eCommerce has come a long way since British inventor Michael Aldrich first conceived of using interactive TV menus to order products in the late 1970s. These days, consumers spend a huge part of their days online and use the internet to buy everything from luxury goods to groceries.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Online consumer spending in the United States is expected to surpass $563.40 billion by 2025, and this number is bound to increase as more businesses establish an online presence. There’s no doubt that eCommerce has changed the way businesses operate and approach connecting with consumers.
From allowing businesses to establish a global presence to changing the way consumers shop, here are five ways that eCommerce has changed business.
The rise of eCommerce has given businesses of all sizes the ability to expand beyond their physical locations. While businesses were forced to focus on their local areas, the internet now allows them to have a store open 24/7 and sell goods wherever there is demand.
Opening a business that’s eCommerce-first is cheaper than ever to do. Likewise, scaling up has also become much easier, thanks to the lack of physical space needed. Popular eCommerce business models don’t even need retailers to stock inventory and rely on manufacturing plants to ship goods directly to consumers. Thus, the costs of scaling and inventory management are lower than traditional business models.
The result is that consumers gain access to a wider range of products and experience more touches from a business. Whether through social forums, digital ads, or email newsletters, eCommerce provides consumers with a unique buying experience that physical stores cannot match.
One of the biggest advantages of eCommerce for consumers is that the prices of goods have reduced across the board. The primary reason for this change is the lack of a physical retail storefront. While many sellers adopt hybrid physical and online models, most sellers use the internet to advertise their goods.
The lack of physical retail space means costly rental payments and utility bills are eliminated. These savings are passed directly to consumers. The online nature of these businesses also allows owners to automate many tasks. For instance, an eCommerce store that advertises its products through paid ads on social media doesn’t need a full-time staff monitoring results.
Ad platforms collect data, and business owners can analyze it to optimize their budgets. Marketing and outreach can be executed through email automation strategies for eCommerce. Autoresponders and chatbots reduce the number of hours a customer support team has to be online. These tools also allow owners to create workflows that filter only the most pertinent and urgent queries to a human being.
Thus, budgets fall across the board, and consumers experience massive savings.
Researchers predict that the B2B online payments market will increase to over $63 trillion by 2026. Thanks to more consumers shopping online, the average B2B buying experience has also changed. More B2B companies than ever are digitally transforming to create B2C-like buying experiences for their customers.
Self-service platforms and omnichannel experiences are becoming increasingly standard in the B2B world, and the eCommerce revolution is the catalyst for this change. Despite the comparatively larger ticket sizes and greater product complexity, today’s buyers prefer to research by themselves.
Websites such as G2 provide B2B buyers with product reviews and resources to compare complex products. B2B companies have increasingly focused on connecting with their consumers, like their B2C counterparts, by publishing content that solves issues instead of the traditional sales model of pushing their product at every turn.
The changing B2B buying journey is just one aspect of how buying patterns have changed. Once buyers relied on salespeople to educate them about product features, social media and user reviews have assumed huge importance. Influencer marketing is on the rise even in B2B businesses.
For instance, before buying a product, most consumers head online and consume review content, either as blog posts or videos. They research a company’s reputation and place a huge amount of weight on the sustainability of their manufacturing processes.
Negative reviews and poor product features result in a consumer choosing a competitor before the company even has a chance to contact them. The quality of a company’s product page, ad copy, and email marketing are more important than ever.
Thanks to the greater convenience of ordering online, consumers have begun asserting their needs more than ever. Companies have to present a human face and offer help before consumers consider buying their products.
The rise of the premium pet food and pet insurance industries are poignant examples of how modern consumers expect high-quality and sustainable products with every purchase they make.
The push for more convenience and the rise of marketplaces such as Amazon and Alibaba has pushed logistics companies to remodel their business practices. Next-day and same-day shipping are legitimate product features these days and make a difference in buying choices.
Services such as shipping, freight forwarding, and warehousing have become more important than ever, leading to the rise of the supply chain as a service industry. A good example of this industry is the Fulfilled by Amazon program, which eliminates high startup costs for small businesses and allows them to implement world-class logistics processes nonetheless.
Manufacturers these days produce a wider assortment of products. and volumes flowing into warehouses have increased. In turn, electronification and automation have increased as supply chain firms evolve to keep pace with greater product flow.
End-to-end visibility in the supply chain and the use of analytics have risen, all of which ensures that consumers receive their goods on time and in optimal condition.
As technology improves, there’s no doubt that eCommerce is set to evolve even further. The prospect of greater automation will reduce product lifecycles and bring greater efficiency into workflows. It remains to be seen where the next stage of the eCommerce revolution will take us.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts on any of the social media pages listed below. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.
Last Updated on August 10, 2021.