Before the introduction of e-commerce, the world only carried out their buying and selling using physical stores and the disadvantages of this form of buying and selling was bigger than the advantages it had. Since the introduction of the new normal, many people now depend on e-commerce to buy what they need online and sell their products and services. Although physical commerce stores are still in existence, many of them are now even being controlled by the activities of e-commerce.
If you want to buy or sell online, you will have to choose the right e-commerce platform and you can do this by reading reviews on sites like Reviewsbird. E-commerce have had its ups and downs over the years and here are the ways it has grown and the challenges it has faced:
The Growth Of E-commerce in Europe and the US
The growth of e-commerce in Europe cannot be considered as explosive when compared to the US or China but it has grown in its way over the years. The major countries that have a strong ground for businesses in the e-commerce sector of Europe are France, the UK, and Germany.
The UK has the highest sales in e-commerce with about $93 billion being generated followed by Germany’s $77 billion and France $55 billion. Their e-commerce industry is even expected to grow by about 31.4% come 2023.
The US is among the major e-commerce countries in the world with more than 25% of the world’s e-commerce activity and this is projected to grow in the near future. Ultimately, if your plan to run a successful business, online presence and accessibility by customers is very essential.
The Growth of E-commerce in Africa & Australia
In Africa, e-commerce has not grown much because of many reasons. One is that most of the countries in Africa are third world countries, so the availability of technology and the internet is very low.
Australia on the other hand has experienced a lot of growth in its e-commerce industry by having over $27 billion in sales, its e-commerce will thrive in the coming years.
The Growth Of Ecommerce in Asia
Because of the presence of China, Asia is the leading continent when it comes to e-commerce, with more than 55% of the world’s e-commerce sales. Many experts propose that Asia will grow to more than $1100 billion come 2023.
Factors That Increased The Growth of E-commerce
For the e-commerce sector to thrive, many factors have to be put into place, and they include:
1. Enhancement of Customer Experience
The improvement of customer experience is one of the factors that contributed to the growth of e-commerce in recent years. Personalization of customer products has improved customer experience while buying and selling.
Since e-commerce stores have learned that customers love a customized service, they have made sure that customers love what they offer.
2. Acceptance Of Mobile Devices
A recent study shows that the use of mobile devices to buy and sell online instead of desktop computers and laptops has increased dramatically over the years. Many people now prefer to use their mobile phones to buy or sell anything online. This factor has made many online retail stores record-breaking sales, such as Amazon.
3. Low Cost of Maintenance
The low cost of maintaining an e-commerce store compared to physical retail stores is relatively low. Things which take up money in physical retail stores, such as the renovation of a store, employment of security guards or using security cameras, employment of sales professionals, and others, are not prevalent in online buying and selling.
You don’t even need to be present all the time, and this saves money.
4. Data Collection
Another smart move that contributed to the e-commerce explosion is how online stores such as Amazon collect the data of how sales were made, customers’ recommendations and use it to make improvements.
The data-driven nature of e-commerce made online retail stores know that customers now prefer customized services and mobile-friendly websites.
Challenges of E-commerce
The huge success of the e-commerce industry does not mean that it doesn’t have its challenges, and some of these challenges include:
1. Customer Experience
Till date, many customers prefer to have physical store experience and this has posed a significant challenge to online stores. Online stores now try as much as possible to make everything feel like you are buying from a physical store by introducing augmented and Virtual reality.
Security has been one of the challenges of online stores and everyone using the internet. In the case of online stores, they have to make sure that the personal and financial information of their customers is kept safe from hackers.
This is a challenge because e-commerce businesses now have to ensure that their security framework is strong enough to withstand any security attack from intruders.
3. Customer Conversion
A lot of business researchers say that nowadays, the internet is crowded and full of different competitors, and so it is much harder to convert visitors to customers. Study shows that the global conversion rate of e-commerce businesses is about 3%. This means that a lot of people visit different online stores without making a purchase.
With the internet crowded with numerous online stores, it is now tough to get visibility online, especially if you are just starting. This is a challenge because if an e-commerce store lacks visibility, it simply means that it won’t be making any sales.
Many online stores spend a lot of money running ads on the internet to improve their visibility. E-commerce stores also need to employ the services of search engine optimization specialists to improve their organic visibility online.
The e-commerce industry has come a long way, but it is not without challenges. This industry has proved to be an essential part of humanity because many people now depend on it to make sales. It has recorded success in Europe, Asia, and America, but it has also faced challenges because of visibility, security, and customer experience. Whichever, we can all agree that the e-commerce industry has recorded far more success than failures.