If you’ve seen the crossover of the new millennium, chances are, you have also seen the growth of ecommerce websites. Earlier there used to be brick and mortar stores, where we could get special discounts because the retailers had known us from a long time. Nowadays we have online shopping portals – eCommerce stores which give us stuff at competitive prices. We don’t get to touch and feel the material before buying; we have to trust, at best, on the zoomed picture of the product. Yet, these online stores somehow seem to be taking over all around the world. These estores are becoming a craze among the new generation and the old alike.
Maybe it is the ease of the dealing – you have to simply place an order and wait for it to arrive while you plan on doing other things. Whatever the reason may be, online stores are expanding at an ever increasing rate. Moreover the prices at which the items are sold at these stores are sometimes much lower than even the physical stores where they can be bought. No wonder these eCommerce websites are giving a strong competition to the physical stores around the world.
What makes the eCommerce Websites Such a Hit?
Our entire life revolves around mobile phones these days. So the online shopping websites can completely reach out to us. Due to heavy marketing and competitive rates, buyers are easily opting for the eCommerce websites these days. In fact, online shopping has an incentive added – that is people do not have to visit a store physically. This means their time gets utilized perfectly. This way people can get some extra benefits when they are shopping online, which gives eCommerce websites a huge advantage over physical stores.
Another important thing to note is we are always looking for more and more options. On your phone or tablet, you can just swipe and check out the basic collection of a store. This makes it easier for you to select the item you want to buy. The wide collection is another advantage which eCommerce websites have over the brick and mortar stores.
No doubt the eCommerce stores have given some meaningful advantages, which is why it is fast growing and taking over traditional stores.
What is the Future of eCommerce Websites?
Gear up for this one; you will now be able to buy from even social media sites and video-sharing sites like YouTube. Yes, you read that right. YouTube is soon to imbibe the “click to buy” feature on its videos. If YouTube takes this step, it might be well to imagine that other social media sites like Pinterest will also join the march.
An executive from YouTube recently blogged about shopping ads in YouTube which will let the video watchers click on the “shop” button to purchase the product directly from the video they watch. However, it must be noted that the “buy” feature will be in sync with what you are watching. This means, for example, if you are watching a video on “how to create a video”, YouTube will show you an ad of a DSLR camera. So these ads will be relevant.
The customization of eCommerce to this degree is a first of its kind. Until this happened, the option of buying items directly through videos was not possible. Of course, you could buy it through the advertiser’s videos, but not directly. This shows the way to the future. Who knows in how many other ways we will be able to shop?
Facebook, as we already know, lets us shop directly via its sponsored ads. Many other social media websites have done it in the past. But there still lay some dormant websites which could be used potentially for shopping online. For example, Pinterest – this website was used by the eBay retailers to showcase their products. So eCommerce retailers might find a huge sales potential using this website.
Virtual Reality Shopping may be Just around the Corner
It is no surprise that virtual reality headsets are already making a foray into our worlds. Although they are predominantly geared towards the video games market, savvy marketers and software developers are already looking to combine online shopping with virtual reality. For some, this amalgamation of two technologies are both consistent to work with each other to provide shoppers a never-before like experience.
Imagine stepping into a high-end boutique store or departmental store, without having to deal with the massive crowds, in your own virtual spot and having a close look at each of the products they have available. The offer is quite tempting. The VR enabled shopping experience is much more profound, since it allows the shopper to explore the store much like how the person would explore a physical store, and gaze upon the products of interest.
How do Social Media and eCommerce Tie-ups Work?
An average person is on social media for quite some time during the day. They mainly visit their news feed for leisure, while on the other hand, they visit shopping websites like Amazon, eBay, only when they need something. This means that there is a huge scope for reaching out to people and marketing the products in an online shopping place.
What better way than to use the social media for this purpose. Yes, you might say that they can reach out to us via television. But unlike social media sites, via television you cannot click and buy an item immediately upon seeing it. This places the social media sites on a greater advantageous position. Just for example, YouTube, which will be now selling products through videos, will both market the product and create sales at the same time. Both sales generation and marketing are being done together through the social media networks, which might not be possible through any other medium.
Latest eCommerce Growth Stats
At present, eCommerce is a trillion dollar industry ($1.6 trillion USD in 2015). Its projected growth is 20% over the year. Also, experts have claimed that by 2019 its reach will be as much as 19.3%. All this is because of its mobile phone compatibility and marketing over social media platforms.
Another thing to note here is that, the eCommerce websites grow not only via sales, but also via page visits. So this way they have the chance to earn revenue by multiple means. No wonder there are 12 million eCommerce websites at present over the internet.
However, 650,000 websites are selling their items with revenue of more than $1,000 per year. This means that a vast number of online stores are not generating the desired revenues that one might expect. There are only a handful of websites which we know of around the world which create revenue of millions of dollars. The top websites like Amazon, eBay and Wal-Mart are only among 1% of the online store business and they capture 34% of the total sales in the market.
Within a matter of a year, that is, from 2014 to 2015, eCommerce market has jumped 6.6% – but with more internet penetration in the less developed countries, and more mobile phone usage, this statistic is set to rise.
Those eCommerce websites which rank 10k to 500k in Alexa together generate revenue of 63% as opposed to the 34% revenue of the top websites which rank among the “elite” in the online business.
This means that there is a huge potential for the lesser known eCommerce websites to reach out to the majority. However, it must also be noted that there is still a scope of technology penetration and we can only imagine, how much these sites will grow when the whole world will be online!
Is eCommerce Business Here to Stay?
It’s here to stay, plant roots, and grow! With the rising growth of eCommerce around the world, it is evident that more and more people are opting for online stores rather than the brick and mortar ones.
There is also a chance that the businesses which were previously just physically available will now be found online – this is practically happening now. With eCommerce utilizing sources such as video marketing and shopping on YouTube, you will now find everything online.
Word on the street is that the eCommerce websites are selling their products at a cheaper rate at present to run the flea stores out of business. When they monopolize their business in the industry, their prices will shoot up. However, we don’t know their strategies, so we cannot say this with certainty.
But one thing is for sure, with the way these websites are growing, there is a possibility that the brick and mortar stores will eventually be replaced by eCommerce stores and the children who are born in the current decade might not ever have to visit the retail stores to purchase anything. Funny thing is they might not even know what it is to bargain with the shop owner and buy things by visiting one shop to another.
Technology is making us reach from one peak to another at a fast rate. We might soon see a drastic change in the way things get done and the past might be nothing but a story that we to tell to our future generations.