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E Commerce Stores

Jun, 09, 2020, By CatbonicIT

E Commerce - The Buzz word

E-commerce means electronic commerce; that is the business that is run on the internet. Business stores/franchises that sell their products on-line are ecommerce stores or businesses. Transaction of money, funds, and data are also considered as E-commerce. For instance, Amazon.com is one of most sought after in the e-commerce industry.

E-Commerce – Brief Historical Perspective

  • In 1979, Michael Aldrich of UK laid the foundation of ecommerce; those were the days when computers were not very common.
  • In early 80s, competitors like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were working in their respective domains, to put computers in every household. A digital device is pre-requisite for on-line business.
  • Though preliminary e-commerce started about half a century ago however, in 1994 Jeff Bezos founded Amazon - the first online store.
  • Subsequently, e-commerce stores mushroomed and coupled with PayPal which simplified the shopping experience for customers as credit cards were readily accepted; made on-line shopping a very common trend.

Types of online business

  • B2B - Business to Business - between the producers of a product and wholesalers
  • B2C - Business to Consumer - between businesses and consumers
  • C2C - Consumer to Consumer - between consumers
  • C2B - Consumer to Business - when consumer makes services or products available for companies to purchase
  • B2A - Business to Administration - between companies and public administration (social security, legal docs etc)
  • C2A - Consumer to Administration - all electronic transactions between individuals and public administration (Tax returns & health services etc)

Role of Technology in promoting e-commerce

Technology is the main fuel behind the evolution and existence of ecommerce industry. As the technology is changing so are the business transactions between the businesses and consumers; the consumer is accessing various tools to estimate prices, find alternatives, stores and obtain coupons etc. The impact of rapid innovations in Information technology and physical gadgets like Cell phones, tablets, laptops etc is definitely a supportive tool for further promotion of ecom businesses.

Emerging technology trends in e commerce

  • Global e-commerce and 24/7 online sales. You can shop day & night from ecommerce website of an online store and even get e-promotions for your free shopping cart as well.
  • Digital Supply Chain. Ensuring on-time delivery is the name of the game in a highly aggressive market with spiked demands. Efficient supply chain management tools and ecommerce solutions provide online stores the competitive edge by use of
    • Harbor management (autonomous freight shuttle entry)
    • Portfolio management (hack-proof RFID chips)
    • Trademark security (to sort out fake products)
    • Stores’ management (automaton for cooperative robotic order picking)
    • Groundwork (using drones to scrutinize bridges etc)
    • Distribution and Delivery (using drones to deliver goods)
  • Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This Technology is used to drive a high degree of personalization, in which each customer is treated as an individual target segment, rather than a part of a generalized large group of people. It holds the potential for dynamic and adaptable targeting, which helps companies get the right pitch, at the right time, to the right customer, on the right platform.
  • Demand-driven forecasting. Online stores are in the process of studying/implementing various ecommerce solutions. Based on ecom shopping trends, anticipating consumer demands is the key to predict a customer’s shopping list and deliver the products to their nearest delivery center – even before the order is placed.
  • Contemporary payment modes. ebusinesses try to cater for customers’ convenience as well. Various payment methods including credit cards, digital funds transfer, smartphones or wearable-tech for making mobile payments and on-delivery cash payment etc are in use. Similarly options like Apple pay and google wallet too are made use of.

Upcoming ecom trends for seamless & engaging shopping experience

  • Personalized customer arrangement Instead of a sales person recommendation in retail stores the Technology uses personal online data such as search queries, page visits, and purchase history, brands selection etc. to recommend and best serve the customer’s needs and interests. This aspect has higher rates for a deal to materialize as compared to just cold website search.
  • Robotic assistants and Chatbots Robotic assistants can handle a number of tasks typically assigned to a human, such as managing inventory or handling inquiries. These auto assistants carry out various processes, freeing up time to focus on other aspects of running the business. Similarly, chatbots can fulfill a number of customer service needs, from answering questions about a product to discussing a complaint. AI and chatbots also learn from customer conversations and evolve to better assist in a user’s personalized ecommerce experience.
  • Enhancement in B2B experience B2B companies are making use of upcoming ecommerce trends, too. As large percentage of orders is accepted and payment via website are made, further proving the boom of ecommerce in B2B industries.
  • Collaborative product visualization Digital reviews and influencer guides don’t often work, online shoppers do think a lot about their “required product and its quality” before they hit “buy on-line” button. Physical product experience is being ensured through ecommerce product videos which, are very helpful and have really transformed online shopping experience. Some ecom stores do offer customization of your required product like, shoes, ready-to-wear garments.
  • Unified retail & ecom experience To provide a feel of the product, some stores like Amazon and Brick and click are opening retail stores with less square footage and employees, but a more personalized and interactive in-store visit.

Ecommerce a way to increase Revenue Generation.

New technology and smart online tools are making it easier than ever for consumers to get the products they need online. One can get a larger chunk of the market share by making some simple changes to online business. The major chunk of “overheads” including rents for large display stores, an army of employees, other running costs, electricity dues etc. that cut into revenue can be saved to quite an extent by switching to ecommerce.

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