Today, nearly everything is online. The internet is changing, and traditionally accepted business practices, now, are getting the digital treatment. The Internet, social media and mobile access are here—and companies are offering incredible value to those who use them.
The Dawn of Online Business
Today, retail-centric e-commerce is one of the quickest-growing trade sectors. It’s outpaced other manufacturing and trade centers since 1999—when the Census Bureau collected data on the spike in e-commerce activities. As e-commerce solutions picked up, it expanded rapidly. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, recorded through Supply Chain Quarterly, e-commerce retail sales jumped by about 10 percent between 2003 and 2010.
The “Great Recession,” which took place between 2007 and 2009, witnessed the dawn of online alternatives to brick-and-mortar retail sales, manufacturing wholesale options and typical buying experiences. Retail-based e-commerce thrived in the recession, though its growth was, indeed, hindered a little. Quarterly sales soon picked up, however, making e-commerce a go-to option for modern business.
The E-Commerce Impact
As technology grew, globalization impacted the buyer’s world. E-commerce helped customers and businesses become intertwined, assisting financial markets, supply chain networks and sales transactions alike. All in all, the shift was positive for industry growths. Quick sales responses, now, are a cornerstone of modern business.
Successful e-commerce websites understand the client’s needs, expectations and goals. They similarly deliver impeccable experiences. A lot of these e-commerce websites are driven by intensive data management systems, ensuring social and mobile optimization at the buying level. From the ground up, buyer satisfaction comes first.
In 2016, Forrester predicted an astounding 9 percent of sales resulted from e-commerce solutions. This number jumped by 2 percent from 2011’s growth. The digital evolution, today, can’t be avoided.
The Go-To Standard
Among the many businesses growing upon the foundation of e-commerce solutions, entities like Apple, Staples and Amazon spearheaded the movement. Translating customer ideas into business practices is hard work, but each changed the way society engages life. Among the many societal shifts prompted by these businesses, the following are considered the largest:
- Business growth
These e-commerce “big-leaguers” aren’t slowing down, either. Because e-commerce has changed the buyer’s experience, B2B e-commerce, too, has grown. Businesses are competitive, but they’re also incredibly social. Online business, by and large, is a social atmosphere. Today’s e-commerce customers receive product and service promotions through social media, email and a variety of websites. Thus, B2B globalization has increased due to the growth.
E-Commerce Technology and Solutions
Today’s companies are taking advantage of the technologies available to them. Because e-business is a process surrounding information exchange, business providers are heavily focused on any technology assisting order placement and online interactions.
Personal computers, of course, are centric to e-commerce solutions. Recently, however, mobile devices have made e-commerce investment more worthwhile. For this reason, any technology focusing on faster data-transfer speeds, B2B efficiency and B2C networking options is popular.
In 2017, e-commerce customers can interact with an e-commerce-enabled business from anywhere across the earth. Even if a region doesn’t offer cellular network access, satellite networks have enabled quick download speeds, instant access and intuitive communicative power.
Product Comparison Technology
Product and service comparison technology, too, is at the heart of e-commerce. Today’s comparison-shopping applications, websites and even social media platforms grant e-commerce businesses the ability to link with brick-and-mortar retailers. Why? Because comparison shopping is incredibly popular. Customers want low prices. Now, market consumers can compare different products with QR code scanners, states Chron.com. Price-comparison technology is growing to fit the mobile mold, and it isn’t rare to see customers scanning bar codes to view online applications.
Purchasing Analytics Technology
Businesses who interact with vendors, clients and other e-businesses need information. It’s difficult to follow massive trends, buyer personas and prospective market forecasts. A lot of numbers exist, and large corporations are taking advantage of business recording technology to pinpoint likely trends before they even exist.
In fact, an MIT Sloan Management Review and IBM Institute of Business Value joint study suggests that businesses who adopt e-commerce analytics are three times as likely to outperform competitors who don’t. Innovative organizations are creating competitive mindsets, and they’re using deep studies, real-time surveys, mobile apps, gadgets and social media technology to think of unique offers, products, services and—of course—the customer.
The E-Commerce Implication
E-commerce solutions might be business-centric, but it’s initiated quite a lot of other societal shifts. Primarily, e-commerce has created a buying atmosphere of pure equality. Professionally developed, well-maintained websites bring big corporations to the buyer’s level, helping buyers create communities of trust, product comparison and goodwill.
Additionally, these buyer communities have spawned review websites, comparison e-magazines and other opportunities. Because online deals are a staple of e-commerce, deal-comparison websites, too, have become a modern cornerstone of online business.
Online order entries, hooked directly into real-time inventories, now help businesses promote 24-hour-per-day services. This benefits both consumer and business, helping buyers save money while helping businesses gather information. Now, businesses can save money by opening order-entry sections. Requiring less staff is always a good thing, business-wise, which has also changed the way companies hire professional work.
Online order entry has changed the world of seasonal purchases, too. In the past, brick-and-mortar retailers could only sell seasonal products during price-feasible time periods. Now, e-commerce’s “digital stock” is virtually limitless. Online deals have replaced the age-old mantra of “carry a product, but only when it’s in season.”
Relevant Products and Services
E-commerce buyers share account information. As the world of digital business grows, the average business’s ability to “serve up” customer-centric products and services expands. Customers can check out their digital shopping carts, change their account information and click on product promotions based upon their previous purchases.
Of course, authorization is always a priority. Digital privacy is highly valued—more than ever before—and it’s becoming a highly-valued component of digital commerce. That said, social media has lessened the gap between consumer and business. Modern technology, built on social data, empowers customers like never before. “Like” buttons, Instagram shares and even YouTube links are providing businesses with much-needed social data. Companies are thriving—and they’re doing so due to customer information.
The World of Information and Digital Buying
A strange thing has occurred due to the above, too. The Atlantic has reported a surprising turn in customer flexibility in terms of privacy. Now, customers are freely sharing data, broadcasting their interests and creating entire trends around e-commerce. The social data individuals choose to share, alone, is incredibly beneficial to online sellers. Companies are thriving.
As digital buying becomes the go-to approach for consumers, businesses can expect bigger broadcasts, in-depth information and predictable trend shifts. Social media and mobile access, alone, has fortified the online buyer’s comfort in sharing information. Companies who’re able to anticipate the customer’s needs will win, and customers are contributing to the business cornerstone.
The future of e-commerce may be uncertain, but it’s certainly bright. As businesses create new targeting strategies, and as consumers become increasingly reliant on instant access, the world of e-commerce will grow. Already, the Internet of Things is providing businesses with an unbeatable knowledge database. Day-of shipping, drone deliveries and even walk-out-of-the-store instant purchasing options are upon us, and each is powered by the Internet’s e-commerce solutions we’ve come to know and love.