The Arrival of E-commerce And Its Impact
E-commerce was always a favourite topic of speculation and discussion before its actual arrival. Most theorists knew that one day this mode of commerce would come into existence and make a big impact on other conventional forms of commerce. E-commerce basically refers to the conduction of transactions online.
The inception of this concept dates back to around 1979 when Michael Aldrich, an entrepreneur, demonstrated the concept. From then on, new businesses began operating online with the addition of at least one new online seller every year. Eventually, Jeff Bezos launched Amazon.com that requires no introduction in terms of its success and innovative approach in the world of e-commerce. EBay was also launched at the same time that allowed C2C transactions which was also a huge hit.
Today, the industry is estimated to be about 1.2 trillion USD worldwide. There is an estimated 17% growth rate in USA which makes it one of the fastest growing industries in America. Its success has changed the complete concept of retail. Almost every kind of product is available for purchase online which has made the medium so effective and even useful. Even well established brands like Armani and Zara have begun offering their products online on their official websites and on other online retailing brands as well. But even today, the online B2B industry is more widely used than B2C or C2C transactions. Apparel and accessories are the fastest growing online retail products which should dominate in the near future.
What led to these changes?
It became difficult for businesses to justify the need to physically set up a store when instead, the customer can order stuff online conveniently. It also has the ability to offer products at lower prices and regular discounts. Mobile devices are also playing an important role in the e-commerce industry. Some estimates show that purchases made on the mobile devices will make up 25% of the market by 2017. Mobile offers have also become a large part of this industry. Retailers like Amazon provide special mobile offers on products, exclusive only to their application. Customers are preferring the use of mobile phones because of its ease and portability.
Three things make the e-commerce industry a dominant success:
- Convenience – Online transactions can be done effortlessly and quickly which is beneficial to the customer. No physical effort is required by customers. Therefore the number of people wanting to go to a store to purchase products is diminishing. For example, Amazon offers Adidas shoes for low prices. Why would someone go to the store to get them?
- Range and Display – Online retailers provide a very large range of product categories and types. Customers need to simply search for what they want and request for it with a simple click. Whether its fashion apparel or home appliances, one needs to simply open and view the diverse variety of products.
- Discounts and Offers – Today, almost all products come with discounts and offers online. Customers are slowly realizing how much they can save and are eventually preferring this medium. More stores are keeping ‘big sale days’ or season sales which is pulling more crowd. Sometimes online retailers host clearance sales which also create humungous traffic on their websites.
So on the whole, it’s quite obvious that convenience, range and low pricing make it a lethal form of commerce.