E-commerce has always been the future, but today we’re seeing massive growth in online business, sometimes even at the expense of more traditional channels such as the High Street. So, why is e-commerce set to grow? Well, the COVID pandemic had a significant impact on the industry, accelerating its growth by 4-6 years. As such, the pandemic highlighted the convenience of e-commerce to a broader customer base, leading to a staggering increase in global e-commerce sales. As a result, traditional retailers quickly realised the need to go online, with grocery shopping experiencing the most significant shift. In fact, e-commerce in Australia is expected to top USD 32 billion in 2024. So, let’s take a look at the e-commerce benefits for consumers and businesses.
E-commerce Benefits for Consumers
- Lower prices: Online stores have lower operating costs than physical stores. This enables them to offer more competitive prices and discounts.
- Convenience and safety: In the COVID-19 reality, shopping online from the comfort of your home is convenient and safer.
- Wide product variety: The internet opens up a global marketplace where consumers can access a vast range of products worldwide.
- More informed decision-making: Online shoppers can access product reviews, descriptions, usage videos, and social validation. When studied carefully, reviews can allow for better decision-making.
- Saves time: With online shopping, there’s no need to travel, wait in queues, or battle the physical challenges of shopping. It’s a time-saving game-changer.
Benefits of E-commerce for Businesses
- Lower costs: E-commerce eliminates the need for a physical store. This results in lower fixed costs. Additionally, online marketing is often more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods such as TV and newspapers.
- Customer data: Selling online provides businesses with valuable customer data. This data enables them to optimise the consumer journey and personalise marketing efforts.
- Broader customer base: E-commerce allows businesses to reach customers globally, breaking geographical boundaries and accessing niche audiences.
- Open always: Unlike brick-and-mortar stores, online businesses are open 24/7.
- Quick and easy scalability: Growing an online store is much simpler and less costly than expanding a physical one.