How did recent bad weather affect online businesses?

Posted by Winning Web Design on March 11, 2010 | No Comments

The recent blizzard conditions that swept the US were a stroke of good fortune for online businesses! According to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse survey, e-commerce sales in February experienced 16.7% growth over February of 2009. That was the seventh consecutive month that e-commerce showed year-over-year growth, according to SpendingPulse, “suggesting weather alone is not boosting its performance.”

SpendingPulse analyst Michael McNamara said the findings show a sustained transition towards Web shopping. “This sales channel continues to outperform traditional brick-and-mortar stores as consumers shift more of their purchasing online.”

It’s further proof that consumers are going to keep turning to the Web for its convenience – no matter what the weather has in store!

Let’s we looked at the data from last year. Marketing research giant comScore said the 2009 Christmas season (i.e. November and December) was, despite the economy, a success for online retailers in the US. Tuesday, the 15th of December 2009 was the single largest online spending day recorded in history – $913 million was spent shopping online that day.

comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni indicated, “[A] strong late season spending surge, propelled by effective retailer promotions, guaranteed shipping and a major snowstorm on the eastern seaboard that convinced many to shop from the comfort of home”.

What could brick-and-mortar stores do to benefit from this new trend in customer spending?

Simple. Just provide the same level of convenience to the customers — service your customers well online as you do in the local stores!

Today’s emerging technologies empower small businesses to establish trustworthy bandings online without breaking the bank. A few years back, a decent business website cost tens of thousands dollars to set up. Nowadays, a few thousand dollars could send you home a professional web presence with all the features you have seen, such as online shopping cart, e-newsletter, contact form, online payment, online catalog, customer review and feedback, online coupon ( be nice to the trees), map and direction, blog, photo gallery, etc.

You can even update your web site by yourself as frequently as you want without waiting for your web designer to put your request in his/her busy “queue”. If you need this kind of feature, you can ask for CMS, which stands for Content Management System.

If you are thinking about getting a web site for your local business or want to upgrade your existing web site, feel free to contact us at Winning Interactive. We provide free consultation on web design and Internet marketing for small businesses.