We hope you’ve enjoyed our latest series of blog posts on e-commerce trends. Starting in September, we’ve written about e-commerce and how it has cut into brick-and-mortar sales and disrupted several industries. We’ve also put hours of research into building a matrix that looks at the impact e-commerce has had industry by industry.

Click here to view the entire matrix (pdf)

In case you missed a post, here’s what we’ve published on e-commerce thus far:

So what have we learned from this research? Here are three major takeaways from the time we poured into researching e-commerce trends.

Some markets are faring better than others in the face of an e-commerce takeover
For varying reasons, some retail categories are seeing much more e-commerce growth than others. For instance, apparel, electronics and software are all experiencing rapid online growth. But the reason for each industry varies slightly. Apparel should benefit from in-store experiences where shoppers can try on clothes and touch fabrics. But retailers have adapted to online apparel sales by offering free shipping and returns as well as subscription fashion services. This model has helped grow online apparel sales at a fast pace.

On the other hand, both electronics and software are easily sold online. Electronics can be compared using consumer reporting sites and the specs of a TV or speaker system matter more to most customers than seeing it in person. Software can be delivered via download and many consumers see no reason to own a “hard copy” of these products anymore. Both of these industries were ripe for e-commerce growth and don’t require much innovation from retailers to sell these products online.

If you take a look at the matrix we assembled, you’ll be able to see which categories adapted to e-commerce growth and which were just a good fit. Some industries, such as groceries, are still trying to find their way in the world of online sales. Grocery delivery services have been around for a decade, yet the industry’s sales are still rooted in brick-and-mortar stores. While new startups are trying to change this (and Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods certainly makes some headway), this industry may just be less suited for online sales.

Omnichannel marketing is taking off and can ensure success in this new landscape
While researching the rise of e-commerce, we encountered the idea of omnichannel marketing again and again. This is the idea of bringing together all your marketing platforms in a cohesive strategy. In-store experience marketing works seamlessly with social media marketing efforts and online campaigns. Many retailers achieve this through hashtags and gimmicks such as displaying consumer-generated images (like Instagram and Snapchat) online or in-store.

The reason omnichannel marketing is so important is because it blends the brick-and-mortar experience with online shopping. This can draw online shoppers into a physical store and vice versa. Engaging customers is key and it’s no longer enough to only provide a great website or stellar in-store customer care. Each platform needs to work with the others to build customer interaction and ultimately drive sales.

Check out our blog post on the beauty industry to read about Sephora’s success in omnichannel marketing.

Click here to view the entire matrix (pdf)

Innovation and adaptation are key to moving with e-commerce trends
While e-commerce hasn’t truncated all brick-and-mortar sales, most economists forecast online sales to keep rising. The retailers and manufacturers who will fare best are able to not only adapt to these times, but also innovate ahead of the curve.

One prime example is Domino’s Pizza. Instead of waiting for online trends to catch up to the pizza business, Domino’s has positioned itself as a technology company leading the way in mobile ordering and so much more (read about it here).

How can companies stay ahead of the curve? Innovation takes research and a reliance on big data. Not only does your company need to collect data, but it needs to know how to use that data to produce change-making business insights. Ironbridge can help you discern which data to collect and why it matters to the future of your business. Drop us a line today to find out more about our expertise in big data insights.

That wraps up our deep dive on e-commerce trends. Tell us what you think in the comments below! Which insights surprised you? Do you have questions left unanswered? How has e-commerce impacted your industry? We’d love to hear from you.

Written by Kim Kelly Consulting.