In the past ten years, as the high street has begun to diminish, e-commerce experienced growth at an astronomical rate. We no longer need to visit the bank, as the likes of Revolut exist as an app only bank, leave the house, or even speak to someone to get food, thanks to the development of Just Eat. But, why is e-commerce taking over?
Here, with Lookers, retailers of the new Ford transit, we analyse the growth of e-commerce, while similarly assessing where it goes from here.
When did it gain so much popularity?
In terms of aiding the buying habits of the general public, e-commerce has established as a major industry player. This year, Nasdaq has anticipated that 18% of purchases in the UK will occur online, while 77% of us have bought goods online at some point. Millennials are the biggest users of e-commerce services, with the age group purchasing 54% of their products and services online.
Due to its cost-efficiency, e-commerce has proved a popular choice for the vast majority of big brands. Because of this and the internet offering a wider range of custom, the popularity has sky rocketed for businesses. For consumers, they are taking advantage of the lower rates as the prices of the products represent this.
Doubling in value since 2015, it is clear that e-commerce sales have no sign of taking their metaphorical foot of the gas.
Although we may not buy every day, most of us are guilty of browsing through the web on a bi-daily occasion — assisted by the fact international boundaries on the web are removed. Companies are taking advantage of e-commerce to tap into markets that they’d previously not have been able to reach. To do this, you need to produce a strategic sales and marketing plan to help you successfully convert international customers. Improved social media campaigns are one of the main ways ecommerce is improving.
As we buy more online, our expectations change. Consider it in terms of visiting a physical shop — we expect good customer service and perhaps some form of perks for loyalty. Stats from an Alix Partners report show that three quarters of Americans believe the offer of free shipping impacts their final decision on whether to buy a product. While this is the case, the maximum delivery time has continued to diminish. In 2012, those expecting free delivery were willing to wait 5.5 days for their product. By 2017 though, a full day had been wiped off that expectation.
Due to this increased pressure from consumers, businesses which operate through e-commerce have invested significantly in their delivery service. This has led to many companies offering next-day delivery. While speed is important, so too is flexibility and reliability. It’s no use a customer being offered a fast delivery time if it’s not a convenient time frame. Because of this, companies like Amazon, who have even started offering ‘free’ next day delivery to their Amazon Prime customers, offer consumers the chance to choose a specific slot, meaning they know they’ll be in to receive their goods.
Research has found that 52% of customers won’t return to a product if they have a bad interaction, therefore it should come as no surprise that by placing an emphasis on customer service, e-commerce has established itself as retail leader
The future of shopping
With approximately 7.7 million people in the world, e-commerce boasts a hugely impressive 1.92 billion digital buyers, expected to increase to 2.14 billion by 2021.The number of people making purchases that will be facilitated by e-commerce is expected to dramatically increase, too. Research has found that up to 95% of purchases by 2040 will be made using e-commerce.
With such an increase in users, e-commerce business throughout the globe have invested significantly and are currently trialing a number of new innovations. Amazon have experimented with in-home delivery. The concept behind this is that the consumer can remotely unlock their door via their smartphone when the delivery driver arrives with the parcel. A real-time camera connection allows for added security.
Although the likes of Amazon may be ready to implement such plans, it doesn’t appear that the general public are quite so up to speed. With 68% of US adults admitting they wouldn’t feel comfortable granting a driver access to their home, it’s sure to take time for the idea to catch on.
With several car manufacturers and tech companies pushing further along with the development of driverless cars, the general trust concerns expressed by the US public may not be an issue. This removes any need for a delivery person, with takeaway companies ready to roll out this concept. The recipient simply types a code into the vehicle’s keypad to open a compartment where their food is kept. This is currently being tested in the States and could well be brought over to the UK in the near future.
The developments which have taken place in the past decade have proven to us that e-commerce can implement new innovations rapidly therefore our expectations for the future should not be limited!