In recent years, we have witnessed the rate at which technological advancements have fueled innovation. Therefore, relevancy is a challenge in this context, particularly when the world markets are still reeling with the coronavirus pandemic that puts an extra fiscal and operational burden on businesses. Today we will discuss what exactly helps the market change and adapt.
The COVID-19 pandemic altered people’s lives suddenly, forcing shops to reconsider their business practices. Digital innovation has also accelerated as a result of the crisis. A November 2019 industry study conducted by Euromonitor International revealed that over 70% of retail executives believed the crisis had advanced their digitization plans by a minimum of 1-2 years. Over 20% said it had accelerated plans by at least three years.
Retailers boosted their e-commerce initiatives as part of this rapid digitization to accommodate customers who were buying from home more due to enforced lockdowns or personal safety concerns.
What Is E-Commerce?
E-commerce or electronic commerce refers to a business concept through which businesses and people can purchase and sell goods via the Internet. There are three main types of e-commerce:
- B2B (Business-to-Business): A B2B e-commerce platform allows businesses to conduct online sales of goods and services. Examples include NuOrder, Magento, BigCommerce, and many more.
- B2C (Business-to-Consumer): A B2C e-commerce platform enables businesses to sell their products and services to consumers via the Internet. Examples include Amazon, Google, Alibaba, Target, etc.
- C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer): C2C e-commerce platforms allow two private end-users to conduct sales or purchase transactions via the Internet. Examples include Etsy, eBay, Taobao, etc.
Impact of E-Commerce
Some of the key ways in which e-commerce is impacting the market are discussed below.
E-commerce is now an integral element of the global retail system in the world. The retail environment, like many other businesses, has changed dramatically since the Internet’s introduction. Because of the continuous digitization of modern life, customers from nearly every country now benefit from the conveniences of online purchases.
The number of digital purchasers grows every year as internet availability and usage grows rapidly throughout the world. In 2020, nearly two billion individuals will have acquired products or services online, with global e-commerce sales exceeding 4.2 trillion dollars.
Mobile Device Usage
Consumers are considerably more inclined to purchase online or on their mobile device than they are to go to a physical store, as witnessed in 2021 trends in which 70% of retail visitors were via mobile devices. Because of their complete accessibility and availability, online businesses have a significant competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar stores.
They also have a considerably bigger inventory, allowing customers to search for goods simultaneously. Mobile integration will greatly impact the upcoming customer experience as the usage of mobile devices accelerates, particularly in areas where another internet technology is lacking.
A further factor e-commerce influenced the retail sector is that items may be delivered directly to the digital or physical address rather than physically collecting them from a shop. It’s a major plus that you can get the items and services delivered right to your home.
As a result, numerous well-known companies’ retail shops have been forced to close. Doorstep deliveries are also beneficial for the disabled population.
There are several benefits of e-commerce in the ongoing environmental crisis, such as:
- Transactions, meetings, and businesses can be conducted without physically reaching a place. This reduces air and noise pollution, thereby reducing an individual’s carbon footprint.
- The majority of businesses generate paper trash. When data is conveyed online, it eliminates the necessity for physical paper. By decreasing (or eliminating) paper waste, an organization’s carbon footprint can be reduced. Paperless business models offer several advantages and may be implemented with the help of e-commerce skills.
- The combination of digital data transfer and digital manufacturing can potentially remove warehouses and enable on-demand production. Warehouses may be an environmental concern, which is not well known among the general public. Warehouses take up a lot of space, and freight vehicles moving to and from them can pollute the air, cause pavement/road damage, produce noise pollution, and pose a traffic safety risk.
E-Commerce Effect in Latin America
Due to the huge unbanked population, poor postal infrastructure, and customer skepticism of the channel, among other issues, Latin America has long trailed behind other areas in terms of e-commerce growth.
Companies increased their efforts in digital platforms due to the COVID-19 epidemic, which included building a smoother online experience, expanding direct-to-consumer operations, and cooperating with last-mile delivery providers. Many people resorted to social media sites to facilitate interactions throughout the buying process, where sales were permitted over these platforms.
With a 60% increase in products sold online in 2020, Latin America had the greatest growth of any region. According to Euromonitor, Latin America will continue to be the region’s development story in 2021, with a 16% gain in e-commerce products sales, which Mexico leads.
Still, the urge to purchase online to assure safety during the epidemic prompted customers to ignore some barriers that previously hampered online sales, such as fraud and logistics.
E-commerce is a rapidly growing industry with a foreseeable stable future. While there are several positive impacts of e-commerce seen globally in different industries, negative impacts should be considered.
Further, they should be studied by businesses, and steps should be taken to reduce any harmful impact they may be causing actively. Positive steps towards a balanced e-commerce future include sustainable packaging, shipping, supply chain integrations, and reduced waste production.