Did you know that almost every American has shopped online, at least once in their lives? It’s true. According to BigCommerce, a whopping 96 percent of Americans shop online, and most them prefer online shopping from eCommerce platforms rather than buying from physical stores.
It’s no wonder that so many people not just in America, but all over the world like to shop online– buying practically anything from the comfort of your own home or anywhere else, at your own convenience, having fast last mile delivery and easy returns, highly developed logistics solutions, and the ability to track and trace your product delivery– these benefits make your entire shopping experience much more enjoyable.
Can eCommerce really take over bricks and mortar?
While these statistics which appear to be in favour of eCommerce – both local as well as international– are no doubt impressive, however – there is still a huge population that chooses to do their shopping offline. Reasons relates to shipping and delivery costs, delivery time, not being able to see and feel a product before paying money for it, and privacy concerns.
Furthermore, as of Q3 2017, even though eCommerce is growing, it still has a share of just 9.1 percent as reported by the U.S Census Bureau. But considering that this was only 3.5 percent ten years ago, there is no question how rapidly eCommerce is developing. This is possible due to great advancements in the last mile delivery where the eCommerce is supported by more advanced technologies like pickup and delivery solutions, improvements in the logistics business processes, routing and optimisation, all of which contribute towards an enhanced experience, that together with the high performance of eCommerce platforms providing a superior user experience.
With such advancement year on year, it is safe to say that eCommerce has a bright future ahead and is a contender to be taken seriously by traditional stores without an online presence.
Local eCommerce vs. International eCommerce
Now, the next question to consider, one that is likely to transform the entire eCommerce industry – how fast will local eCommerce grow, and will they be able to compete with international eCommerce giants?
Today, online retail giants like Amazon dominates the eCommerce industry. In fact, over 75 percent of Americans shop on Amazon, and the company sells more than 600 items every second on their Amazon Prime Day. While such huge sales are difficult for local eCommerce, they still provide advantages that international eCommerce providers may not have.
For example, when you order from a local eCommerce provider, payment options are well known local payment services, the time taken for pickup and delivery is shorter, you do not have to pay for customs, and your return and exchange is hassle free. Especially if you are buying products that are both locally as well as internationally available, local eCommerce platforms seem like a better choice.
The exponential growth in the local eCommerce industry we have seen also goes for countries like Saudi Arabia with a huge increase in online fashion retail, especially for local retailers. Additionally, India’s eCommerce industry, much of which is local, is expected to be more than $50 billion by 2018. The smartphone and Internet access in emerging markets, together with enhanced online user experience with higher conversion rates across the industry and a strong start-up generation, can be mainly credited for the growth of local eCommerce.