Ecommerce Business: How Far Have We Come And What Is The Future?

Feb 6th, 2020 6 min to read

What started out as a novel idea for a business has now become one of the major contributors to the global economy. Over the course of the last twenty years, ecommerce businesses have seen exponential growth in all aspects of business and the future of ecommerce business shows some really exciting possibilities.

The creation of the World Wide Web in 1991 marked the beginning of the internet revolution making it possible for tech giants like eBay, Amazon, Google, Netscape, PayPal, Apple, and many such corporations to join the ecommerce bandwagon and become leaders in their own right.

More recently, statistics show that in 2017 ecommerce companies clocked sales of $4.68 billion, which increased to $5 billion in 2018 and notched up to $5.47 billion in 2019. This steady progress indicates that the projections of $6.04 billion for 2020 and $6.60 billion for 2021 are quite realistic.

While these figures are for the US market alone, the global trend is not far behind. The forecast for 2023 indicates that global ecommerce sales could exceed $7.4 trillion. The future of ecommerce is here to stay and innovations in this sphere will continue to take place as we move ahead in time.

As 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade, the ever-evolving ecommerce industry brings forth an exciting future with more content, more personalization, faster timelines, and enhanced shopping experiences for the global online shopper.

A Statista report claims that global ecommerce businesses anticipate a 265% growth rate, from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.9 trillion in 2021.

Mobile Commerce (mCommerce)

One of the most revolutionary trends we will be seeing in the future of ecommerce is that of mobile online shopping. The mobile market already occupies 70% of the ecommerce market. With consumers wanting more personalized shopping experiences, better product options, and optimized customer service, mobile usage for eCommerce is going to increase marginally.

It is important that all ecommerce companies take to responsive web designing if they do not want to miss out on the opportunities offered by mobile online shoppers who are growing rapidly by the day.

A quick glance at the benefits of responsive web designing:

  • Best user experience (UX) as the website adjusts matching the device’s screen size
  • Easier site management as the admin interface is very flexible and fully optimized
  • Enhances brand reputation as users get a fluid experience on any device they use
  • Cost savings as one responsive website serves all devices and eradicates the need for a separate website
  • Responsive websites help Google’s algorithms and make indexing easier
  • Better conversion rates as millennials on the go can shop conveniently

Personalized Shopping Experience

We will also be seeing more personalized experiences for the online shopper in ecommerce businesses. The future of ecommerce is in personalization. As consumer awareness increases products they want to purchase, ecommerce businesses have to ensure that they provide personalized merchandising by connecting the right product to the right content.

Customer Service

We will also see a huge transformation in terms of enhancing customer service and experience. Most consumers today do not keep the patience to wait endlessly on customer service phone calls. They prefer faster and more effective methods for resolution of issues. A report by Accenture indicates that 33% of the consumers end their relationship with an ecommerce business if they find no personalization.

Shopping Experience

Customers deserve a better online shopping experience and they should feel they are getting a similar service that they would have otherwise got at a brick-and-mortar store from a salesperson.

An ecommerce business faces additional challenges as it has the onus of giving the customer a customized online shopping experience which needs to be based on several factors like demography, personal likes and dislikes, purchase patterns, buying behavior and other interests.

There is only one boss. The customer.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said that if customers get a great experience while shopping they will spread the news by word of mouth, which still works wonders.

More than half the online shoppers say that personalization has influenced their online shopping decisions.  While one-third of the online shoppers expressed their displeasure and wanted a more personalized experience. Overall, most customers are exasperated and feel frustrated when they find a website with content that is not personalized. There are several personalization tools that are available and using this one should make your task easier.

It is important to study customer behavior depending on which segment they belong to. Customer segmentation makes sense as it is practically impossible to personally meet each one of your customers. Once the segmentation is done you’ll be able to arrive at a market persona, which will serve as a benchmark to decide how customers behave and react.

Voice Assitance – Future eCommerce Trend

Another trend that we will observe taking precedence in the ecommerce future is that of voice technology. With voice browsing on the rise, voice assistance devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo will change the way consumers interact and shop with their favorite brands.

In fact, research suggests that by 2020, voice commerce will account for $40 billion in sales in the U.S alone. With many players vying for a slot in the voice commerce segment, Amazon Echo is bound to lose part of its share to others.

Amazon Echo still commands 63% of the smart speaker market, while Google Home has 31%.

The other small players include Apple (HomePod), Sonos One, etc. Google has come out with Home Mini and Home Hub to counter Amazon’s Echo Show and Echo Dot. Google Assistant will continue to feature in most of Google’s devices.

Hypothetical Future

The future of ecommerce has been significantly transformed by the vast array of payment options being made available to consumers. Hassle-free payment transactions are primary to an ecommerce business’ success and conversion rates.

In addition, with the introduction of innovative technologies like Bitcoin, the way payment is made has changed completely. It is estimated that by 2030, nearly 70% of payment transactions will become digital.

The continuous progress in technology and the increased use of social media will only bring about more change and competition in the ecommerce market. The future of ecommerce is an ever-expanding world full of exciting and innovative possibilities.

Keshav Pandey
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