Ecommerce: a huge opportunity, but capturing it requires attention to detail!

07 October 2016 02:58 PM | #News

Ecommerce has hugely morphed over the last few years. The juggernaut that is Amazon continues to be the benchmark. What has changed are the barriers to entry:

The combination of the above means there are virtually no barriers to entry in ecommerce. The potential to reach a global audience at the click of a mouse, combined with low barriers to entry, inevitably attracts competition. However, there remains a hugely lucrative opportunity for existing businesses who either do not yet have an online presence, those who do but who haven’t started transacting online, or ecommerce entrepreneurs looking to break into or develop a niche for themselves.

In a retail context, ecommerce success boils down to the ability to differentiate oneself from the increasing plethora of options available to consumers. Customer experience, as with traditional retail, is the linchpin of ecommerce success. Whilst this may at first seem an obvious statement, customer experience in an online retail environment is subtly different to that in a bricks and mortar retail environment. In the online retail context, the following points are becoming more important than ever in the quest for differentiation and effectively capturing the ever diminishing attention span of prospective customers:

Whilst ecommerce is increasingly becoming engrained in our day to day shopping experience, in the USA it still only accounts for 7% of all retail sales; the European mean in 2015 was 8.4%, with the UK leading the way at 15.2%. Across Europe, this represents an annual growth rate of 18.6%. We are increasingly becoming comfortable with transacting online, with 77% of internet users in the UK having made a purchase online in 2015; it is no longer unusual to come across stories of houses or cars being bought online. With Twitter now offering a ‘Buy Now’ button, there is no doubt as to the ubiquitous potential of ecommerce and the increasingly important role it will continue to play across the global economy.