E-Commerce’s Development and Future Perspectives
The invention and development of the Internet has improved a lot in human life. Not only has it availed a quick means of communication, but also provided a means that facilitates connections through which business can be transacted. This is referred to as electronic commerce (e-commerce). In e-commerce, processes that facilitate businesses are performed on the internet and via the use of electronic gadgets. Hence, traders and companies intending to sell products and services display them online. Subsequently, buyers review, select, and identify the products on the internet and other electronic systems. They also review the various methods of payment available. If they should proceed to make an order, then they make payments and the seller organizes for efficient delivery methods to make the good or service reach the customer (Reynolds, 2004). As a result, e-commerce goes hand in hand with internet marketing, and online transaction methods. Besides, this system of trade is global; thus, its future is bright because it will open windows for more opportunities in trade and commerce.
One of the eminent developments in e-commerce is the growth of online and virtual stores. These have eliminated the existence of physical stores. Before the introduction of e-commerce, business stores were common features in trade centers. However, in the emergence and development of e-commerce, a number of physical business stores have been replaced with online ones. The most advantageous element of this development is the fact that the elimination unnecessary middle-persons in business has reduced prices for customers and increased profit margins for producers and distributors. Consequently, more customers buy from online stores while companies make more income from internet based and electronic system selling points (Reynolds, 2004). As a result, business firms focus more on how to increase the traffic of website visits that may culminate into purchases. This is achieved through chat room provisions, search optimization, trials, emails, and short message services traffics (Manzoor, 2010).
Other customer-centered advantages of e-commerce include the fact that potential consumers do not have to travel to physical shops to do window shopping. Previously, this was characterized by various challenges and occasional cases of embarrassment. A customer would walk into a shop and order for a product then realize that they have to leave the product because of insufficient funds. Today, customers take their time to evaluate prices before making purchases. Furthermore, the fact that many stores are online gives room for comparative analysis of different products serving the same purpose. If one store sells expensively, they can opt for another. Again, even when their payments get declined because of insufficient funds in their cards, they do not have to be physically present to witness this. It all happens online. Plant (2000) also argues that e-commerce is extremely economical because it saves time and costs related to physical visits.
All factual analyses indicate that e-commerce has continued to grow exponentially in the last few years. Investing in the internet and e-commerce has led to the historical rise of the highest number of young billionaires internationally. These include Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Steve Case, Jeff Bezos, and Jerry Yang among others. The list of their investments includes Facebook.com, Google.com, AOL, Amazon.com, and Yahoo.com. Notably, each of these systems facilitates social interaction, advertisement, and transactions in various ways. Other projections depict that more than eighty percent of the world population will be in social media and online forums by the year 2020 (Manzoor, 2010). If this projection becomes a reality, it will enhance the position of e-commerce as a leading business facilitator.
It is evident that today’s e-commerce developments are better than those of the past five years. Its trend has been on a constant upward trend. Correspondingly, investors have noticed its potential and considered it for various developments. By reducing costs for consumers and increasing profit margins for sellers, e-commerce has appealed to more persons. Hence, it is likely to improve and develop more and more.
Manzoor, A. (2010). E-Commerce: an Introduction. Saarbrücken: LAP Lambert Acad. Publ.
Plant, R. T. (2000). E-Commerce: Formulation of Strategy. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
Reynolds, J. (2004). The Complete E-Commerce Book Design, Build & Maintain a Successful Web-Based Business. San Francisco: CMP Books.