Over the course of the 2000s, e-commerce has evolved into a major part of the world economy. More and more businesses are seeing the allure of going digital, and many retail stores have already invested in building their e-commerce counterparts. Undoubtedly, the internet has changed the way we work, the way we socialise and the way we interact. Consequently, the explosion of e-commerce transformed the traditional shopping experience. The progression of technology devices, like mobiles, tablets etc., and the internet has helped the evolution of e-commerce business models.
As the internet has given way to various digital marketing tools, e-commerce business models are increasingly popular. Through e-commerce, traditional brick and mortar shops have benefited from reduced overhead costs and increased streamlining of operations. The biggest changes in e-commerce over the last decade include the rise of online marketplaces and the shift from desktops to mobile. An advantage of the evolution of e-commerce is the integration of digital marketing tools into the business model. Furthermore, technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality are increasingly used to improve customer experience.
In this article, Team Luxeveda outline the journey of the evolution of e-commerce over the years. We also look at some of the prevalent trends and technologies.
The Impact of E-Commerce on Traditional Retail
The impact of e-commerce on brick and mortar retail is multidimensional and nuanced. As with most innovations, the evolution of e-commerce came with a blend of both positive and negative effects. In general, e-commerce trends have brought about a market where competition is stiff and businesses are accountable. E-commerce is a force that is also furthering market corrections, such as poor store management facilities and other infrastructure issues.
Yet the fact remains that brick and mortar retailers are surviving, and even doing well. Retail brands which innovate regularly to stay fresh are thriving, while the internet is killing the uninspired and change-resistant brands. Indeed, the brick-and-mortar businesses that are closing down were unsustainable to begin with. That is, they were not forced to do so because of stiff competition from e-commerce. In general, brands that make use of technology and understand e-commerce will thrive, even while maintaining brick and mortar establishments.
Using Automation in Operations
Automation in the e-commerce realm is extremely useful in consumer-facing functions, such as customising suggestions using AI. Over time, it has also progressed into more of the logistics and fulfillment processes. Primitively, this includes automated customer service in the form of chatbots which are adapting to handle a range of customer query categories.
More recently, automated marketing and outreach platforms are becoming a big aspect in the evolution of e-commerce. Businesses are adopting automated social media management systems and other marketing suites to track their insights and do better. Engaging in a comprehensive social media marketing strategy will allow you to stay connected with your customers and improve your digital presence.
Lastly, automation is also used in fraud detection, where technology tracks transactions to ensure that payment information is constantly monitored. This helps build trust amongst existing and potential customers, while allowing your business to keep track of all transactions for future reference.
The Growing Importance of Sustainability
Today, one of the major setbacks that comes with e-commerce is [a lack of] sustainability. With worldwide shipping and emphasis on packaging, shopping online significantly increases your carbon footprint. As consumers become more cognizant of this, the evolution of e-commerce should seriously look at solutions in this space. Indeed, consumers are more interested in supporting environmentally and ethically responsible businesses.
E-commerce businesses can do their part by reducing waste in the supply chain, which will also help save costs. Furthermore, the evolution of e-commerce allows using technologies for advanced data collection and analysis, which can help implement a lean supply chain, resulting in a win for everyone involved.
Clearly, the evolution of e-commerce is bringing forth new trends, like a focus on marketing over product, sustainability over convenience. E-commerce businesses should ensure that they stay on top of these trends to emerge as winners amongst their competitors. We at Team Luxeveda have domain expertise in e-commerce development and marketing. Contact us for your one-stop e-commerce development solutions.