E-Commerce, also known as Electronic Commerce or Internet Commerce, began on August 11, 1994 when a man was selling a Sting CD to his friend through an American retail platform called a NetMarket website. The internet has already revolutionized e-commerce and has been estimated to grow by billions. However, the pandemic has resulted in a rapid spike in this growth rate. During the pandemic, the unprecedented demands of online shopping and active users have taken the e-commerce world by storm.
Types of e-commerce models
There are four main types of e-commerce models that explain every online transaction that takes place.
- Business to Consumer (B2C):
When a company sells its goods or services to online buyers (e.g. purchases from online retailers).
- Business to Business (B2B):
When a company sells its items to other companies. For example, selling software to other companies.
- Consumer to consumer (C2C):
When a consumer (can be an entrepreneur) sells a good or service to another consumer (e.g. your friend sells old electronics to another consumer through OLX).
- Consumer to Business (C2B):
When consumers sell their products or services to a company or organization (e.g. photographer licensing their photos to companies).
The increase in online sales
During the pandemic, sales increased by 30 percent compared to 2020. This hype in online sales due to unusual consumer demand has advanced e-commerce to a greater extent. The embargo period has been extended from weeks to months, leading to more active internet users and making online purchases and sales a trend and a necessity. In addition, the Freestyle credit account system, which has taken over the traditional role of the credit card, has made online shopping easier and easier for everyone, fueling online buying trends in recent times.
Rise in entrepreneurship
The rise in online shopping trends has brought an increase in the level of entrepreneurship. Ecommerce niches that used to have low traction are now attracting more customers. People with lots of free time in lockdown spent their time coming up with innovative ideas to revolutionize business trends. The internet-based application system and the customer-friendly approach to obtaining a personal loan attracted young entrepreneurs and enabled them to start their businesses on easier terms. The emerging hand sanitizer market and its huge human health promotion is the latest example of new business trends.
Role of social media marketing
The business pages on Facebook and sponsored ads on Instagram also play an essential role in the world of e-commerce. These social media platforms are not only easy to use, they are accessible to everyone. Research shows that almost 76% of Instagram users made an impulse buy on social media, largely because of the ease of purchase. In addition, the constantly updated social media platforms have made in-app purchase possible. The recent trends in the handmade clothing and organic products business on these platforms explain the crucial role of e-commerce. Branding, which involves using celebrities to recommend the product to their followers who have become more active during the pandemic, is another innovation in marketing. In addition, Youtubers, who reviews products and advertises them in their videos, is another way of attracting target audiences while strengthening the role of social media marketing in e-commerce.
Competition in digital marketing
The expanded scope of e-commerce, which represents a multitude of niches, also means fierce competition in this area – and therefore requires high quality marketing and promotional content, which in turn entails more investment. Digital marketing techniques like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Social Media Marketing (SMM) are used to create backlinks and direct more buyers directly to the product’s website. Large retailers who ignored this either suffered large losses or had a difficult time. As a result, more e-commerce leeway has brought competition and innovation in the marketing world.
E-commerce trend statistics
Once outdoor shopping ceased due to a lockdown, an increase in the ecommerce threshold was noted. According to statistics from the Salesforce Global Shopping Index, digital traffic for retailers rose 16 percent between 2019 and 2020. In addition, the average spend per visit increased by four percent.
Wearable internet devices had already increased the trends in online shopping, but in 2020, when internet users spent more time online, mobile e-commerce also increased by 25 percent. In the US, this mobile lead e-commerce growth chart saw a 28 percent increase.
When analyzing the goods that drive the most digital traffic, it found that the percentage increase in sales of household goods was the highest, 51 percent. In addition, games and toys grew 31 and 34 percent, respectively. In addition, there was a phenomenal 20 percent growth in personal care products and foods.
While COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the economy, it has also introduced new ways to earn money. It has revolutionized the world of e-commerce, allowing more people to invest and start their home business. Hence, it can be said that the role of e-commerce will become increasingly influential over the course of 2021, bringing with it new trends and cultures.