The four largest e-commerce markets in the world will double in size over the next three years. Online sales in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and China (France is good fifth) will increase by 400 billion euros between this year and 2018, yet the size of the online market to 800 billion ‘euros, according to research by OC & C Strategy Consultants, PayPal and Google.
British buyers are already spending almost $ 1 on all $5 of their purchases via the internet, and the new survey suggests that the online shopping revolution will continue.
Growth will be driven by the rise of smartphones – which drive mobile shopping – and retailers who are investing more in their digital operations.
As you can see in the image above, global online sales growth will remain around 15% annually for the next few years.
Let’s see now the main benefits of e-commerce for buyers:
Cheaper prices: because online sellers avoid a lot of expenses related to the premises, windows, parking, and sales staff of traditional stores, they can charge lower prices than those of the latter. It also saves the costs of moving to the store.
More choice: the online vendors’ depots, located far from the shopping streets where furniture is very expensive, cost less. These sellers can therefore afford much larger deposits than traditional stores. It is therefore easy for them to offer a much wider choice than traditional stores.
It saves time: no movement, no cap of Saturday, no search for parking, no queues at the checkout.
We can better learn about the qualities of the desired product. The pages of the online sales sites present very detailed descriptions, corroborated by the opinions of other Internet users. In short, one can have more information about its purchases than in a traditional store.
The Disadvantages for Buyers:
Sometimes it is necessary to see the product closely and touch it to realize its qualities and flaws. Impossible with online shopping.
You risk fraud by paying with your credit card. You have to learn how to use the means that banks provide to deal with fraud: for example the e-card, etc.
The benefits of e-commerce for sellers:
They can gauge the behavior of buyers and all those who visit the site: see what are the most sought after products, the most purchased, the rate of purchase per visit of each product, the opinions left by buyers.
They can better communicate with their customers, by answering their questions on the sites, and by reading their comments.
They can track sales for each customer and product, and keep all reports.
They can do a very effective and inexpensive marketing using the information left by customers on the site to offer newsletter and special offers.
They save on logistics, deposit costs, parking, store space, and even billing, since customers write their bills for every purchase.
The Disadvantages of selling online for sellers
Some products are not suitable for sale online. I know the case of a good shopkeeper who sells a hundred different types of tea and coffee online. People being used to buying these products in supermarkets, made orders too rare and for too small amounts to make the time necessary and to dedicate to expeditions.