E-commerce is a term nearly all retailers will have some level of familiarity with. E-commerce, an abbreviation for electronic commerce, is the process of buying and selling goods or services on the internet. As consumers continue to turn to their laptops and smartphones to make purchases, the potential for companies to grow their customer base and increase revenue is limitless.
As the world continues to transition to digital landscapes, e-commerce is no longer a luxury for retail companies and their customers; it’s a necessity. This fact has been highlighted by the spread of COVID-19, which has led to consumers being urged to stay at home, and non-essential businesses to close. Here’s why e-commerce is absolutely essential for retail companies in the 21st century.
The statistics are in, and they are staggering. According to research done by Outerbox Solutions, “more than half of all internet traffic shopping came from a mobile device,” which. should come as no surprise when considering how much we all use our smartphones.
A more surprising statistic that comes from the research done by Outerbox, however, is that, “80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations.” This means even once a customer is inside your store, he or she can be stolen away by a competitor with a strong e-commerce presence.
Between smartphones and tablets, consumers are either ordering products online, or deciding before they go out what products they’re going to buy (and where they’re going to buy them). Maximize industry visibility by ensuring your retail company is equipped with a solid e-commerce platform.
What better reason than this is there for a retail company to adapt an e-commerce platform? The fact is, business is being conducted across the internet more commonly now than it ever has been before, evidenced by the fact that, “e-commerce dollars now comprise 10% of ALL retail revenue.” It’s tough to argue against maximizing the avenues of revenue for your company.
The fact that e-commerce accounts for that much of the revenue in the industry is a big deal. As any business owner who has had a tough time with their margins will tell you, every dollar counts for a retail company. Particularly for a smaller organization that is seeking to carve out their space in the industry.
As every business owner knows, customer satisfaction is one of the keys to running (and maintaining) a successful business. Quora put it best when they wrote, “Ecommerce sites save buyers’ time, make price comparisons simple, offer a variety of things to purchase and also reduce the annoyance of fighting through crowded stores.” All of these are things that can help drive business.
This doesn’t mean physical retail locations aren’t important. Quite the contrary. E-commerce, in some cases, should act as a supplement to your physical store locations. Some consumers still prefer buying items in-person where they can see, touch, and handle the product. But why limit the ways consumers can buy your products, especially when setting up an ecommerce platform can be relatively simple and affordable.
Whether or not e-commerce will dominate the retail industry in the future is an intriguing conversation to have, but it is not the most relevant question for retailers who are trying to thrive. What is relevant is the fact that, right now, consumers are turning to e-commerce more than ever before to buy all kinds of different products. In response, every retailer would be wise to implement e-commerce into their business strategy. Because if you don’t, your competitor will.