In the last ten years, we have witnessed an incredible combination of technological and developmental innovations in facilitating business transactions. The internet has played a significant role in these developments. Inescapably, the boom in technological advancements together with the reliability and effectiveness of the internet, have had a considerable impact on the business world since 2010. The concept of electronic commerce has found its way to the global economy, with much ease than was anticipated. Despite the many obstacles that eCommerce has faced in the last ten years, it has proved its resilience, overcoming all the stumbling blocks to confirm a continuous increase and overreliance on electronic commerce. A report by Statista predicted 2.14 billion digital buyers by 2021.
The success of eCommerce has come with many changes that we have witnessed especially in the recent past. The eCommerce industry we had ten years ago is different from what we have today. In this article, I track the top transitions in eCommerce and identify the possible trends that we might see in the future.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a relatively new concept in eCommerce. It has not been around for too long. It was developed in the early 2010s. Its existence was fueled by the increased interaction between humans and the fast-evolving mobile devices. Responsive web design makes a substantial concept for discussion in E-commerce as it is continuously transitioning and making e-commerce transactions even more effective.
In essence, a responsive web design is a design technique that aims to achieve optimality in user experience from any device. In the previous developmental stages of RWD, web designers would create manifold website versions based mainly on different devices and website purposes. This approach’s greatest concern was that every website design would exist differently from one another, depending on the role it would play. This posed a problem keeping up with the fast advancements in technology.
In 2010, the eCommerce industry witnessed yet another significant milestone. Ethan Marcotte came up with a new approach that would change the course of commerce for good. He advocated for only one standard design for all devices. To date, responsive web design has taken a front seat in eCommerce, becoming very ubiquitous that Google can impose heavy penalties on any website that does not consider responsive web design. In my opinion, I would not term this as a punishment but rather a push for all websites and e-merchants to embrace the changing technologies.
The push for a responsive web design has seen more and more website users use mobile devices to conduct their e-commerce transactions. To date, the number of mobile phone users has surpassed that of desktop users. We will continue to witness the same trend for as long as mobile devices continue to be user-friendly and effective in conducting eCommerce transactions.
Digital marketing has also witnessed significant advancements. The Digital markets have continued to evolve, thanks to technological advances. Keeping up with these advancements is essential because it will help you reach out to new and existing customers and help you understand and appreciate modern-day techniques and technologies.
Digital marketing is the eCommerce aspect involved in the promotion of products and services over the internet. Its primary objective is to increase brand awareness and harness a large customer base. Before the introduction of digital marketing, business extensively relied on offline marketing strategies. Although effective it might have looked, the traditional marketing strategies failed to sell out brands on a global scale. Digital marketing came in as the best bet to reach out to international markets while saving on advertisements’ costs.
Digital marketing can now be done through tweets, social media campaigns, emails, blogging, and more. Some of the key milestones that have occurred in digital marketing are:
- The use of search engine in digital marketing
- The use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter
- Mobile-first marketing
- Reliance on consumer data to develop targeted marketing campaigns.
- Use of voice search as a marketing strategy.
Searching the Desired Item
It is now simple for shoppers to navigate and find the items they are looking for. The quick search feature has made it easy for users to search and quickly find the item they are looking for. One of the most outstanding innovations that have occurred in eCommerce is faceted navigation. It helps searchers to find an item quickly. The e-merchant is also able to control the search results.
Another significant milestone in eCommerce is the customer reviews section. Before finally buying an item, the user will undertake some research about the product based on previous clients’ feedback. Most eCommerce stores are embracing this trend to try and give customers a reason to transact with them.
Security in Ecommerce
The ultimate success of any eCommerce store lies in the effectiveness of its security walls. Without sufficient security, the eCommerce store might encounter several cybersecurity threats. Insecurity threats have been a significant hindrance to eCommerce success. To date, hackers have become rampant, trying all the available means to make a hit on eCommerce stores. The cost of a successful data breach is something you do not wish to incur.
However, cybersecurity experts have been on their toes to figure out the proper security tools to protect eCommerce stores. Over the last ten years, great security tools and measures have been introduced, and the existing ones have been improved to give better results. Some of the tools and protocols including but not limited to, the following:
- Software and hardware firewalls
- Public key infrastructure
- A digital certificate (SSL certificate)- Netscape first invented SSL certificates in 1994.
Many efforts have been made to try and improve the efficiency and functionality of SSL certificates. In 2007, the CA/Browser forum conducted ratification to the first version of an EV SSL Certificate, marking the inception of a special kind of SSL that has been a critical player in the security of eCommerce sites. The extended Validation SSL certificate increases the legitimacy of an eCommerce website, helps with the adherence to PCI DSS guidelines, gives trust seals to an eCommerce website, and improves the ranking of an Ecommerce store in the Search Engine Results Pages. The EV SSL, therefore, remains the best certificate for eCommerce stores.
- Encryption software
Future of Ecommerce Industry
Experts and statisticians have predicted a bright and splendid future of electronic commerce. In the foreseeable future, electronic commerce will, without a doubt, confirm itself as a powerful tool of sale. The success of the electronic business will be a notion unequivocally inseparable from the internet. We have already witnessed the increasing popularity of online shopping. We have also noticed how the number of eCommerce deals is increasing extraordinarily. Ecommerce sales are now exceeding physical sales. Brace yourself for a future that will see more of these tendencies. More and more people now prefer online shopping to physical shopping because of the time-saving factor of electronic commerce and the ability to purchase products at their most acceptable prices. The present-day boom in electronic transactions is the basis of a glorious eCommerce future.
Another eCommerce aspect that is becoming more and more palpable is the “quality to quantity” propensities. The internet has scrapped off the geographical factor and eliminated the concept of “sale equals accessibility.” Therefore, it does not matter where a shop is located. Whether it is in India, New York, or a small town in the middle east, it is still accessible via the internet. For e-merchants to survive, they will need to pay much attention to increasing the number of available products or services and their quality. The focus will shift to improving the user-friendliness of a product, its attractiveness, and user satisfaction. As eCommerce continues to advance, I anticipate that modern technologies will be incorporated to increase the quality of products and increase value to the typical consumer.
E-commerce remains a central component in the economic dynamics. If we consider globalization’s current level, electronic commerce is bound to gain more scale in the years to come. We should appreciate the substantial advancements that have been made in the eCommerce field over the last ten years. It has been quite a trip we are all pleased to have had. There is, even more, we are yet to see. In this article, I have explained the evolution that the eCommerce sector has witnessed in the last ten years. Knowing where we come from can help us anticipate what has to come. I have also explained some of the things that we should expect in the future of eCommerce.