ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

Exploring the growing e-commerce industry [ICT Clinic]

In 2018, an estimated 1.8 billion people purchased goods online and there are indications that this number is expected to rise in the future. Though we cannot separate the importance of physical infrastructure in aiding the growth of e-commerce in general, especially, in the aspect of delivery, one cannot underestimate the role that technology has played in the online retail revolution.

With more demand for delivery of goods through online retail, small businesses are adopting changes to their business models to meet up with these fast demands. Retail companies are asking how consumers are buying products; they are getting these delivered right to their doorsteps. The traditional means of getting to bring your product in, send to a distribution centre and finally, sending it, to a store, is having a face lift, therefore, retailers are adapting to the moving train.

From warehouse locations to stores, the act of online shopping is spreading its effects. Gradually, retail is shifting from the physical stores back to warehouses. Retailers, having large scale businesses, may still use the storefronts but on a wider scale. They now prefer conducting their businesses between warehouses and the doorsteps of their customers. Over the last decade, more parcels have been delivered to customers’ doorsteps.

Logistics companies that operate through third-party logistics companies like UPS and DHL often handle a vast majority of deliveries for large scale retailers, through what is referred to as the last mile of the shipping trail.

The explosion of the e-commerce revolution sprung from the rise of Internet technologies in the last few years. Nowadays, online stores have successfully rivalled traditional stores in the ease of getting access to products. It has made it possible for consumers to go through hundreds of products, make informed decisions on selection, drop the selected products in a cart, pay and wait for the delivery of such products, within the specified period of delivery time.

Excitingly, the online retail sector is breaking boundaries with innovations such as drone shipping services; therefore, the e-commerce revolution is far from reaching its height. The sector has seen other tremendous changes over the past few years. These changes range from the extensive use of mobile devices for shopping online, digital marketing and reaching customers, through advertising.

There are online shopping sites as well as online marketplaces and the two should not be confused with each other. Online shopping sites are owned by most brands and retail stores. One good example that comes to mind, at the mention of the online marketplace, is Amazon.

Why is this? Amazon has virtually changed the way consumers carry out online shopping, putting up some measure of convenience for its users. Online marketplaces afford vendors platforms to sell products; allow marketers to advertise; make it easy for consumers to search, find products, make a price comparison, read reviews and end up making purchases of their choices.

By the year 2020, consumers would be spending huge resources, annually, on making electronic purchases, through the use of mobile smartphones.

With the level of increase in mobile the circulation and use of smartphones and the development of mobile app, users, at the click of buttons, virtually go through online shops with ease.

Beyond making a purchasing decision, users can leverage the experience that, the entirety of the buying spectrum offers. The development of app-based commerce has opened the window of opportunities for ventures, especially, small businesses to engage their customers, via mobile platforms.

The younger generation keeps their mobile devices at close proximity and they are easy to be targeted by marketers, via the various — Finish Reading on the Punch