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Earlier today, the Internet’s #1 subscribed e-commerce blog, GetElastic, published a blog titled “5 Reasons Why Your Ecommerce Site Matters More Than Ever” that had some great numbers highlighting the importance of online shopping in retail.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Online sales are growing an estimated 5x faster than retail sales as a whole. This holiday season non-store sales are forecasted to grow 14% from last year in comparison to 2.5-3% growth across the industry as a whole.
  • The web influences almost half off in-store sales.
  • Holiday shoppers do more online research in a shaky economy. The average holiday shopper plans to do 36% of their shopping online.
  • 33% of gift shoppers start their gift ideas online. This group is split between retailer websites (21%), search engines (11%), and social media sites (1%).
  • Digital shoppers have bigger budgets. $440 on average, which is 40% more than their non-digital counterparts.

While these numbers are staggering, they merely solidify the widely accepted notion that e-commerce is the future of retail.

For me, the interesting part of the article was the actionable items that followed. Of the top 9 tips for optimizing your site, here are the top 2:

  1. Don’t emulate Target and have your website repeatedly crashed by unexpected traffic.
  2. Speed up your site.

This is the online equivalent to “Make sure your store is open and customers can complete purchases.”

Don’t spend so much time adding widgets to the site that you compromise its quality. The most core functionality of your site needs to work and work well, or your virtual store will be virtually closed.

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