At the turn of the millennium, the Internet was born and it ushered in an era of technological development and digital advancement which would transform our lives, societies and economies forever. The Internet has changed the ways in which we communicate and connect with one another, learn about the world around us and as well as how we retail and purchase goods and services.
E-commerce, in particular, has been developing at an unprecedented pace and leaping from strength to strength. There is no denying that e-commerce has utterly transformed the landscape of retail, and by understanding how e-commerce works businesses can capitalize and profit from the lucrative opportunities it has made available.
Revolutionizing Digital Marketing
There’s no doubt that e-commerce has completely changed the operational infrastructures and frameworks of business, and this includes the various marketing strategies and techniques they implement in order to generate revenues and sales. Through digitalization, the online world is more interconnected and interdependent than it has ever been before, and the retail landscape is constantly changing and evolving. This means that the options which are available to businesses when it comes to marketing are continually diversifying.
The influence of e-commerce is vast, not only affecting consumer behavior and expectations but also the ways in which businesses decide which products to launch and how they should market them. The role of digital platforms in our day-to-day lives is only going to increase, and within this environment, a business’s success hinges on the extent to which they can adapt to and adjust their marketing methods for the purpose of e-commerce.
Complete Purchases Anywhere, Anytime
For customers, e-commerce is associated with convenience and practicality, and this is one of the driving forces behind its unprecedented popularity. Brick-and-mortar stores require customers to actually travel to their physical locations, and because their operations are limited to their opening hours customers have to specifically allocate time in their schedule in order to purchase the items they need. With e-commerce, all of this changes. Rather than going to an actual store, customers can browse, select and purchase any product or service they’re looking for from the comfort of their home.
Regardless of whether they are at home, traveling on the train, or scrolling through their phone at midnight – customers can shop from anywhere and at any time. This provides online e-commerce platforms with a massive competitive edge over their brick-and-mortar counterparts because customers can purchase from them twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. What’s more, digital stores tend to provide customers with a larger range of options due to their more extensive inventories, which is another significant advantage.
This uninterrupted accessibility and availability have become expected of e-commerce platforms, and this is why it is crucial that any online store is designed to function well on mobiles as well as traditional desktop browsers. Most customers are carrying their phones with them throughout the day and wherever they may go, and the chances are that when they are shopping online the expectation is that they should not only be able to browse but also make purchases through their mobile browser.
Many customers spend multiple hours a day on their phones, and it is for this reason that numerous retailers are ensuring that their websites either have mobile compatibility or that they release a made-for-purpose app so that customers can complete their transactions with just a few clicks or swipes.
Online stores are an attractive option for many customers because they are so accessible, and this is not just in the sense that they can be used on portable and lightweight mobile browsers as well. There are many instances when a customer might be looking for a specialized or even just a particular product that simply isn’t available in their locality. It can be time-consuming, expensive and frustrating to have to travel long distances and go around looking for something which they may or may not find.
These concerns are completely eliminated with an e-commerce platform, because as long as an e-commerce platform delivers to a customer’s area then they can purchase a product/service from anywhere in the world and have it delivered to their door. This isn’t something that is just beneficial for customers, however, because it is just as advantageous for businesses.
If there is sufficient demand for the product or service which your business provides, then by setting up an e-commerce platform you’re more likely to generate sales and therefore profits. This is because your customer base will be much more regionally diverse than it would otherwise be if you were operating within a physical store. The more customers who can access your products, the more revenue you will make.
When compared to a physical store, e-commerce platforms are evidently much more efficient when it comes to running costs, availability, accessibility, convenience and reach. The benefits are numerous and significant and apply as much to the businesses themselves as they do to their customers.
In 2021, e-commerce continues to transform the retail landscape, and as the associated technologies become more advanced exciting innovations and lucrative possibilities will continue to appear. Those businesses which take the initiative and incentive to grasp these opportunities will be prepared to adapt and adjust to this ongoing and dramatic technological, cultural and economic revolution.