The future of e-Commerce: Is It Bright or Is It Dark?

Published on 24 March 2023
1 min read
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Is it bright? Or is it dark?

There has been a constant debate when it comes to the comparison between online and offline mode of doing businesses. Some people argue that no matter how popular the online businesses become, it won’t be able to match the shopping experience that the retail businesses provide. Also, a large population still believes in the physical experience, the touch and feel factor and refrains from online shopping. On the other side, a large population of experts advocate the dependency on online platforms for shopping as well. With all these explanations, claims and counterclaims, it becomes particularly important for both the online shop owners, admins and the customers to analyze and summarize the future of ecommerce.

So let’s begin!!

Retail: The past, the present and the future.

Retail mode of commerce has been there since ages and will be there at times to come as well. The biggest advantage which the retail commerce offers is the option to touch and feel a particular commodity. This mode of commerce has the advantage of customer’s faith and loyalty. Since this mode of trade has always involved a direct interaction between the customers and the traders, it often results in a loyal customer pool for a particular business and thus is preferred by a lot of business owners since over a period of time, they not only become profitable but also get assured of a recurring revenue coming from their loyal customers. To sum up, here are a few distinct and positive aspects of retail business:

  • Physical presence

  • Customer Loyalty

  • Gradual and prolonged profitability

  • Little or No marketing required

  • Direct customer interaction

  • Comparatively less market competition

To some readers, retail mode of commerce may appear to be easy and profitable. However we should consider the other side before jumping to a conclusion. Here, have a look at ecommerce.

Ecommerce: The present and the future.

Ecommerce has gained momentum and popularity in recent years. With internet connections reaching more and more people, the convenience that the ecommerce offers is finally being recognized by the masses. With people running out of time and the global economy rising, Ecommerce is becoming more and more popular especially among the younger generations. Ecommerce has removed the regional barriers and trade barriers to a great extent. Now with sellers and buyers connected over specific platforms, trade is nothing but easy. The benefit of easy and secure online payment along with doorstep delivery has been attracting more and more customers with each passing day. Let’s sum up ecommerce on the basis of a few distinct features.

  • No territorial boundaries

  • Local and global customers

  • Ease of trade

  • Doorstep deliveries

  • Sound marketing campaigns

  • Need for marketing and branding

  • Little or no loyal customer base

  • Enormous competition

The real need of ecommerce was felt when the entire globe ran into a state of lockdown with the onset of Covid-19 pandemic. The entire global supply chain came crashing down and stayed on the ground for almost two long years leading to undue rise of the prices of commodities. However, the same timeframe saw a huge surge in traffic on almost every ecommerce website. The table below provides a clear picture of the growth in numbers.

Source: UNCTAD, based on national statistics offices

As discussed above, retail business holds its edge over the online medium on some grounds. However, what makes the ecommerce a sleeping giant is the fact that it is oblivious of the physical and geographical barriers. 

While the entire world retail market came to a standstill with the Covid pandemic, internet services were still on and people with a simple internet connection could still do shopping and get their products delivered at their doorsteps. Be it another pandemic or a natural calamity or a man-made disaster, ecommerce platforms always provide an option and a sense of security to the customers across the globe. The result can be clearly seen in the graph below.

Now that was all from a customer’s point of view. But why is ecommerce becoming more and more popular among businesses across the globe? One simple answer to this question is that a business which is into ecommerce, can catre to customers sitting thousand miles away. Let us say a particular country is hit with an earthquake leading to complete disruption of day to day activities. If a business is local, in that case or it is providing its products and services to only the customers of that particular nation, the business is likely to get badly hit. However, if the same business is connected to customers in different countries, loss of revenue from one single country won’t question its survival.

Customers and businessmen are starting to understand the fact and that is the reason why we see a growing number of ecommerce websites every single day. Businesses having an online presence clearly enjoy an edge over their competitors with only a retail presence. 

To conclude, ecommerce is the future of commerce. The constant growth in the number of ecommerce websites added with the convenience of doorstep deliveries and global customer connectivity for sellers, ecommerce is all set to become the next big thing on the internet very soon. Latest technology like artificial intelligence and delivery with drones for example, is nothing but the future of shopping and I am sure of the fact that we are yet to explore the full potential of ecommerce which surely we will but in the future.