Over the last few years, e-commerce has exploded in popularity among customers, with global e-commerce sales reaching 4.9 trillion US dollars in 2021. Suffice it to say, e-commerce is here to stay.
But the e-commerce phenomenon is more than just popular – it has thoroughly transformed the way clients do shopping. E-commerce has made the act of buying much more convenient than it traditionally used to be.
It has also empowered customers by having them research the products and services before purchasing.
With e-commerce, customers can have easy access to niche goods from local manufacturers. Finally, with e-commerce, clients can order their products or services using mobile devices and even share their experiences with other users.
Read on and understand the impact of e-commerce on customer behaviour!
E-commerce Offers More Convenient Shopping
Back in the day, customers had to physically go to the store to make a purchase. This was time-consuming, often entailing travelling long distances. The need to visit the store also generated additional costs in the form of gas or public transport fares.
With e-commerce, all of this has changed. Customers can now order their chosen products or services without the need to leave the comfort of their homes. Online shopping is available 24/7, which means that clients can purchase goods at any time that suits them.
After the order is placed, all that is left to do is sit back and relax while waiting for the delivery. No need to battle the crowds in the store or waste time waiting in line to pay.
Customer convenience might soon get even better. Shopping trends seem to indicate that in the future, we might see the rise of efficient drone delivery and even VR & AR shopping.
E-commerce & Digital Marketing
As e-commerce brought more freedom and power to customers, it also changed the way businesses need to market their products and services.
In the past, companies could simply invest most of their marketing budget in traditional channels such as print ads, TV commercials, or radio spots. However, this is no longer the case.
As mentioned above, with e-commerce, customers are now more likely to do their research online before making a purchase. That means that businesses need to make sure that they are visible online and that their products and services can be easily found by potential customers.
This has given rise to a new branch of marketing known as digital marketing.
Digital marketing covers a wide range of activities, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing, or email marketing, which are designed to help businesses reach their target audience through the Internet.
This shift to digital marketing had a profound effect on clients. Nowadays, customers are bombarded with marketing messages from all sides.
Ads pop up on random websites clients are browsing, while social media feeds are filled with sponsored posts and influencers promoting various products and services.
The good news is that customers have also become savvier when it comes to spotting marketing messages. They can quickly tell when a company is trying to sell them something and are more likely to ignore these messages.
As such, in order to stand out from the crowd, businesses need to ensure that their marketing campaigns are creative, authentic, and relevant to their target audience.
Oftentimes, it means that they’ll have to outsource enterprise white label link building or ad campaigns to professionals with more experience.
E-commerce Gives Customers More Power
In the pre-Internet days, customers had to rely on the salesman’s word when it came to the quality of the product. This often led to situations where the client would purchase a subpar item without even knowing it.
Nowadays, e-commerce gives customers all the power. With just a few clicks, they can access an endless wealth of information about any given product or service. Customers can read online reviews, compare prices, and learn about the features of the product before they make a purchase.
This level of transparency is unprecedented, and it has completely changed the way businesses operate. In order to stay ahead of the curve, companies need to make sure that they offer better-quality products and excellent customer service.
E-commerce Enables Niche Shopping
In the past, customers were limited to the products that were available in their local stores. This often meant that they had to compromise on quality or pay premium prices for goods that were not easily available.
Nowadays, e-commerce has made it possible for customers to buy products that are not available in their local area. With a few clicks, they can order goods from all over the world and have them delivered to their doorstep in a few short days.
This has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for local businesses. They are no longer limited by their geographical location and can easily reach out to global markets.
With e-commerce, the playing field has been levelled, and businesses of all sizes can compete on a global scale.
E-commerce Facilitates Mobile Shopping
The rise of e-commerce has coincided with the proliferation of mobile devices. This has made it possible for customers to shop on the go, using their smartphones or tablets. According to statistics, around 70% of all 2020 e-commerce sales came from mobile devices.
This trend is only set to continue in the years to come as more and more people learn about the convenience of mobile shopping.
Businesses need to make sure that their website is optimised for mobile devices if they want to stay ahead of the competition. This means having a responsive design that can be easily accessed on any type of device.
In addition, businesses need to make sure that their payment gateway is mobile-friendly and that their website loads quickly on all devices.
E-commerce Delivers Lower Prices
Traditional brick-and-mortar stores usually have high overheads, and they often get passed on to the customer in the form of higher prices. Overheads can vary a lot from one store to another, but they include costs such as rent, utilities, staff salaries, and insurance.
While e-commerce still has to cover some of these expenses, most of the overhead costs are heavily reduced. For example, e-commerce stores don’t have the need to hire as many employees as traditional shops do – after all, there is no need for sales associates, security guards, or cashiers.
With many of these positions redundant, the salary expenses tend to be much lower.
Some of the costs are entirely eliminated. For example, an e-commerce store doesn’t need to pay rent for a physical location to facilitate shopping.
The situation is similar with the utilities – since there is no need for a brick-and-mortar store, there won’t be any bills associated with the upkeep of the property.
In the end, all of these savings are reflected in the prices of the products and services that e-commerce businesses offer. Customers can expect to pay lower prices when shopping online, which is especially beneficial when buying goods in bulk.
E-commerce Facilitates Personalized Shopping
Personalization is one of the key trends in e-commerce. This involves using data to offer a more customized shopping experience to clients.
This information can then be used to show relevant product recommendations to the customer.
In addition, businesses can use data gathered from social media platforms to create targeted marketing campaigns. For example, if a customer has recently searched for certain goods on the Internet, the business can target them with ads for similar products.
The benefits of personalization are twofold. First of all, it helps customers save time by only showing them the products that they are interested in. Secondly, this practice lets businesses build a better relationship with customers by offering them a tailor-made shopping experience.
E-commerce has completely transformed the way we do shopping. It has made the act of buying much more convenient and has empowered customers by giving them more information about the products and services that they are interested in.
In addition, e-commerce has allowed clients easy access to niche goods that are not readily available in their local area. E-commerce also facilitates mobile shopping, which makes it possible to purchase goods on the go, no matter where you are.
Finally, with e-commerce came the rise of digital marketing. Customers are now bombarded with marketing messages from all sides, which has made clients savvier when it comes to spotting marketing messages.
As such, businesses need to make sure that their marketing campaigns are creative and relevant if they want to stand out from the crowd.
Additionally, personalization has become one of the key trends in e-commerce, with businesses using data to offer a more customized shopping experience to clients.
Now you should have a better understanding of how e-commerce has changed the way we do shopping. Hopefully, the trend will continue in the years to come, and we will see even more positive changes in the way we shop!