E-commerce is a short form of Electronic Commerce used for any type of business, or commercial transactions that involves the transfer of information across the Internet.
It can be thought of as a more advanced form of mail-order purchasing through a catalog. It is the most widespread technology of modern world that covers a variety of different types of businesses, from consumer based retail sites, through auction or music sites, to business exchanges trading goods and services between corporations. E-commerce is the major emerging aspect of the Internet World.
E-commerce helps consumers to sell and buy goods without the barriers of time and date. This technology has expanded rapidly over the last five years and is predicted to continue with even a higher rate.
When you enter the online shop, you select the item that fulfills all your demands, put it into the shopping cart icon, when browsing is done, you make transactions and checkout.
There are 4 basic types of e-commerce
Business-to-Business e-commerce comprises of all electronic transactions of goods or services that occurs between companies.
This type of e-commerce is differentiated by the electronic business relationships between businesses and the consumers.
In this type of e-commerce all the transactions of goods and services conducted between the consumers. The third party provides a platform where the transactions carried out.
This is very common in collaboration based projects. Consumer offers products online and sellers post their bids. Afterwards consumers choose the companies that meet their demands.
Advantages of e-commerce
The main advantage of e-commerce is its ability to reach a global market, without implying a large financial investment.
Through direct interaction with the consumer, e-commerce almost eliminates the distribution chain.
E-commerce allows sellers to be closer to their buyers thus providing a competitive and productive environment.
Consumers are now having stores that are open 24 hours a day.
Cost reduction is also associated with e-commerce business.
Disadvantages of e-commerce
Along with advantages, E-commerce does have many disadvantages with it;
People are relying more on information and communication technologies.
Both nationally and internationally lack of legislation regulates the e-commerce activities.
Market culture is antagonistic for consumers as they cannot see or touch the product before buying.
The users lose their privacy of culture, region, and even economic identity.
E-commerce Trends and Predictions for 2017
Year 2016 had made some huge developments in the world of E-commerce. From leaps in social media and E-commerce to pushing the boundaries of Omni-channel strategies, ecommerce made some significant moves forward. Here are some predictions for 2017’s ecommerce trends.
Social Media v/s E-commerce
According to a study, 51% of people say a business needs to be available 24/7 and 49.4% would rather contact a business through a messaging service than on the phone.
Social media could also take a more cross border approach in 2017. In the Western world, most of the same social media platforms are used (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc), but in countries such as China, for example, completely different platforms are used. The most popular social network in China is called We-Chat. We-Chat is far more than a messaging application. As well as text, video and voice messaging, users can make mobile payments, browse stores, play games, and even book taxis.
At the moment, most Western brands selling on the app are luxury brands, such as Burberry, Chanel, Coach, and Mulberry.
So, it is expected that in year 2017, more retailers will tend to take place in the business of e-commerce in China.
The strategy of Omni-Channel
Online shopping has been a big trend in e-commerce this year, it’s clear that retailers are now finding new ways to link both their bricks-and-mortar stores and e-commerce sites. It’s fair to assume that in 2017, retailers will be pushing this even further.
2017 will probably see more online retailers opening showrooms, pop-ups and permanent bricks and mortar stores. The store also has a collection point where customers can pick up items they’ve bought online, and soon will also be able to return website purchases.
November; The Shopping Month
November holds three major global shopping events:
Black Friday, and
In the near future the last two will combine together to form an online discount month. We’ll head towards the ‘Cyber Monday’ instead of having two shopping events.
2017 will undoubtedly reveal a great deal of exciting advancements for the e-commerce industry.
E-commerce business had a great velocity in 2016 and expected to expand more this year. E-commerce will flourish astonishingly with a rapid growth rate in the upcoming years.
E-marketers will have to improve not only on their product quality but also will have to work on user experience to retain the customer.
According to e-Marketer’s survey, e-commerce represented 8.6% ($1.915 trillion) of overall retail spending last year and is expected to reach 18.7% ($4.058 trillion) by 2020.
By now we already know videos are the future of content marketing and can do a lot to attract visitors.
In past decade we have seen images and content been used for doing e-Commerce business. Now the future years will have Shoppable Videos for customers, which will make them shop for products/services directly from the video.
A shoppable video for consumer will help reduce the wastage of time from catalog browsing
55% of the online traffic is generated from mobile devices last year.
Mobile marketing cannot be ignored as it is the major component of e-commerce.
Moreover, the search engine giant Google is pushing online stores to go mobile responsive to be able to achieve higher ranks in search engine results.
A recent emerging e-commerce technology trend is biometric verification in which physical characteristics of users are taken into measures to solve security issues. These include fingerprints etc.
It’s the responsibility of the retailer to assure consumers about security and safety issues.
Security issues like online frauds, leakage of confidential data, hacking etc. are still holding back some people from online shopping.
Cross-channel assimilation is able to re-market the product through ads even if it’s cast aside by the website.
In the upcoming years, retailers will continue to integrate with cross channels for more developments in their business
Hence, for a rapid growth, businesses should have to adopt these e-commerce technology trends of 2017.