The rise of the Internet has changed the world forever. Information is now available at the click of a button via desktop devices or any of the mobile options that are part and parcel of the 21st-century information experience.
Nowhere has this difference been more widely felt than in the commercial arena. Today competitiveness is not only a function of the quality of the service or product that is being offered – but also of the availability of that product via an Internet portal. And the ability of consumers to pay for that service in a way that is secure has been the backbone of the popularity of eCommerce.
The ability of a business to sell online has been called the B2C model – business to consumer, however there has also been a complimentary rise in B2B transactions, the business to business model.
So what has this meant for new or startup businesses? For one thing the barriers to entry have been significantly lowered. it is now cheaper than ever before for a business to offer products or services to the consumer – and get paid for those products or services in real time through credit or debit card transactions. the rise in the popularity of portals and payment services such as PayPal has also made it easier than ever for business and consumer to forge a mutually beneficial relationship.
Aside from facilitating this relationship why has eCommerce become such a part of our lives?
For one thing the lack of policing as far as tax for Internet transaction has made eCommerce increasingly attractive for business owners. Combine this with the doing away with bricks and mortar retail establishments and the subsequent lowering of operational costs and it’s easy to see why the ‘clicks and mortar’ model is now the chosen model for many first time retailers.
The spending power of consumers from emerging markets is also a factor in the rising popularity of eCommerce. As delivery options to and from emerging markets mature the number of businesses who want to target the newly affluent increases. What we are seeing as we head towards the end of the second decade of the 21st century is the emergence of a truly global economy by and large free of restrictions.
In short, the beneficiaries of eCommerce continue to grow. Shipment companies are realizing that largely untapped markets now offer a bigger slice of the shipping pie than has ever been the case. These companies which might have been reluctant to engage with consumers in countries where banking systems were suspect can now use Financial transactional services such as Paypal and its competitors to ensure that they receive payment.
Travel services, online hotel bookings, car hire and leisure activities continue to go from strength to strength. When only a few years ago the demise of the travel agent was foretold to be the death of bespoke travel itineraries today hundreds of eTravel sites offer specialist services that are reliant on eCommerce for their survival. The rise of the budget airline probably owes more to eCommerce than any other factor for its survival.
It’s not only downstream businesses that have benefited from the rise of eCommerce. Vendors of various types of eCommerce solutions have also thrived in the highly competitive eCommerce environment. As the Internet continues to be powered by the increasing penetration of mobile devices in the developing world there seems to be no limit to just how much of an impact that eCommerce will make on our daily lives. all that is certain is that it will continue to provide more opportunities to spend and enjoy the fruits of 21st century commerce.