Businesses need to be able to combine globalised product offerings, with a localised E-commerce experience – through local language, payment options, and marketing offerings. In short one needs to go global but needs to be local.
Electronic commerce is presently an unavoidable tool of any country’s trade facilitation policy. Undoubtedly, last few years have witnessed a technological revolution accompanied by the wide spread use of the Internet, web technologies and their applications. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) as part of the information technology revolution became widely used in the world trade in general and economy in particular. As a symbol of globalization, e-commerce represents the cutting edge of success in this digital age and it has changed and is still changing the way business is conducted around the world. The electronic commerce to become one of the most capable channels for inter-organizational business processes. Consequently, Internet growth has led to new developments, such as decreased margins for companies as consumers turn more and more to the internet to buy goods and demand the best prices. Internet has accurate and an effective instrument in changing the ways of business activities.
E-commerce provides a new venue for connecting with consumers and conducting transactions via global trade, virtual businesses, lower search costs and increased power of downstream players. Other benefits of e commerce are as follows:
- Easy reach to a fast growing online community
- Unlimited shelf place for products and services
- Helps to reach national and global markets at low operating costs.
- Collection of customer data
- Build customer loyalty
- Reduction of marketing and advertising cost
Ecommerce is the key to your business being successful globally. Emerging markets are expected to experience huge growth in online spending. Impressively, in 2012 Chinese shoppers spent $213 billion online and are predicted to have outspent the US last year. In China, people are hungry for foreign goods. However, 60% is still being bought through domestic ecommerce platforms. While foreign goods are highly in demand, consumers still prefer a localised shopping experience.
The major trend that is right now working out big time is the ecommerce via mobile. Its been on high that people are happy recharging their mobiles as well as make purchases via their mobile as it gives them the flexibility to be on the go.
Mobile apps like Hailo or Uber allow you order a taxi, track their location on a map, and then pay automatically through a card which is linked to the app. Similarly, you can book & pay for a room through Airbnb on your phone. Even buying your lunch becomes a breeze as you avoid rush-hour queues by pre-ordering and paying through your phone. In the last year alone, mobile payments totalled $235.4 billion worldwide. And it’s not slowing down yet, as Gartner predicts a further 38% increase to $325 billion in mobile payments for 2014.
In the UK, mobile will account for approximately 24% of retail ecommerce sales this year.
That gives us a clear focus that making your business mobile payment friendly is the first step. Next steps include integrating with 3rd-party apps like Paypal, and making sure your website renders well on phones and other new devices – perhaps even smart watches.
Utilising multichannel selling
As the shopping experience becomes more fragmented, it’s critical for businesses to adapt. Online retailing is about multichannel selling – individual websites, public marketplaces and shopping-comparison websites.
Similarly to when a physical retailer will open new locations in order to increase their revenue, an online retailer can sell their products across multiple channels online. The greatest advantage of multichannel selling is ultimately it levels the playing field for small retailers. Instead of the customer going directly to the biggest retailer, small businesses can now reach the customer directly through a search engine, comparison site, or an online marketplace such as eBay. Even Tesco, the 2nd largest retailer in the world uses eBay UK as a sales channel!
Did you know 39% of units sold on Amazon in Q4 of 2012 were by 3rd party merchants, not Amazon?
Think of alternative places to additionally sell your products. eBay and Amazon Marketplace are popular online channels that retailers choose to sell their products, but 2014 is all about optimising your options. Using integration tools such as ChannelAdvisor, you can manage and automate your product submissions and order processing.
Tablets have helped redefine point of sale – in the US over their annual ‘mega-shopping’ weekend, 32% of E-commerce traffic came from tablet devices. With tablets driving twice as many transactions as mobile devices, which remains the favourite for browsing, it’s critical to create a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels. In fact, 49% of consumers feel that integrating in-store, online and mobile channels is the best thing retailers can do this year.
Use data and analytics to understand how consumers use each shopping channel for which purpose. For example, optimising your mobile site for browsing can strengthen your customer’s retail experience while on the go.
Be Social Media Centric
People who buy online look for options to see and participate with the site and hence its always good to have a way that your site is more social media centric which will help them post their reviews, data, and high quality contents as well and share them and bring in more traffic and revenue.