With the dawn of the digital age, over the last few decades, consumers and businesses have realized how deeply e-commerce has been ingrained in our lives.

Electronic commerce or commonly referred to as e-commerce is the mechanism that enables buyers and sellers to transact over the internet without any limiting constraints that are so common to brick and mortar stores. 

Image Credits: Pixabay

Organizations and individuals can extend their business globally and cross borders easily thereby growing their customer base exponentially. In addition, e-commerce also refers to electronic transactions and encompasses business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B) and more recently m-commerce (sales over mobile devices), which comes under the same umbrella.

The benefits 

Regardless of how big or small an organization is, even if it is a fledgling startup, all businesses profit substantially from developing and maintaining their own e-commerce websites. Gone are the days when most consumers preferred shopping at retail stores. Today customers want convenient products and services. And they want it yesterday. Establishing an online presence is essential because:

  • It helps you stay competitive – With a fantastic growth rate of over 300%, e-commerce is a booming space that saw it bring in a revenue of $700 billion in the U.S. Just last year! 
  • Global reach – Besides gifting you with the ability to expand your reach across borders, e-commerce also gives you direction – whether you should tweak your sales or marketing strategies, or add in a product line or two depending on the needs of your target demographic.
  • Reduces costs – In addition to saving on traditional overheads such as rent and employees, websites enable businesses to employ effective marketing strategies across several platforms to drive traffic to their sites.
  • Scalability – As more customers arrive at your virtual doorstep, you can employ effective strategies to keep their engagement levels high so that you increase your conversions and earn a higher return on investment (ROI).

The trend

With technology perpetually evolving, e-commerce is also continuously morphing in parallel to help brands engage better with their customers and leads. Some of the major trends for e-commerce in 2019 are:

  • Animation  – to spike customers’ engagement levels even further.
  • Social and native shopping – where consumers can shop on the platform of their choice, such as Instagram and Pinterest without ever having to leave it.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) – Chatbots assist businesses by interacting directly with consumers. They respond to queries and reply to messages as well. Is there really anything today’s technology can’t accomplish!
  • Hi-definition photos and videos – which enables customers to view a product as if it is physically in front of them. 360 degrees.

The future 

According to the Harvard Business Review 2018 – “No industry is failing faster than retail”. And this might very well prove true because e-commerce is expected to contribute to a staggering 17.5% of the global sales by 2021. In addition, e-commerce sales are forecasted to reach a mammoth all-time high of $4,878 billion over the next few years.

Wouldn’t you like a share of that pie?


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