During the last decade, ecommerce has boomed. In 2008, worldwide ecommerce sales totalled $144billion, while 10 years later, figures are predicted to generate $653billion in 2018.
This phenomenal growth is due to a revolution in the way we shop. However, while ecommerce has shaped our buying habits, how has technology impacted ecommerce? Let’s find out.
The Rise in Online Marketplaces
The majority of large retailers have their own websites and online stores, however, the rise in online marketplaces have inspired consumer confidence. With sites like Amazon and Etsy, smaller businesses and independent sellers have been able to launch their own ecommerce venture with ease. They have benefitted from a marketplace that is trusted, popular and accessed by millions of potential customers, while customers have the advantage of product comparisons and reviews.
Mobile Friendly Shopping
For the first time, web browsing via mobile device overtook desktop in 2016, with mobile and tablet traffic coming in at 51.3%. This is a trend that has continued to grow and as such, mobile technology has influenced ecommerce behaviour. This has resulted in the creation of ecommerce sites that are mobile friendly and responsive, to ensure they are compatible with small screen devices. It has also lead to a rise in ecommerce apps, which has further streamlined the purchasing process.
New Relationship Dynamics
More of us are online than ever before, connected via social media and documenting our lives via the web. It is, therefore, no surprise that this technology has altered the business-customer relationship. Rather than walking into a shop, or speaking to a sales advisor during 9-to-5 hours, customers have come to expect continual engagement. Similarly, using social media and online stores, ecommerce businesses can – and regularly do – make themselves continually available to customers.
Faster, Better, Cheaper
The convenience and open-all-hours nature of the ecommerce model has led to a more demanding consumer. With an increase in ecommerce offerings, customers have more options than ever before. This has lead to a wider range of products at more competitive price points. It has also resulted in an increased need for same and next-day shipping options, as well as more demand for international delivery, with customer reach going global.
While technology has already made huge advancements in ecommerce, there are many more developments to come. This includes the introduction of blockchain technology, an increase in the use of social shopping, and the uptake of augmented reality and AI.
As such, the future of ecommerce is set to be technology-driven, with customer demand and convenience a top priority.