This year Cyber Monday online sales generated a record $3 billion, and for the first year, shoppers purchased more digitally that day than they did in physical stores. This indicates that, as expected, online selling is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. E-commerce is currently garnering only 7% of overall sales, but this statistic suggests that brick and mortar store owners would be wise to increase their emphasis on digital sales to complement sales in their physical space. According to Chris Petersen, PhD, President, Integrated Marketing Solutions, “It’s not about how much a retailer sells online versus in stores; it is now about how a retailer can grow total sales (profitably) across all channels.”

Demographics are an important factor to consider when evaluating reports about digital sales, however. You may need to look at the data carefully to determine its real significance. “One of the biggest chuckles for me is when pundits and researchers bemoan the loss of market share for Facebook among teens and younger. What they totally miss is the increased adoption of Facebook by the generations with the money. Give me more Boomers (and more Facebook stock) any day, said Ben Ball, Senior Vice President, Dechert-Hampe.

Porch Pirates an Increasing Problem

Criminals are taking advantage of the growth of Internet shopping by stealing packages right off customer’s porches. The practice has become so common that thieves have become known as “porch pirates.” As they have become more brazen and sophisticated, they’ve been known to follow delivery trucks and snatch packages just minutes after they
have been delivered.

This can cause a problem for your business, as customers may claim that your business never sent what they ordered. To prevent this, you can make it a policy to ship with tracking notification. This might not prevent theft, but it can verify that the package was sent and delivered. Requiring signature receipt is another option, especially for very valuable items. But this option can be inconvenient, as it requires the customer to be home or to pick up the package at the post office. As an alternative, you could also suggest that packages be delivered to the workplace or to a trusted friend or neighbor. It’s also a good idea to notify your customers that a package is on its way and the date or estimated date that it will be delivered.