Friday, 20 February 2015

The Future Of E-Commerce

The Future of Ecommerce

The Internet has given way to countless breakthroughs in information sharing, business, networking, productivity, as well as time-wasting disguised as productivity and entertainment. On every front, it casts an ever-expanding cloak of influence over global society. For the world of commerce, it has changed the game forever.

Today the economy is still in pretty rough shape, but it's better than it was a year or two ago, and that's great news! A large part of the success of this most profitable holiday season is due to the impressive amount of money being spent online. Over the past ten years, the Ecommerce revolution has transformed the way we shop to the point where you don't even have to get dressed and make contact with another human to find a great deal. Although the amount of time and money we spend online grows every year, the Ecommerce experience has changed very little since its inception.

In the beginning, Ecommerce was touted as a "Jetsons-esque" online phenomenon that would transform the way we shop. In many ways it has lived up to that expectation, but still lacks many of the basic virtues embodied by the in-store shopping experience. For instance, if you shop regularly at your favorite boutique, chocolate, or fitness equipment store, it is likely that the employees or owner will get to know you. They will remember what you have purchased, become familiar with your particular taste or workout preference, and suggest items that may be of interest to you.

Adding Human Elements That Sell

Although many websites do remember your name (Hi "insert username", welcome back!), the last item you purchased, or suggest additional items you may want, the experience as a whole is still somewhat predictable, cold and calculated. Despite all the bells and whistles, most Ecommerce websites are still not much more than electronic catalogs. Completely lacking is the human element; the element that sells to you, or convinces you to change your mind. There is no bargaining, there are no surprises, there is no "sweetening of the deal." In this regard, Ecommerce has been unable to provide the same experience that shoppers take delight in -- or perhaps hate -- when making in-store purchases. Thanks to some innovative and dynamic web technologies, all this is due to change in the near future.

Imagine visiting your favorite online store and stumbling across the Holy Grail of all gadgets, the "Awesomematic DELUXE." This is something you have been dreaming about for the past three weeks, so you read all about it, examine every photo, and experiment with every possible configuration. Then after twenty minutes of deliberation, you decide not to buy it, and return to your Facebook page for your bi-hourly status update and some vigorous "Liking!" Had you been in an actual store talking to a live person, that individual may have been able to convince you to make the purchase by sweetening the deal or lowering the price. You would have been transformed from a gawking observer to the proud new owner of an "Awesomematic DELUXE." But because you're shopping online, a situation which would normally have been an easy sale has become instead, a missed opportunity for both you and the merchant.
This time, imagine that a few days have passed and you find your way back to your favorite online store. But instead of the standard, (Hi "insert username: welcome back!) Message, you are greeted with an image of the "Awesomematic DELUXE," marked down 20 percent for today only! How lucky that you just happened to stop by to find the product of your dreams displayed front and center, and marked down on that very day! Lucky enough to make a purchase? Probably.

A Custom-Tailored, Dynamic Experience

And herein lies the future of Ecommerce: A custom-tailored experience that can remember your preferences, gauge your level of interest in a certain item, and make dynamic adjustments to the price and options -- all in order to make the sale, rather than miss an opportunity. By implementing advances in dynamic programming, combined with thoughtful design, Ecommerce of the future will resemble a catalog less and less, and feel more and more like an in-store experience.
User-specific promotions are just one example of how the new, dynamic Ecommerce experience will change the way you shop online. Retailers understand that a smaller profit is better than no profit, and that volume can make up for smaller margins. This is something that has been practiced by brick-and-mortar merchants for centuries, but has been largely absent from Ecommerce. You are more likely to make a purchase when you feel like you're getting a deal. The ability to adjust pricing and make deals on the spot -- without the need for human oversight -- can transform what would have been an impersonal online shopping experience into a rewarding and enticing opportunity.
Emerging web technologies allow the retailer to interact with customers in much the same way as they would in a store. By becoming better acquainted with the customer and tailoring the experience to the shopper's personal taste, retailers can present products of interest and avoid wasting time on things that hold no interest. Websites will already "know" what customers are looking for, even before they browse. Sites will eventually become so honed to the personal taste of the individual that everywhere a person shops will be a next-generation experience, built just for them. As these technologies begin to enter the market over the coming year, online transactions -- which already represent a significant portion of the US and world economy -- will continue to grow in number.

Disruptive technologies in social commerce, mobile and customer experience have transformed the retail industry. The mission for all brand marketers now is to stay ahead of the curve and spot trends that will boost sales and provide customers with the most efficient and pleasurable online shopping experience.
1- Big Commerce is a provider of e-commerce software for small and independent retailers and has achieved tremendous success since launching in 2009. It has received $75m in funding and boasts a client roster that includes Gibson Guitar and Zaggora.
In a recent Forbes CIO Network post, Machaalani and Harper boldly predicted that the shopping mall as we know it today will be much different 10 years from now. “Instead of loading up carts with goods to purchase in store, consumers will try on or sample the products in store, quickly scan and purchase items they desire, and have them delivered to their homes within hours.” To help future proof, they recommend small businesses invest in mobile, video content, social advertising and digital couponing.
2-Spencer is Director of Emerging Media at Google, and in a recent think voices, he explains why Near Field Communication (NFC) could be the future of e-commerce and a link between mobile and an improved brand experience for consumers.
NFC technologies like Google Wallet enable consumers to do things like tap a phone with their credit card and not only provide payment information but also receive and exchange coupons, offers and loyalty program perks. Spencer says that Google is doubling down on NFC because the infrastructure is already there. For example: MasterCard PAYPASS already has an install base of 140,000 merchant locations. That coupled with the security layer that NFC technology provides consumers and the continued proliferation of the Smartphone is what makes Google bet that NFC is a big part of our e-commerce future.
3-Bustos oversees online conversion rate improvement and profitability for some of the world’s biggest brands at Elastic Path Software. She regularly speaks at e-commerce industry events such as the X.Commerce Summit and also heads up the Get Elastic blog, which is the #1 subscribed e-commerce blog.
In a recent blog post titled “Beyond Blogging: 13 Content Marketing Opportunities for Ecommerce,” Bustos talks about the decline of traditional blogging as a marketing tool for commercial products but pointed toward future opportunities for content marketing in e-commerce.  Her list of 13 includes video, social profiles, social updates, curated content, qRated content, reverse guest blogging, reverse guest blogging, mobile apps, free digital downloads, user-generated content, co-creation, newsletter/email, Google+ hangouts, and info graphics. Regarding blogs, she does advice “If you’re going to shutter your existing blog, consider leaving it live or redirecting to your online shop instead of throwing up a 404 page. There’s SEO benefit in both the content and the links, don’t flush it away!”

Monday, 16 February 2015


E-commerce: - Electronic commerce, commonly known as E-commerce or ecommerce, is trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one part of the transaction's life cycle, although it may also use other technologies such as e-mail.


E-commerce businesses usually employ some or all of the following practices:-


1.       Buy or sell on online market places. 

2.       Use electronic data interchange, the business-to-business exchange of data.
3.               Use business- to- business buying and selling.
4.       Provide secure business transactions.
5.       Engage in pretail for launching new products and services
A timeline for the development of e-commerce:

·       1979: Michael Aldrich demonstrated the first online shopping system.

·       1996: IndiaMart B2B marketplace established in India.

·       2000: The dot-com bust.

·       2001: Alibaba.comachieved profitability in December 2001.

·       2003: posted first yearly profit.

·       2007: Flipkart was established in India. acquired by R.H. Donnelley for $345 million.



Business applications

·         Document automation in supply chain and logistics
·         Domestic and international payment systems
·         Enterprise content management
·         Group buying
·         Print on demand
·         Automated online assistant
·         Newsgroups
·         Online shopping and order tracking
·         Online banking
·         Online office suites
·         Shopping cart software
·         Teleconferencing
·         Electronic tickets
·         Social networking
·         Instant messaging

Governmental regulation

In the United States, some electronic commerce activities are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These activities include the use of commercial e-mails, online advertising and consumer privacy.


In India, the Information Technology Act 2000 governs the basic applicability of e-commerce. It is based upon UNCITRAL Model but is not a comprehensive legislation to deal with e-commerce related activities in India. Further, e-commerce laws and regulations in India are also supplemented by different laws of India as applicable to the field of e-commerce.


For instance, e-commerce relating to pharmaceuticals, healthcare, traveling, etc. are governed by different laws though the information technology act, 2000 prescribes some common requirements for all these fields.


Contemporary electronic commerce involves everything from ordering "digital" content for immediate online consumption, to ordering conventional goods and services, to "meta" services to facilitate other types of electronic commerce.
On the institutional level, big corporations and financial institutions use the internet to exchange financial data to facilitate domestic and international business. Data integrity and security are very hot and pressing issues for electronic commerce.

Global trends

In 2010, the United Kingdom had the biggest e-commerce market in the world when measured by the amount spent per capita.  Almost a quarter (24%) of the country’s total turnover is generated via the online channel.


Among emerging economies, China's e-commerce presence continues to expand every year. With 384 million internet users, China's online shopping sales rose to $36.6 billion in 2009 and one of the reasons behind the huge growth has been the improved trust level for shoppers.

E-Commerce has become an important tool for small and large businesses worldwide, not only to sell to customers, but also to engage them.


Impact on markets and retailers

Economists have theorized that e-commerce ought to lead to intensified price competition as it increases consumers' ability to gather information about products and prices. Research by four economists at the University of Chicago has found that the growth of online shopping has also affected industry structure in two areas that have seen significant growth in e-commerce, bookshops and travel agencies. Generally, larger firms are able to use economies of scale and offer lower prices. The lone exception to this pattern has been the very smallest category of bookseller, shops with between one and four employees, which appear to have withstood the trend.
Individual or business involved in e-commerce whether buyers or sellers rely on Internet-based technology in order to accomplish their transactions. E-commerce is recognized for its ability to allow business to communicate and to form transaction anytime and anyplace. Whether an individual is in the US or overseas, business can be conducted through the internet. The power of e-commerce allows geophysical barriers to disappear, making all consumers and businesses on earth potential customers and suppliers. eBay is a good example of e-commerce business individuals and businesses are able to post their items and sell them around the Globe.

Examples of E-commerce system

According to eMarketer research company, "by 2017, 65.8 per cent of Britons will use smart phones". (Cited by Williams, 2014)
Bringing online experience into the real world, allows also the development of the economy and the interaction between stores and customers. A great example of this new e-commerce system is what the Burberry store in London did in 2012. They refurbished the entire store with numerous big screens, photo-studios, and also provided a stage for live acts. Moreover, on the digital screens which are across the store, some fashion shows´ images and advertising campaigns are displayed. (William, 2014) In this way, the experience of purchasing becomes more vivid and entertaining while the online and offline components are working together. Another example could be Kidd care Smartphone app, in which costumers can compare prices against adversaries. Moreover, the app allows people to know where the sale products are and to check whether the item they are looking for is in stock or if they have to ask for it online without going to the `real´ store. (William, 2014) In the United States, Walmart app in which you can check the product availability and prices both online and offline. Moreover, you can also add to your shopping list items by scanning them, see their details and information, and check purchasers´ ratings and reviews.