Selling Promotional Products Online


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InkHead Promotional Products examines the current state of eCommerce as it relates to the promotional product and advertising specialty industry.

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Selling Promotional Products Online

  1. 1. Internet Selling in the 21st Century: Fact vs. Fiction Prepared by Michael W. Ollinger Digital Content Manager InkHead Promotional Products
  2. 2. Internet Selling in the 21st Century: Fact vs. Fiction• eCommerce facts and figures• Going mobile• Thinking global• Myths on Internet selling• Looking forward• Panel discussion and audience Q&A
  3. 3. eCommerce Facts and Figures• All demographics are on the Internet, not the just younger generations.• People use the Internet to research purchases, including promotional products.• eCommerce sales are growing faster than brick- and-mortar businesses.• eCommerce sales in the US will top $225 billion in 2012.
  4. 4. eCommerce Facts and FiguresNot just young people are shopping online, norare people just making small purchases online.
  5. 5. eCommerce Facts and FiguresA 2010 study from BIA/Kelsey & ConStat foundthat 97% of consumers research productsonline before buying. How are people performing online product research?Comparison shopping sites Vertical sites Internet yellow pages Percent of respondents Search engines 0 20 40 60 80 100
  6. 6. eCommerce Facts and FiguresThis trend isn’t limited toconsumer goods, either.People are buying all kindsof productsonline, includingpromotional items andapparel.In fact, Google estimatesthat over 5,000,000 websearches will be made for 5 million! That’s a lot ofpromotional t-shirts this searches!year.
  7. 7. eCommerce Facts and FiguresAccording to Google, millions of web searches for promotionalproducts are performed every year. In fact, people search for thegeneral term “promotional products” over 360,000 timesmonthly. Promotional Monthly global Annual global product category search volume search volume Awards 20,600 247,200 Bags 327,100 3,925,200 Coffee Mugs 69,100 829,200 Pens 150,500 1,806,000 T-Shirts 475,900 5,710,800 Water Bottles 47,300 567,600
  8. 8. eCommerce Facts and FiguresSeveral top online distributors believe onlinesales in the promotional products industry arewell north of $3 billion already.
  9. 9. eCommerce Facts and FiguresRight now, online retailers are outpacing theirbrick-and-mortar counterparts when it comes torevenue growth.
  10. 10. eCommerce Facts and FiguresThis upward trend only looks to continue asmore businesses and consumers get online.
  11. 11. Going MobileeCommerce is still growingrapidly, but it’s not growing nearly asrapidly as mobile commerce.• Nearly half of all phones in use are smartphones.• People use their mobile phones to research retailers, read product reviews, and even make purchases.• People cite the convenience as the leading reason for shopping with their phones. Smartphones for the whole family!
  12. 12. Going MobileThe smartphone revolution is taking noprisoners. As of February 2012, nearlyhalf of all mobile phones in use weresmartphones according to Nielsen. Smartphones have reached 50% market penetration in less than 10 years—faster than the Internet, radio, or computers.
  13. 13. Going MobilePeople aren’t just checking email, playing games, or surfing theweb with their phones. They’re shopping, too. ForresterResearch estimates shoppers will spend $10 billion throughmobile phones this year.
  14. 14. Going MobilePeople cite convenience, special offers, andproduct comparisons as the main reasons forshopping on their smartphones.
  15. 15. Thinking Global• Global eCommerce sales are on pace to top 1 trillion dollars in 2014.• The European eCommerce marketing is larger and growing faster than the US The Internet can give your business a global reach. Are you going to pass on market. that opportunity?
  16. 16. Thinking GlobalUS citizens aren’t the only ones spending moneyonline. Global eCommerce sales will be over$800 billion dollars this year.
  17. 17. Thinking GlobalDespite the economic crisis threatening the EuropeanUnion, the European eCommerce market is growingfaster than the US. USA Europe USA Europe 18.2 259.5 194.3 16.1 Percent Growth Annual sales (in billions USD)
  18. 18. Myths on Internet Selling• “Web companies cheapen the promotional products industry.”• “People only place small orders online.”• “Sourcing and product safety are problem areas for web companies.”• “Internet companies cannot provide the same level of service as brick-and-mortar companies.”
  19. 19. Myths on Internet Selling“Web companies cheapen the promotional products industry.” In our conversations with online distributors, we have found that the vast majority of online providers are using the industry’s top 40 suppliers along with others also accredited by ASI, PPAI, or both.
  20. 20. Myths on Internet Selling “People only place small orders online.”One online provider reported, “we hadover 400,00 orders last year, and while6-figure orders weren’t the norm, wedid see them.”Another distributor noted, “althoughwe may not see $10,000 orders everyday, we do receive over 100 a year.”Finally, another companycommented, “our average order valuerivals that of the brick-and-mortardistributors we’ve spoken with.”
  21. 21. Myths on Internet Selling“Sourcing and product safety are problem areas for web companies.” After speaking with several online providers, we’ve found the opposite to be true. The added visibility of being online has prompted Internet-based distributors to take extra steps to ensure the products they sell are safe.
  22. 22. Myths on Internet Selling “Online distributors cannot provide the samelevel of service as brick-and-mortar companies.” The online providers we spoke with feel they exceed client expectations, and provide quicker turn- around than their clients’ traditional vendors.
  23. 23. Looking Forward• US eCommerce sales will exceed $200 billion in 2012. By 2015, the web will account for at least 11% of all retail sales.• Mobile and global eCommerce are growing at rates impossible to ignore.• Current generations have embraced the Internet and smartphones, so traditional sales and marketing methods no longer apply.• Online-only promotional product distributors have cracked the top 10, and that number only looks to grow.
  24. 24. Looking Forward• Traditional marketing methods no longer apply for younger demographics, who prefer text messaging to email or face-to-face meetings.• Social commerce (sales originating from social networks such as Facebook or Twitter) is a new and exciting frontier for businesses. Sales on these channels are expected to grow 93% per year until 2015.
  25. 25. Looking ForwardIn 2011, online distributor 4imprint generated nearly 225 milliondollars in revenue, and they recently announced growth of nearly19% for 2012.
  26. 26. What have we learned today?• All ages are shopping online.• People research purchases online before making them—including promotional products.• Mobile phones and global sales are the next steps in the evolution of online commerce.• Industry rumors are just that— rumors.• 4imprint’s and’s success online show that the industry is changing.
  27. 27. Credits and AcknowledgmentsData charts courtesy of the following:  Internet Retailer  Asymco  ASI  PPAIImages courtesy of the following:  eCommerce Facts and Figures:  Going Mobile:  Rumors in the Industry:  Responding to the rumors 2:  Responding to the rumors 3:  Responding to the rumors 4:  Looking Forward:  What have we learned today?: