though, is asking yourself — What happens when my sites don’t sell?

The truth of the matter is that some online retailers have invested too heavily in online sales. I understand that’s a dicey claim to make — but consider this fact… “Sales on the Internet are expected to reach $116 billion this year, or 5 percent of all retail sales…”

Just 5%.

To me, the answer is simple. Placing all of your eggs in one basket is something you always need to be careful of. We’ve all been there and done that, and it’s similar to being in SEO and investing all you’ve got into Google optimization. Many times you’ll be fine and do well, but if you took the time to think outside the box and utilize less obvious streams — you’d be swimming in sales.

To that tune, I have to then give kudos where they’re due. To supplement online sales, major brands like Starbucks and Apple are said to be gearing up to generate “a more compelling, in-store shopping experience”. That will certainly help to increase the lure of shoppers — but to what degree? Well, even if the efforts fail – at least they have tried… And that’s much more than many people are doing at this point of Internet dependency.

I guess the bottom line here is that while I’m not shocked to see online sales flat lining a bit — I am shocked that only 5% of all sales take place online. I really though it’d be higher than that. This serves as a reminder as to why we need to make sure that we actively diversify our income and marketing streams.

If you’re working for an online retailer and are feeling the sting of this stabilizing trend, I would certainly like to hear your input on this topic… So please comment below!

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