The ease of online shopping has led to a thriving global ecommerce industry
People all over the world, love to shop, a phenomenon that has remained a constant across generations. What has changed is the way people shop. Today, ecommerce is a thriving industry as people reach out to shop online. As American business magnate, Bill Gates, says, “If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business.”
Doing business on Internet, or Ecommerce, has been around since the Internet was made available to the public on August 6, 1991. Today, at least 96% of Americans shop online, and global retail ecommerce sales are expected to be around $4.5 trillion by 2021.
Amazon, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, widely accepted as a pioneer in ecommerce, created one of the first ecommerce sites in the US. Though an accepted pioneer in ecommerce, Amazon hardly made any profits from it for over 14 years. This was in spite of customers from over 40 countries buying books from Amazon during its first month of internet sales in 1995. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes that investing in future growth is more important than aiming for quarterly earning targets.
It appears that Bezos’ perspective paid off. Staying power and persistence led to Amazon capturing almost half (49.1%) of American ecommerce, according to recent eMarketer forecasts. This amounts to $258.22 billion in sales. Amazon’s closest rival, eBay, has only 6.6% of the market. Even more amazing, at least half of all U.S. households are now said to be Amazon Prime subscribers. The company that began as an online bookseller, has, since then, become aa cloud computing giant, tablet and smart home device manufacturer, eBook publisher, movie studio and more.
What is enabling ecommerce thrive in this manner is digital marketing, which helps businesses reach millions of users within hours and a few clicks. This phenomenal power is available to any business, and with technology improving consistently, the opportunities to succeed increase with every such change. It is no wonder, therefore, that businesses tend to reach out to an ecommerce digital agency.
Even as eCommerce is winning the confidence and approval of online customers, research finds that ecommerce is currently just 11.9% of retail sales. While it is an increase from 3.5% of a decade ago, it means that brick and mortar stores still dominate retail sales.
There are many reasons why people still prefer to shop in stores. Many shoppers like to see for themselves (as opposed to virtually), what the product looks like, and feels like, to the touch. Recent research indicates that online shoppers find the online checking out process frustratingly repetitive, having to fill out the same information in different places. 74% of online shoppers are happy with “easy checkout” functions. However, when unexpected shipping charges get added, they abandon the online check-out process and visit the store instead. Yet a recent survey found that 88% of consumers in the US research their product online before buying it in-store. A recent survey has found that “customers are 57 percent of the way through a typical purchase process prior to proactively reaching out to a supplier’s sales rep.”
Habits across generations also influence how shoppers shop. For instance, 67% of Millennials shop online, and spend about 6 hours per week online. On the other hand, 72% of seniors shop in-store and spend 2.5 hours per week online.
Millennials, characteristically, are loyal to the brand they prefer, but are also hard to satisfy. A recent survey by Adroit Digital found that 60% of millennials are brand-loyal, which is a definite plus for eCommerce. Once captured, they will not leave in a hurry, and consider the first impression is their last impression.
As Chief Marketing Officer of Airbnb, Jonathan Midenhall, said, “Amazing things will happen when you listen to the consumer.”