Electronic Commerce is indeed the future. Most predicted this long ago. Others realised this during and especially in today’s post Covid world. During lockdown, we witnessed many downfalls of several businesses, forced to shut down as sales plummeted overnight. Those who survived have only the phenomenon of E-Commerce to thank for only businesses that managed to setup an online presence would eventually survive our recent global shutdown.
What is so special about E-Commerce? From where I see it, what strikes me the most is the fact that E-Commerce is for one and all. Be it a youngster or a grown up, male or female, a person residing in a first world or third world country – with access to the internet, one is good to go. Buying online through various E-Commerce platforms makes traditional shopping by physically making your way to a shop, picking out items, taking them to checkout along with the process of payment and transporting them to your final destination, all appears to be a tedious task. As opposed to the click of a few buttons on your internet device and the delivery of your purchased items within a matter of days, sometimes even hours!
The first advantage of E-Commerce spaces is the convenience. To be able to shop from the comfort of one’s home. In 2021 itself, online revenue growth increased by a whopping 39% to 26.7 Trillion US Dollars, as most people were confined to being indoors as opposed to public places due to various Covid SOP’s in place in different parts of the world. Hence with Covid came the fear of being out in public spaces, unless completely necessary and online shopping proved, more so most recently than ever before that even grocery shopping can be done without stepping out from the boundaries of ones’ home.
But, it was not always convenient. E-Commerce website, platforms and were not always straight-forward and easy to use. It is technological advancements over time that has created accessible, simple and effortless interfaces which a customer can adapt to and understand within a matter of minutes, no matter how educated, experienced or tech-savvy he is or is not.
Customers have recently become more comfortable shopping online as the issue of security has been tackled head-on and with the airtight safety protocol where ones personal information is kept private, the risk of security breach has effectively been minimised.
The three types of E-Commerce; business to business, e.g. Shopify, business to consumer, such as Amazon and thirdly, consumer to consumer has ensured a market for everyone. Even for one’s second-hand goods on E-bay! Based on experience however, one must always bear in mind that things aren’t always how they appear online and in pictures in real life! The protocols to ensure no surprises on this front are constantly evolving and efforts being made to protect the consumer.
With Covid relaxing, we certainly do not see any withering in the growth of E-Commerce. Consumer mindsets and behaviour have evolved permanently. It is therefore safe to say, E-Commerce is here to stay.