E-commerce also is known as electronic commerce offers a way to sell and purchase products or services over the internet. It also includes the transfer of money and information to execute these transactions and do business. Some of the largest e-commerce companies across the globe are Amazon Inc., eBay Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Walmart, Jingdong, etc.
The e-commerce industry has altered the way of doing business. It has a massive impact on types of companies starting from retailer, business-to-business, to local or global. It is a digital age; now, the internet has become a global marketplace. Here, the presence of every business over internet marks importance, even the smallest retailer. Thus it is challenging to estimate the scope of the e-commerce marketplace. Even more, the e-commerce market accounts of crucial significance in the economy. The e-commerce industry includes various types of business models like B2B (ex. Alibaba), B2C (Ex. Amazon and Walmart), C2C (Ex. eBay) and C2B (photographers sell their photos to businesses).
- 24×7 Service availability: The E-commerce industry automates businesses of enterprises and are always open and serve customers anywhere and anytime round-the-clock (24X7X365).
- Non-Cash payment: E-commerce industry provides facility to use debit cards, credit cards, smart cards, electronic fund transfers through bank websites or banks payment apps, and accepts other electronic payment options.
- Improved sales: E-commerce industry provides many facilities to customers while purchasing products anywhere and anytime using electronic tools. This boosts the growth of sales volumes.
- Advertising or Marketing: E-commerce platforms increase the reach of advertising or marketing of goods or services of businesses through various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.
- Inventory management: E-commerce platforms provide a facility to businesses to automate inventory management using specific tools. Also, product inventory management enables maintaining product records efficiently. It also helps to save inventory and operational costs of businesses.
- Support: E-commerce industry supports different services, including post-sales and pre-sales assistance to customers.
- Communication improvement: E-commerce platforms provide efficient, reliable, and faster communication with partners and customers across the globe.
Few Future Insights of E-Commerce 2019
In this section, we will take a glance at some trends of e-commerce for the current year. As we move forward into 2019, the following are some of the e-commerce trends to keep an eye on:
Chabot: A key to success
Recently, many businesses have adopted a way to include chatbots on their web portal. Those AI-powered computer programs are assisting people in shopping and get the exact product. Thus chatbots are transforming the experience of consumer who prefers the internet as a medium to buy various products.
Rapidly Growing D2C Business Policy
Many companies across the globe use the D2C business policy, which means the direct-to-consumer business model. In this type of business, the manufacturer sells a product or service directly to the consumer. It uses web advertising or website for notifying about new products to customers. It also offers the potential to market the products quickly.
e-Commerce Companies Are Transforming to Brick-and-Mortar
Once a company has marked it's brand's presence on digital media, the next step is to move ahead with brick-and-mortar policy. It refers to mark the physical appearance of a company or business. It also includes functions of an organization like leasing retail shops, production facilities, etc. So setting up temporary pop-up shops, participating in events and festivals for marketing, setting permanent storefront contributes a company’s growth.
Brands Will Combine To Form Massive Market Platform
In the upcoming time, brands and businesses will combine to make a great market place. Besides, companies having complementary products will work together to form industry-specific marketplaces with availability to deep product supplies.
Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning on E-commerce industry
Rapidly increasing developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence are assisting people in the buying processes. Both are one of the most trending technologies imposing a massive impact on the business world. At the moment, many companies are seeking ways to take advantage of AI.
Notably, the AI will assist businesses to find a deficiency in their systems, smartly work on plans, predict future consequences depending on previous data.
Currently, AI technology has become a top trend for various e-commerce companies. Following are some of the aspects through which AI can make significant differences in the e-commerce market.
Easier Product Search
An ordinary e-commerce technology is not that much smart to show precise product results. Still, it does not display what consumer exactly wants to see. It might result in a loss of customer interest. Besides, the customer might stop buying products from that site.
Targeting Window Shoppers
At every e-commerce platform, few people often visit but don’t buy any product. Say those visitors at an e-commerce website are window shoppers. With technologies like AI, an e-commerce business can re-target likely customers.
For now, the AI-based e-commerce is still in the primary phase. So it needs further advancements to offer a more effective result.
E-commerce websites are online portals that offer the functionality of online transactions for buying goods and services. Here, customers can purchase goods or easily avail services using such platforms. Those e-commerce websites provide various facilities including more comfortable payment options, product exchange or return, assured product delivery, and much more. So people can shop online from any part of the world using internet-enabled devices like smartphones, laptops, etc.
Prominent Companies Who offer the E-commerce facility:
- Amazon.com, Inc: The company founded in 1994 has a notable footprint in retail industry and sale. It works via AWS (Amazon Web Services), as well as through Global and North America segments. The platform offers products from different categories, including fashion, electronic devices, gadgets, Fire tablets, and Echo devices. Notably, Amazon ships around 1.6 million packages per day. Amazon’s warehouse facility has about 45,000, technologically enhanced robots. As of 2018, Amazon’s revenue is worth US$232,887 million.
- Alibaba Group Holding Limited: The e-commerce platform founded in 1999, functions through its subsidiaries as a mobile and online commerce company. It retails and deploys machinery, chemicals, consumer electronics, and a more extensive array of products globally. Alibaba mainly focuses on the B2B model as well as support other types of business models through its various e-commerce web portals. As of March 2019, Alibaba had 721 Mn mobile monthly active users. Even more, the number of orders generated on Alibaba e-commerce site on singles day in 2017 is 1 000 Million.
- Walmart Inc: It is one of the top e-commerce companies in the world which provides a wide range of products. The colossal array of products includes small appliances, apparel, electronic goods, musical instruments, houseware, automotive tools, and much more. Walmart offers superior quality products across various categories, along with attractive offers and discounts. An average profit of Walmart is the US $1.8 million per hour. If Walmart assumed to be a country, it would be the 28th largest economy across the globe. As of 2018, Walmart had around 11,766 stores worldwide.
- JD.com, Inc: JD.com is often known as Jingdong. It functions through new Businesses and JD Retail segments across the globe. The company mainly offers home appliances, desktops, mobile handsets, laptops, fitness equipment, sports gear, e-books, etc. Even more, the company provides online marketing services form dealers, merchants, suppliers, and other partners. It is also a marketplace for third-party sellers for selling various products to customers. The number of orders fulfilled by Jingdong was US$ 1.6 billion in 2016. It has sold RMB 159.8 Bn (US$ 23 Bn) in goods for its singles’ day campaign. JD.com had annual active customer accounts of US$ 310.5 Mn. Lastly, the gross merchandise volume (GMV) in Q4, 2018, is US$ 4,773.6 million.
As per the analysis of Market.us, the annual retail e-commerce sale was 21.5% for the 2018 year. Besides, it estimates e-commerce share of total global retail sales for 2019 is 13.7%.