Living in the ecommerce industry

ecommerce industryecommerce industry
ecommerce industryecommerce industry


Living in the ecommerce industry

Ecommerce has brought the world to the consumer’s fingertips. It’s all about the convenience of being able to do practically anything online as a result of integrating the world wide web and product/service businesses.

If it’s to find a business, promote a business or conduct businesses over the internet, it plays a role in the ecommerce industry.


Statistics in South Africa

The following statistics are from Effective Measure’s industry report 2017 and give us a clearer idea on the dynamics and realities of this industry in our own country. Surprisingly, the majority (25%) of online shoppers are above the age of 60 and Gauteng is where most online shoppers (43%) are located. When it comes to how often people shop online in South Africa, only 6% shop at least once a week while the more common frequency lies at 44% shopping less than once every three months.

With the availability of products out there to buy online, travelling tickets are the most popular item bought online and software and computing as the runner-up. The items that don’t require a waiting period for delivery are the more popular items. And the one area for improvement regarding the online shopping process was a more affordable or free delivery costs.

The report goes on to compare those same statistics (and more than weren’t mentioned here), but with offline shoppers whose main hesitations revolve around trustworthy payment methods and wariness around the online processes in general.  


Advantages of ecommerce

The statistics of online shoppers in South Africa may seem a bit underwhelming, but it definitely is an industry that is alive, well and growing in our country. And who can blame us? There are so many advantages associated with the ecommerce world other than convenience.

  • No boundaries: Ecommerce has broken the boundaries of geographic limitations that physical stores are constrained to. You don’t need to plan a whole day just so that you can get to the other side of the province to visit that one store. Just go online to their website or an online store that stocks their product and browse to order from there.
  • New customers: Being online extends businesses’ reach if they’re trying to get their brand name out there. With SEO they can be in the top search results when consumers are searching to buy specific products. This way they are also (automatically) targeting a specific market.
  • Low business costs: There’s no need to pay for rent for a physical store, salespersons or tellers, and marketing costs are also more affordable with online advertising and social media marketing.
  • Time efficient: Shopping online saves so much time in every process of “shopping”. From browsing different items and not having to shuffle through aisles and scan your eyes crazily from shelf to shelf, to saving time from not even needing to add travel time to the experience.
  • Informed: Online, ecommerce businesses are able to provide sufficient and specific information for every product that you can review for yourself. You don’t find this in retail stores and not every employee on the floor knows everything about every product.
  • Always operating: And, last but not least, you can live and trade in the ecommerce industry 24/7. It really is super convenient.


Future of ecommerce

It’s strange to think that the future of ecommerce will be threatened by physical retail stores. Wasn’t this industry created to move away from physical environments and work in a practically instantaneous and digital world?

But the truth is, we humans want it all. We want to have the choice that comes with browsing products, online or down the aisles. And as great as VR and AI technologies may try to bring that experience to consumers homes and make the online shopping experience as seamless from reality as possible, we still want more. Taking those technologies and integrating them into a retail store is the next step.

The future of ecommerce will be enhanced through these technologies and with the mobile commerce platforms contributing to the convenience factor, it’s not an industry that’s coming down anytime soon. But, solely online ecommerce businesses will need to establish themselves in a physical store. There already are some big named online businesses that have “come down to earth” and opened a branch of businesses in the real world. Two of these businesses are Amazon and Yuppiechef.


The future of retail

Now, we can’t exactly only talk about the future of ecommerce if it’s direction is to move towards redesigning and coming back to the retail space. So, we talk about the future of retail as an omnichannel environment that makes the most of both platforms that update with the times’ technology.

This way, we get what we want out of making the choice to lazily shop online for new lounge suites to comfortably browse on in the future or, alternatively, get up and outside to physically interact with the brands that we know and love.


ecommerce industry